The DC Youth Orchestra Program was founded in 1960 at the request of DCPS, which identified the need for a city-wide orchestra for young people: many had very little music education; some had none at all. Now in its fifty-second year, and with fresh leadership at the helm, DCYOP is poised to enter a new era – and the need is as pressing as ever. Music is like oxygen for many kids, and they also need a place to go and something to which they can belong. DCYOP is all of those things. The program is built on a 12-level curriculum that allows students to progress at their own pace. Twelve ensembles participate in weekly classes, rehearsals, performances, and even a summer session. An inventory of over 800 musical instruments is available for students to use and rent (many do not own their own), and the program's low fees mean that everyone can participate. Playing together is a transforming experience for these children – and your generosity keeps the music alive.