Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra Gains New Leadership

Joseph Alcocer is now the music director of the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra (YYO). His appointment was recently announced by Claudia Young Hunter, president pro tem of the Board of Directors.

The YYO is a 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 1999. Music education and performance opportunities to over two hundred Ypsilanti and area students is offered through this organization. 

It serves youth of diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic status and is tuition-free for students and families Alcocer is the second person to hold that title, following in the footsteps of YYO Founder and Music Director, William Hayes.

Alcocer has been involved with the YYO since early 2022. He is also the Orchestra Director at Tappan Middle School.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in violin performance from Huston-Tillotson University as well as a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Hayes, now retired, was an Ypsilanti Public Schools string teacher.

He co-founded the YYO in 1999 with University of Michigan professor Bernard Galler and pianist Ruth Shanberge to provide a full orchestral experience not otherwise available to Ypsilanti public schools students.

During his 23-year tenure with the YYO, the program expanded to offer children ages 4-18 programs in jazz and percussion and. summer sessions.

The organization has a focus on both inclusivity (no auditions) and opportunities for diverse and disadvantaged participants.

Registration remains open until Oct. 1 at ypsiyouthorchestra.org

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