Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras – Intensive Community Program

What sets ICP apart from other instrument training programs is that students are fully integrated into BYSO?s prestigious orchestra program from day one. From the time they enter the program as beginners, ICP students attend weekly rehearsals alongside all 500+ members of BYSO?s six ensembles. This gives the youngest ICP students a sense of belonging in the broader BYSO community, underscoring the key premise that ICP is not a stand-alone initiative separating students of color from the general BYSO student body. Instead, students recognize that they are a crucial part of the fabric of BYSO from the outset. Moreover, participating in this close-knit camp allows students the opportunity to better know their peers. Our beginning students are able to see what this program holds for their futures. Consequently, ICP students do not merely learn how to play an instrument, but also develop the skills of listening, group dynamics, peer accountability, empathy, and open-mindedness within the inspiring context of the larger BYSO program. ICP also provides consistent opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills through peer mentorship, strengthening bonds between students and preparing them to take on further leadership roles as they enter adulthood. The strong sense of identity and community that ICP provides contributes to an overall program retention rate of 94%, and also has a substantial social benefit for ICP families that continues beyond the time a student is in the program.