National Youth Orchestra of Kenya (KNYO)
Inspired by the success of Venezuela’s El Sistema organisation in bringing communities together and developing national pride through music participation, the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya (or KNYO as it is often called) was set up in 2010 as a leadership, social-integration (across cultural, age, socio-economic, ethnic barriers) musical leadership programme. It draws from all of Kenya, public and private schools, colleges and young professionals. The orchestra encourages, nurtures and showcases their talent. By pursuing and encouraging excellence we believe we are setting a benchmark for the country and giving other youth with talent something to aspire to.
Our ultimate aim is link the community based Ghetto Classics programmes with the National Youth Orchestra, our vision being that we would have a network of community music programmes that all link up to a national ensemble of the highest standard.
Currently made up of over 190 members ranging from 14 – 23 years of age, the KNYO meets for a week, three times a year during the school holidays for a musical residential. Working with the best instrumental trainers there are in the country and beyond, the students have 6 intensive days of training at the residential programme, which not only builds them as musicians, but also trains them to be great Kenyans who will be mentors to their peers.
The KNYO have performed at many functions including: TICAD (Kenya 2016), President Obama State Dinner (Kenya), U.N Day, 2014 (New York), ScoKendia (Glasgow), promulgation of the New Constitution (Kenya), Presidential inauguration (Kenya), opening of the Kenya National theatre, CBM concert in the dark, ‘Conduct-us as well as performing and appearing in the music videos of two of Kenya’s award winning musicians namely Rufftone and Dela.
We are extremely proud of the leadership role that many of our KNYO members have taken in the schools and communities.