Oklahoma Youth Orchestras
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City OK 73106
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Mission Statement
Through quality instrumental music education programs for students and accessible cultural offerings for the community, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras provides opportunities for artistic excellence to central and western Oklahoma.
2017 Group Photo
Contact Information
Contact Name Melody Garza
Contact email mgarza@oyomusic.org
Address 2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Phone (405) 232-1199
County Oklahoma
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card http://www.oyomusic.org
Donate to Endowment http://occf.org/gfhap/
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer
Donations can be made online at www.oyomusic.org/support, mailed to our office or we can take gifts by phone. Plenty of volunteer opportunities are available on Monday evening rehearsals and at concerts! To find out more about how you can help, please contact Melody Garza, Executive Director, at mgarza@oyomusic.org or by calling 405-232-1199.
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $354,450.00
Projected Expenses $354,220.00
History and Background
Former Names
Oklahoma Youth Orchestra1987
The Guy Fraser Harrison Academy for the Performing Arts Inc.2012
Year Founded 1977
IRS Ruling Year 1987
State Registration Expiration Apr 2018
Through quality instrumental music education programs for students and accessible cultural offerings for the community, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras provides opportunities for artistic excellence to central and western Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Youth Orchestras was founded in 1977, and has grown since that time to include twelve ensembles and programs serving 400 students from the central Oklahoma area. The program includes three full ensembles (Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, Oklahoma Youth Philharmonic, and Oklahoma Youth Winds), three auditioned string ensembles (Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia, and Philharmonia), and numerous non-auditioned string ensembles and programs (Festival Strings in Norman, Edmond, OKC, and Mid-Del; Rockin' Strings; and the Summer Symphony Strings Camp). The organization has a continuing partnership with Oklahoma City University, where its auditioned ensembles rehearse. Concerts are held during the academic year throughout the metropolitan area; each ensemble performs a minimum of three times per concert season. 
  1. Performed at the annual conference of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association in Tulsa
  2. Auditioned a near-record number of students for upcoming concert season
  3. Performed with local guest artists
  4. Hired an outstanding Artistic Director to conduct OYO and oversee artistic growth
  5. Hosted the organization's first Open House and second Bonfire, social and recruiting initiatives led by the Student Advisory Board 
  1. Reach more students and diversify the current program offerings of the organization
  2. Increase artistic excellence while educating students and families through Board-led intiatives including SuperFamilies and outreach opportunities
  3. Develop new and improved collaborations with fellow Oklahoma organizations, in both arts and human services
  4. Increase operational capacity of administrative staff
  1. Create new programming and artistic partnerships to better serve the orchestral students throughout our state.
  2. Increase partnerships and support from the community while branding the organization as the premier source for students to further their instrumental music education.
  3. Increase size and effectiveness of the Board of Directors and continue to shift from parent-based to community-based membership
  4. Continue efforts to better publicize organization in the community
  5. Increase volunteer base to assist staff
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Oklahoma Youth Orchestras (OYO) brings talented, motivated students together with the state's top professional conductors and musicians. Eighty percent of the students attend public schools, ten percent attend private school and ten percent are home schooled. It is a requirement that all students be enrolled in their school orchestra or band, if one exists, as the OYO programs serve as a supplement to, not substitute for, school music programs. Students who participate in youth orchestras nationwide are the future members, funders, and audiences of arts organizations.
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Central Oklahoma
Oklahoma Youth Orchestras serves students from all over central and western Oklahoma, including the counties of Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Payne, Murray, Canadian, Lincoln, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Grady, and Comanche. Some families value the services we offer so highly that they chose to drive over an hour one-way every Monday so their students can be a part of our programs.  
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Symphony Orchestras
Tertiary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Arts Education
Description The core, auditioned ensembles of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras generally serve students grades 3 through 12. The Oklahoma Youth Orchestra (OYO) and Oklahoma Youth Philharmonic (OYP) are the organization's full orchestras for high school students. These ensembles focus on advanced musicianship, standard orchestral repertoire as well as new works, and creative performance opportunities and collaborations. The Oklahoma Youth Winds (OYW) is a weekly honor band experience. The Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia, and Philharmonia string ensembles are designed for middle school and late elementary students. These training ensembles focus on continued skill development, solidifying of proper playing technique, and performing as a cohesive ensemble.
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Description This non-auditioned program of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras acts a feeder program for our core ensembles, welcoming new string musicians and their families to the organization. Students in late elementary and early middle school with one year of ensemble experience and the ability to read music are welcome to join the program. The Festivals Strings is comprised of four satellite locations (Norman, Edmond, Oklahoma City, and Mid-Del) that come together as one ensemble in performance.     
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Description Created as a pop and rock string orchestra, Rockin' Strings explores everything from Katy Perry to Led Zepplin to famous movie music and today's popular hits! Students explore proper string technique and challenge their musicianship while preparing for their fun and unique concerts throughout the community. This program does not require an audition and rehearses on Thursday evenings, thus is available as an additional opportunity for students already enrolled in another ensemble in the organization.
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Description The top string players in OYO and OYP have the opportunity to develop their chamber music skills by performing in one of our Honor Quartets who perform at events throughout the community. Percussionists enrolled in OYO, OYP, and OYW have the opportunity to perform in our Percussion Ensemble. Additional opportunities for the students in our organization include an annual concerto competition and conducting competition, side-by-side playing opportunities with local adult ensembles including the OKC Philharmonic and OKC Symphonic Band, and serving on the Student Advisory Board.
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)

Prior to 2015, middle-school age students in central Oklahoma did not have a summer orchestral camp opportunity. While great organizations such as Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain provide superb arts-education to high school students during the summer and local universities provide instrument-specific intensives, younger students were not offered a similar experience to continue challenging their music education during the summer months in an ensemble setting.

Designed as a summer day-camp experience for students entering grades 6 through 9, OYO's Summer Symphony Strings Camp allows students to make new friends, work as a team, and use their creative skills while making music with friends from all over central Oklahoma. During the week-long camp, students work with nationally-renowned string educators who push their skills while creating an enjoyable music-making environment. Students receive one-on-one instruction during sectionals with some of Oklahoma's finest music educators. These sectional coaches travel with their students throughout the day to provide proximity assistance to the conductors and build bonds with their students. The camp is comprised of one or two orchestras (depending on enrollment and resources available) who work daily in full-rehearsal and sectionals, with additional arts experiences in downtown Oklahoma City and recital hour performances. The camp culminates with a Friday performance for family and community members that celebrates the achievements during camp.

Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
Our Board of Directors and Staff work continuously to improve our program offerings and address the unique and changing needs of our community. Working with parents, local music educators, and key community leaders, we are working to infuse our programs into the fabric of the community while increasing arts access across our region's changing demographics. Alumni of our programs over the past 40 years are performing, teaching, and leading across the nation and beyond, and the students being served by Oklahoma Youth Orchestras today are the leaders of tomorrow.   
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Melody Garza
Start Date Jan 2017
Email mgarza@oyomusic.org

Melody Garza is an arts administrator, bassoonist, and former beginning band instructor. She joined the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras in 2017 as Executive Director, having previously worked in development with the California Symphony and Spokane Symphony. Passionate about both the transformative power of live music and empowering young people to pursue excellence, she is dedicated to growing the organization’s capacity to bring people together through musical experiences and help build a brighter future, as students mature and go on to impact their world for good.

Creativity, strategic partnerships, and elements of fun have long been prevalent in Melody’s fundraising. Highlights of her career thus far include a goal-exceeding fundraiser event collaborating with a cirque troupe to perform right in front of dinner guests while the California Symphony performed, complete with a juggler at the auction table; and a $50,000 campaign for Spokane Symphony to pay off the mortgage on their beautifully restored historic 1931 Art Deco theater, complete with an onstage mortgage burning and confetti canons. Melody holds a Masters of Arts in Music from Eastern Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from Whitworth University in Music Education and Bassoon Performance. Prior to her work in arts fundraising, she taught beginning band and kindergarten general music for the Cheney School District (WA). She studied bassoon with Lynne Feller-Marshall, principal bassoonist of the Spokane Symphony. As a proponent of leadership training through marching band, Melody also has her First Class certification from the Smith Walbridge clinics and served as an adjudicator at the Harvest Marching Band Festival for several years.

Melody lives in OKC with her husband Cris Garza, clarinetist and contact lens fitter, and their “furry children,” a shiba inu puppy and orange tabby cat. Melody and Cris tied the knot in May of 2017 in the very same Fox Theater in Spokane Washington where Melody worked and Cris performed with various ensembles, including conducting the Spokane Youth Orchestra. 

Number of Full-time Staff 2
Number of Part-time Staff 14
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 70
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 11
Not Specified 0
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Aug 2014
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Canterbury Choral Society, Oklahoma City Symphonic Band, Oklahoma Youth Jazz Ensemble, Oklahoma City University,  NewView Oklahoma, Creativity Oklahoma, Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Allied Arts member agency2000
Risk Management Provisions
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Mr. Paul Hagemeier
Company Affiliation Tapstone Energy, LLC
Term Sept 2017 to Sept 2018
Board of Directors
List Current as of Nov 11, 2017
Board of Directors List
Dr. Mark Belcik Oklahoma City UniversityExofficio
Mrs. Alexis Carter-Black
Mrs. Ginny Evans Foundation ManagementVoting
Mr. Richard Green Continental ResourcesVoting
Mr. Paul Hagemeier Chesapeake EnergyVoting
Mrs. Peggy Kahre
Mrs. Kris Markes
Dean Mark Parker Oklahoma City UniversityExofficio
Mr. Nathan Young
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 4
Board Term Lengths 1 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 60 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Youth Board
Youth Board Members
Matthew Baier
Jacob Black
Noah Bowles
Nathan Brown
Catherine Brown
Raquel Coleman
Megan Green
Christina Li student
Amanda Pan
Katie Prior
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments The Board of Directors has undergone a renaissance over the past years, moving from a parent-based group focused on operations to a broader constituency including professionals with arts and fundraising backgrounds working at the committee level to pursue a strategic plan to grow students, grow experiences, grow outreach, grow support, and grow operations. 
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2017-June 30, 2018
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $354,450
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $354,220
Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$8,300$8,500$8,750
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$4,828$4,635$3,748
Unrealized Gain/Loss$3,557$2,609$2,572
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$270,446$211,143$197,011
Administration Expense$20,803$13,724$33,458
Fundraising Expense$18,489$16,277--
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.000.941.02
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%88%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue223%191%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$27,034$27,770$83,778
Current Assets$25,920$26,302$80,594
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$2,209$1,763$44,217
Total Net Assets$24,825$26,007$39,561
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities11.7314.921.82
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $152,407Earned Revenue $141,995Earned Revenue $129,653
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $134,323Contributions $64,135Contributions $74,302
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovt - Unspec $8,300Govt - Unspec $8,500Indirect Public Support $13,165
Endowment? Yes
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage (if selected) 5 %
Credit Line? No
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments on Financials
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments For the 2016 fiscal year, the organization has moved to a July 1-June 30th. Because of this, the 2015 fiscal year is a short 10-month from September 1-June 30th in order to move fiscal years. The deficit reported for 2015 is due to that short, 10-month year not including a significant source of annual funding due to the timing.
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from the IRS Form 990s.

Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.

The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.

Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.
Address 2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Primary Phone 405 232-1199
Contact Email mgarza@oyomusic.org
Give with Credit Card http://www.oyomusic.org
Give to Endowment http://occf.org/gfhap/
CEO/Executive Director Melody Garza
Board Chair Mr. Paul Hagemeier
Board Chair Company Affiliation Tapstone Energy, LLC


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