Arts, Culture, and Humanities


Inspiring and Educating Young Musicians


Fairfield, CT


Young people achieve amazing things at GCTYO. They develop their talents beyond what they thought possible and feel pride and joy in their accomplishments. Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras’ holistic approach to music education means we inspire and challenge students at every stage of their music development. Our developmentally progressive music program gives ensemble members the opportunity to play at the highest level both individually and collectively. Members are selected by competitive audition and come from over 30 communities in Connecticut. GCTYO strives for diversity and inclusivity in a social environment that is both fun and musically challenging. GCTYO exposes its members to all types of symphonic literature and enriches their musical education.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras was formerly Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Beth Ulman

Music Director

Christopher James Hisey

Main Address

PO Box 645

Fairfield, CT 06824 USA

Formerly Known As

Greater Bridgeport Symphony Youth Orchestras

Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras


inspiring, music education, youth orchestra





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Register now

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Music education is not universally accessible, and where it is provided to young people, it is often not enough to inspire students to pursue the highest levels of music they can reasonably achieve. Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras supplements and enhances school music programs, as well as private music exploration, by providing orchestra and ensemble experience in an extra curricular setting.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Music education

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The mission of Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras is to provide a wide range of musical experiences that further the musical education of young musicians and to contribute to the cultural environment of the communities we serve. GCTYO is committed to diversity and accessibility and has a robust scholarship program, community outreach in the form of free lessons, and one-on-one teaching by older students to younger students. Through rehearsals and formal performances, young musicians gain valuable experience and an important sense of achievement and self-confidence, while fostering lifelong friendships and a love of music.

- Hold weekly rehearsals including full orchestra and small group instruction and perform at least 3 concerts per season; - Teach developmentally appropriate music in a challenging but supportive environment; - Multiple ensembles give students the opportunity to move up into progressively more challenging situations; - Maintain a culture of inclusivity and acceptance so that students enjoy being in the organization and feel a strong sense of commitment to it.

- GCTYO has the highest quality music educators who bring out the best in students. - All conductors and coaches are music educators who teach in developmentally appropriate ways to the range of students in the program. - Regular concerts give students a goal, as well as creating opportunities to learn new music regularly. - Social activities enhance bonding among students, which leads to more cohesive orchestras. - Good fiscal management ensures that the organization can take advantage of new opportunities and produce performances that bring prestige and excitement to members and their families.

- Membership growth - attracting more students from all over Connecticut who want to participate in GCTYO. - Growth in contributed income - Indicates satisfaction and a sense of pride in the organization among prior donors and a desire to contribute to a robust and worthy organization by new donors. - Exciting and innovative programming year over year.

- 20% growth in membership over last 4 years - Steady revenue growth over last 4 years with positive net income every year - Increase in financial assistance to students who could not otherwise participate - Innovative programming including Carmina Burana in 2019 and Cirque de la Symphonie in 2020. These types of concerts are not normally performed by youth orchestras, attesting to the quality of GCTYO. - Created 4 new ensembles in last 3 years. - Launched free after school lessons program. - Next: Continue building the program, including creating a permanent home for rehearsals and other programs. Expand community outreach programming. Increase contributed income.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

League of American Orchestras 2019



Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?