- Use the power of music to encourage international understanding
- Assemble a world-class orchestra of young musicians from countries of the Americas
- Provide exemplary music education for gifted youth
- Be a catalyst for social change
- Build vibrant partnerships in the Americas and beyond
- Foster interaction and communication between societies at a grassroots level
- Cultivate musical ambassadors and leaders of the future
At its core, the process of participating in YOA is one of awakening. Nearly all testimonials that YOA receives in its surveys of audiences, faculty, and musicians, describe something akin to this, both on a personal and on a communal level.
For some participants, this awakening is most profoundly an artistic discovery that results from being joined with fellow "exceptions to the rules" - not only other exceptional fellow young musicians, but also the chance to study with world-class coaches, conductors, and soloists – all of whom have grown beyond the traditional limits of their surroundings. Here there is an almost measurable transformation in which the audience is overcome by the energy, discipline, talent, and dedication exhibited in performances, and where musicians complete the program with a new mastery of their instrument that becomes a stepping-stone in their musical development. The beauty is that because of the orchestra’s diversity, everyone – both musicians and audiences - feel part of this growth and development, and share a mutual sense of accomplishment in having contributed to and benefited from the program.
In other cases, the transformation will manifest itself as a human awakening. This could take the form of a cultural baptism where eyes are opened by the synergy of cultures, or it may be a newfound appreciation for the gift of music after coming to understand what a challenge this has been for the many musicians in YOA whose struggle is for the fist time validated in the Residency and Tour. It is hard to participate in the program, to witness a YOA performance, to see the simultaneous gratitude and pride bursting from every musician, and not to come away with a newfound appreciation for the simple act of playing music.