Every musician learns that this
My young students are more inclined to dive into notes than enjoy the silence, yet it’s a lesson we all have to learn – how to be still. The way we “play” our rests gives meaning to our sound. Thanks to your support, the Cuban American Youth Orchestra has spent our first three years playing our hearts out. We have supplied students in Cuba with instruments and sheet music, commissioned new pieces, mentored talented pre-professionals, and brought together musicians of the US and Cuba to build a stronger relationship between our countries. We could not have done this without you – the audience, students, teachers, cheerleaders and friends that make up our CAYO family.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought us to a period of rest during which we must take care of our communities, our families and ourselves. But rest does not have to be static. Mozart said, “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between”. Living between the notes means CAYO will spend our time exercising the most important of musical skills – listening.
Crisis has a way of bringing priorities into sharper focus. As the world reshapes around this new reality, we at CAYO are actively listening for how we can best serve in the future. With your help, we have already brought an organization from its infancy into a spectacular young adulthood during a time of unprecedented change.
The musical score ahead of us is yet to be written, yet we know without a doubt that something beautiful lies in the pages ahead. From our home to yours, juntos en armonía – Rena
The Cuban American Youth Orchestra (CAYO), an independent 501(c)(3) organization, promotes cultural diplomacy through collaboration, performance and education.
CAYO promotes and strengthens the US-Cuba relationship through musical expression of all genres with an emphasis on orchestral music
CAYO provides collaborative performance opportunities, professional support, and cultural enrichment to participating students across the US and Cuba
CAYO trains participants to be citizen ambassadors for US and Cuba on the world stage, securing stronger futures for all.
“I saw the greater purpose I can serve in the world as a musician.”American CAYO musician, May 2019, Havana
“Their musicianship was truly innate, instinctual, so unique and original. It was really a wonderful, life-changing type of thing for me, for many of us, really.”R. Douglas Wright, Principal Trombone, Minnesota Orchestra
“When we sit together and play music sharing a stand with these students, there’s tremendous communication. And there’s so much that’s shared in common that we understand without having to say a word and that’s what music is – is a language that everyone can connect through.”Kathryn Nettleman, Acting Associate Principal Bass, Minnesota Orchestra
“This was such a powerful experience. The opportunity to meet and perform with musicians in Cuba was incredible and really emphasized the power of music as a universal language.”Elizabeth Stewart, violinist/CAYO participant, February 2018
“Getting to be involved in CAYO has been one of the best things that has happened in my life, not just for the experiences, the learning, and everything that it has given me professionally, but also from a human point of view.”José Luis Rubio Reyes, Cuban CAYO violinist, May 2019, Havana
Travel to Cuba with CAYO on an Arts Delegation
Our next delegation brings musicians and citizen diplomats to Havana under the Support for the Cuban People travel license in late fall 2020.
Delegation patrons have the opportunity to observe rehearsals, visit schools and tour private studios and galleries in cities across Cuba.
For more info, click here
2019 CAYO Inaugural Tour
Juntos En Armonía • Together in Harmony
May 20-26, 2019
CAYO embarked on its first full orchestra tour this past spring, marking the first large-scale artistic collaboration between the United States and Cuba. Presented by the international concert tour management company Classical Movements, in association with the Cuban Institute of Music and the National Center for Concert Music, CAYO’s “Juntos en Armonía/Together in Harmony” tour saw the newly formed ensemble of college-aged American and Cuban musicians make its debut in Cuba.