The Debut Orchestra Program

Created with the guidance of Vijay Gupta, Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist, speaker and nationally acclaimed advocate for artistic voices in social issues. the Debut program is enriched by a partnership with the Street Symphony. Consisting primarily of members of the LA Philharmonic, the Street Symphony is dedicated to social justice through music. This association will provide additional mentorship to Debut members, developing participants not only as artists but as citizens through combined performance opportunities that will emphasize the musicians’ role as an artist-citizen.

Participants in the Debut program will receive training and professional development in topics such as Trauma-informed Education, Community Engagement, Mentorship, Grant Writing and other skills crucial for an integrated career as musician, educator and advocate. Participants will also perform in a variety of public concerts, as part smaller chamber ensembles as well the full 50-member orchestra configuration.

By working closely with YMF’s teaching programs which serve under-resourced communities throughout Los Angeles, participants in the Debut Program will receive teaching and mentorship experience in variety of settings, age groups and communities. Participants will also “shadow” and receive mentorship from our Teaching Artists.

Debut will present performances beyond the concert hall, within the communities YMF serves, public festivals, in addition to youth detention facilities, homeless communities, social service agencies and other audiences who may otherwise not have access to these experiences.


Thank you to our 2017/18 Musician Sponsors!

For further information and additional sponsorship opportunities, please contact: 
Walter Zooi, Executive Director at (323) 987-0065 or

Concertmaster - Anne Akiko Meyers
Section Cello - Peter and Samantha Knight
Principal Clarinet - Betty Lou Gross
Principal Trumpet - Clint Camua, CFP, EP Wealth Advisors
Principal Piano/Keyboard - Riko Method School of Piano

Recent Alumni Appointments

Eric Abramovitz ('16-'17) - Nashville Symphony,  Associate Principal//E-flat/2nd Clarinet
Laura Arganbright ('15-'17) - Bakersfield Symphony, Principal Oboe
Sam Almaguer ('12-'13) - North Carolina Symphony, Principal Clarinet
Carrie Rexroat ('14-'15) - Symphony Tacoma, 2nd Horn
Emerson Millar ('15-'17) - New World Symphony, Fellow
Chelsea Sharpe ('15-'17) - New World Symphony, Fellow
Brice Burton ('12-'17) - Charlotte Symphony, Principal Percussion
Eric Abramovitz ('16-'17) - Santa Barbara Symphony, 2nd/E-flat Clarinet
Grace Nakano ('13-'16) - Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Concertmaster
Johanna Gruskin ('15-'16) - Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Principal Flute
Jon Bhatia ('14-'16) - Lamar University, Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music, Adjunct Professor of Music
Steven Logan ('11-'13) - Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Principal Timpani
Tyler Stell ('10-'13) - Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Principal Timpani
Carrie Rexroat ('14-'15) - South Dakota Symphony, 2nd Horn
Matthew Howard ('10-'12) - Los Angeles Philharmonic, Principal Percussion
Katherine Velasquez ('15-'16) - Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale, Principal Flute
Elizabeth Lu ('14-'16) - New World Symphony, Fellow
John Shawger ('12-'15) - Virginia Symphony Orchestra, 4th Horn
Christopher Hernacki ('13-'15) - Symphony Silicon Valley, Section Trombone
Benjamin Adler ('13-'15) - Milwaukee Symphony, Assistant Principal Clarinet
Gabriel Campos Zamora ('10-'12) - Minnesota Orchestra, Principal Clarinet
Joe Morris ('10-'11) - Pacific Symphony, Principal Clarinet
Andrew Brady ('11-'13) - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Principal Bassoon
Jack Peña ('12-'14) - Louisiana Philharmonic, Principal Bassoon
Andrew Stenvall ('13-'15) - Illinois Symphony, Principal Percussion