Youth Activities

The Butler Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

The Butler Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is the official youth orchestra of the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra. Under the direction of conductors Matthew Kirkendahl, and Paul John Stanbery, the orchestra enjoys state-wide recognition.

The all high school-aged orchestra numbers some 85 players and performs three to four public concerts yearly. All members are required to pass a yearly audition and all are members of their school music programs.

Rehearsals are held weekly at Garfield Middle School on Fair Avenue in Hamilton, just North of the Rt. 129 Connector.    Wednesdays from 5:30-7 p.m. Concert dates will be listed under the Concerts menu above.

For more information, please contact the BPO at 513-895-5151 or email us at

Scholarship Opportunities

The Butler Philharmonic sponsors and maintains three outstanding opportunities for young musicians.







The David & Marge Belew Young Artist
Solo Competition for Orchestral Instrumentalists

This $1,000 award given will be at the discretion of the judges. The award is to be used to further the young person’s musical development. In addition to the financial award, the winning young artist will be given the opportunity to perform as a featured soloist with the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra during its regular season. The selection chosen must have an orchestral accompaniment available. Deadline: TBD

Call 513-895-5151 or email for more information.

The BPO Guild Voice Award

Awards of $1,000 (First Place) and $500 (Second Place, awarded at the discretion of the judges) to a young singers(s),
currently in college and planning a career in opera, serious vocal study, or music education with an emphasis in voice.
Performance opportunities with the BPO are also possible.

Eligible students must be natives of Butler County, Ohio, or a neighboring county.

Call 513-895-5151 or email for more information.

The Edward Kezur Awards

Before his untimely death, Dr. Edward Kezur expressed the desire that symphonic music have a future in our community through these awards. Two awards of $1,200 each are presented each year to two outstanding members of the Butler Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. The award is to be spent only on further advanced musical growth.

Only BPYO members are eligible.

Call 513-895-5151 or email for more information.


More resources

Classics For Kids (90.9 WGUC Public Radio)

Please visit, Cincinnati Public Radio’s award winning website that introduces children to classical music.

Musicians and Lessons

The BPO acts as a resource for securing both music lessons and small ensembles in the community, churches and in schools. Call 513-895-5151 or email for more information.