Haiti Youth Orchestra's Mission: We build self-sustaining communities through partnering with individuals
and organizations in the U.S. and Haiti to learn from and support each other.

Our Mission

Promoting Academic and Social Growth

We provide access to musical understanding, social growth, increased self-esteem, and a lifelong love of music to Haitian youth while providing cross-cultural experience to Haitian and American musicians.

Our Story

After spending time in Haiti with his parents, the founders of The Road to Hope, for the adoption of his two Haitian siblings, young twelve year old Zach Harris had a vision. He wanted to provide opportunities for learning and fun for the children of the community of Mirebalais by building a soccer field. However, leaders of the community had another idea. They wanted the children of the community to learn to play beautiful music through a music program and orchestra at St. Pierre School. Zach, an accomplished musician, figured this idea was much better suited for both parties than a soccer field, and quickly worked with the community to turn their vision into a reality. On that fateful day, Haiti Youth Orchestra (now a program of The Road to Hope), was born.

Our Progress

Zach’s simple steps have inspired musicians in both Haiti and the United States and fostered lifelong relationships between Haitians and Americans. The first Haiti Youth Orchestra is located at the St. Pierre school in Mirebalais and includes 120 young members of the community. In 2017, the Haiti Youth Orchestra expanded to a second location at the St. Martin school in Delmas, Haiti. Between the two sites, 150 Haitian children are discovering the joy of music. The vast majority of the students who began playing with Haiti Youth Orchestra seven years ago had never picked up an instrument in their lives. Today, they are accomplished musicians who spend time traveling Haiti playing concerts at schools, funerals, weddings, and cultural celebrations.

Our Programs

  • Weekly Orchestra Rehearsals - In order for students to grow their musical skills, Haiti Youth Orchestra employs AND accomplished Haitian Maestro to lead weekly rehearsals for the orchestras in St. Pierre and St. Martin.
  • Summer Camps - Since 2016, Haiti Youth Orchestra has provided annual summer camps to young Haitian musicians. Over a week students receive private lessons, larger group clinics, and conduct the full orchestra.
  • Up and Coming Young Artist Camp - Annually, top Haiti Youth Orchestra students travel to Denver, CO to practice and perform with the Colorado Symphony. Students stay with host families and are accompanied on outings, practices and performances by young musicians, forming lifelong, cross-cultural bonds.

Our Orchestra

Playing music has been proven to allow messages to get across the brain faster and through more diverse routes. Thus, musicians may be able to solve problems more effectively and creatively, in both academic an Up and Coming Young Artist Camps social settings.

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Meet Our Team - Fostering Cross-Cultural Learning

Through working with Haitian and American professional musicians, the students learn how to work hard, dream big, and accomplish their goals. Furthermore, international collaboration results in more well-rounded individuals who can make better-informed decisions. Click Here to Meet Our Team

Meet Our Students - Orchestra Members

Our students are a testament to the benefits of musical education and cross-cultural learning. Read more about their individual stories below.

undefinedLovelie

"My name is Lovelie Marcellus. I am 18 years old. I am still in school I attend Collége Saint Pierre. My family is modest and I am the youngest child. My favorite part of school is philosophy since I like to debate. I also like biology and chemistry. I like to spend my time to practice the violin and to help teach the beginning music students. The Road To hope is the organization of Zach which works with Haiti Youth Orchestra, which helps me to achieve my dream to become a violinist, to play a marvelous instrument. I hope to become a professional violinist and to work with the Haiti Youth Orchestra because it can become part of a professional orchestra."

Davidundefined

David Marcellus is a trumpet player in the St. Pierre youth orchestra in Mirebalais, Haiti. “The orchestra has helped me a lot to become a good musician and has helped me at school also. Before the orchestra started I did not know anything about music but I am now very happy to be a musician! The orchestra has helped me to become a good student. I am very focused on my studies." A founding member of the Haiti Youth Orchestra, David is now studying Computer Science.

Peterundefined

Peter Clervoyant is one of the students who have visited Denver and had the opportunity to work beside the Colorado Symphony, which has been supporting the non-profit through hands on education. "I would like to become a teacher to teach music all over Haiti," Clervoyant said, "It was a dream to do this.” Five years ago, Clerovoyant hadn't touched an instrument. Now, he hopes to change lives through his music one day.

How Can You Get Involved?

Book the Orchestra for Your Next Event!

The Haiti Youth Orchestra travels Haiti, playing concerts at schools, funerals, weddings, and cultural celebrations. To book the orchestra for your next event, click here!

Donate An Instrument

Haiti Youth Orchestra's instruments are donated by various individuals, organizations and companies in the U.S. and maintained by Haiti's Holy Trinity Music School repair shop. While the instruments below are the biggest needs for HYO, all types of instrumental donations would be of great value to the orchestra.

  • Tenor, baritone, and soprano saxophones
  • Percussion instruments
  • French horns
  • Violins, violas, cellos, and double basses

To donate an instrument, click here!

Invest in Musical Education

We help provide Haitian youth with rare access to musical education, allowing them to develop a lifelong passion for music and acquire skills that are transferable to other aspects of their life. Click Here to Donate and Help Bring Music To Haiti