The education programs of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance provide unique opportunities for children and their families to access the arts, with a wide range of educational programs. From introductory to in-depth programs, there’s something for every grade level, ability, and learning style!
Youth & Family
Dayton Ballet School
Dayton Ballet School is dedicated to providing the opportunity to experience and appreciate dance for people of all ages and abilities. We embrace the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s belief that the arts are for everyone, and we take pride in the fact that many of our students have not only gone on to become ballet professionals (dancers, costume designers, choreographers, and teachers) but also as business and community leaders that advocate and appreciate the arts.
Dayton Ballet School Ensemble
Dayton Ballet School Ensemble (DBSE), divided into Apprentice and Junior ensembles, is a pre-professional training program available to dancers through audition only. This division is for dancers who are committed to a high level of dance training, strengthening, and artistic development along with elective classes to supplement their dance education. This division includes additional performance opportunities.
Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Founded in 1937 by Paul Katz, the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra brings together the greater Dayton area’s most gifted young orchestral musicians, providing the opportunity to study and perform a broad range of orchestral repertoire. The DPYO is committed to inspiring an overall cultural awareness and appreciation of music in its members and audiences, strengthening our region’s existing school music programs, and helping stimulate interest in the development of school orchestral programs where none exist.
Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings
The Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings was established in 1982 with the support of Mrs. Virginia Kettering, to provide musical enrichment and advanced concert experience for string students in grade 6-12. The ensemble is comprised of 65 students representing homeschools and 26 different schools from the greater Dayton area.
Dayton Philharmonic Junior Strings
The Dayton Philharmonic Junior Strings was formed in 2014 in response to requests from string teachers and music educators for an orchestra that would encourage young string players not quite ready for the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings. From its inaugural season, the orchestra has grown to over 40 string players from 28 area schools. The goal of this orchestra is to provide an opportunity for students to further develop their musical skills while learning to work together with other string players in an ensemble.
Q The Music Strings
Q the Music Strings is a daily after-school string orchestra program that supports the musical, academic and social growth of at-promise youth in the Dayton community. Located at Ruskin Elementary, students in grades 3 through 6 receive academic tutoring; take group lessons in violin, viola, and cello; and participate in string orchestra rehearsals.
For questions, contact Melissa McCoy, Engagement Programs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 535-5469.
David L. Pierson Concerto Competition
The purpose of this competition is to identify outstanding talented young musicians in the Dayton metropolitan and surrounding areas, to encourage young musicians to pursue further study, and to stimulate competition among student musicians.
The 2023 Concerto Competition will be held in-person on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at the University of Dayton, Fitz Hall (1529 Brown St, Dayton, OH 45409). The preliminary round will begin around 9:00 am on June 3. Three finalists will be announced immediately following the preliminary round. Finalists must be available to perform for the final round around 12:00 noon. The final round will be open to the public and judged by Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Download and read the 2023 Concerto Competition Instructions.
- Contestants must be in grades 10–12 during the 2023-2024 school year.
- Contestants must be a member of their high school’s band or orchestra (exceptions are made for piano, harp, and home-schooled students).
- First place David L. Pierson Concerto Competition winners may not enter again.
- Contestants may audition on any orchestra instruments.
- Contestants must be legal residents of the state of Ohio (exceptions are made for contestants who are members of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestras or students of Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra musicians).
- Each contestant should select a composition for solo instrument and orchestra from the orchestral repertoire appropriate to his/her instrument.
- The audition selection must be memorized.
- The repertoire selection should be not less than 3 minutes or more than 8 minutes in length. Only one movement of a concerto is required and if the movement is more than 8 minutes, please make appropriate cuts.
- Each contestant must provide the judges with an original copy of the composition with measure numbers marked.
- Audition selection must be memorized.
- Piano accompaniment is required; applicants must arrange for their own accompanist.
- Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, will judge the final round.
- If, in the Artistic Director’s opinion, a winner should be chosen, that person will receive a $500 prize and will perform at an education concert during the 2023-2024 season. Second- and third-place winners will receive $200 and $100 awards, respectively.
Steps to Submit Your Application
- Complete the online application form.
- Mail your application fee of $45 (checks made out to “DPAA”) to David L. Pierson Young Musicians’ Concerto Competition, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, 126 N Main Street, Suite 210, Dayton, OH 45402. Please include the name of the applicant and “Concerto Competition” in the memo line. You may also pay your application fee online at daytonperformingarts.org/education/payments. Under “Payment For” select “Other” and type “Concerto Competition – Student Name” in the box for “What is this payment for?”
- The application and fee must be received by May 6, 2023.
- Contestants will be notified of their audition time around 5 days before June 3.
- Arrive at the competition at least 15 minutes before your assigned audition time. Warm-up rooms will be available, but you may not have a chance to warm-up with your accompanist.
The High School Vocal Competition
The High School Vocal Competition program was established in 1973 by the Opera Guild of Dayton to award scholarships to outstanding young people. This competition will be held on Saturday, March 23rd at the University of Dayton in Fitz Hall.
Deadline for applications is Friday, March 1st, 2024.
- Applicants must be enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade of high school during the 2023 – 2024 school year.
- Must be a resident of the state of Ohio.
- Selections may come from operatic, art song, or musical theater literature.
- Please contact Dr. David Sievers at email@example.com for any questions regarding repertoire
- The audition selections must be memorized.
- Total performance time of both selections should not exceed ten minutes.
- You are encouraged to bring your own collaborative pianist; however, if you wish, you will be assigned a pianist (this service is provided at no charge for the applicant).
- Accredited professionals and teachers in the music field select the winners.
- There are monetary prizes awarded:
- First Place – $800
- Second Place – $450
- Third Place – $300
Steps to Submit Your Application
- Complete the application form by clicking here.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a signed version of the Liability Waiver and Media / Photo Release Form.**
- The deadline for applications is Friday, March 1st, 2024.
- Competition date is Saturday, March 23rd at the University of Dayton in Fitz Hall.
- You will be notified of your audition time around one week prior to March 23rd.
- Arrive at the competition at least 15 minutes before your assigned audition time.
- Carefully read the application and the steps above.
- If you have any other questions, please contact email@example.com
The Tri-state College Vocal Competition
The Tri-state College Vocal Competition (established in 1989 for Ohio) expanded to three states in 2006. Any man (age 19-23) or woman (age 18-22) who attends college in Ohio, Indiana or Kentucky, or is a resident of those states and attends college elsewhere, is eligible. Up to six finalists are selected by audiocassette entry, then they compete before a panel of nationally known judges. There are monetary prizes awarded to the first, second, and third place winners.