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A Message From PYPO's New Executive Director, Cameron Massey

Updated: Apr 29

Hello PYPO students, families, and friends,

I am thrilled to be writing to you as the newly appointed executive director of Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (PYPO). As PYPO’s 30th anniversary year comes to a close, I am excited to join the staff and the board of directors to build on PYPO’s decades of service to the young musicians and families of this community. I first want to thank the board and staff for thoughtfully facilitating the executive search. I also want to specifically thank Helen Davis, board president, Christina Crivelli, interim executive director, Patrick Forsyth, music director, and Russ Pedersen, orchestra manager, for their leadership and commitment to PYPO this year. This organization is full of dedicated and passionate people, and I am proud to be joining this team as we write the next chapter of PYPO’s story.

I had the great privilege of attending the final concert of PYPO’s 30th season earlier this month. In addition to the hard work and artistry represented on stage, it was beautiful to witness the enthusiasm of support around me in the audience. Youth orchestras like PYPO have the power to be vital elements of the communities they serve as places for gathering, celebration, and collective imagination. When my family relocated to the United States from Croatia as I was entering high school, my new local youth orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO), provided a landing place and a close-knit community during a time of personal upheaval and cultural transition. Surrounded by a new language and different cultural norms, youth orchestra became a familiar and safe space in the midst of change. Music was still music, even across an ocean. Playing alongside musicians who were all committed to the goal of growing and learning together cemented my resolve to make music a central guiding force in my life.

I went on to study flute at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 2020 arrived in Pittsburgh to begin a Master of Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University. I’ve called Pittsburgh home for four years now, and I am floored again and again by the abundance of cultural resources here, particularly in the arts education sector. I join this vibrant community with experience in orchestra management, program design, and fundraising gained during stints at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival and School, League of American Orchestras, and most recently, the National Endowment for the Arts, the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide.

In this next chapter for the organization, I am excited to lean into what PYPO does so well; raising the levels of our musicians through fun and engaging learning experiences. As we continue to dream and grow our programs for the future, I look forward to meeting each of you soon. Together, we get to learn, create community, and foster a lifelong love of music in young Pittsburgh musicians.

I am sending you all well wishes as you practice and prepare for our upcoming auditions. I hope to see you at our summer camp in June, or when our season begins in earnest in the fall. In the meantime, we’ll be planning and scheming up a stellar 31st season.

To all that is to come,

Cameron Massey

Executive Director

Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

(412) 522-3864


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