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The Dr. Shirley Linzy Young Artists Orchestra of Las Vegas - Yunior Lopez, Founder & Music Director

On October 2015, an orchestra of 22 members debuted at the Las Vegas Flamingo Public Library playing Mozart’s “Adagio & Fugue in C minor”. The orchestra consisted of local students ranging from 14 to 22. This small group of musicians, elegant and powerful, demonstrated the sound of a full-blown high-end orchestra, that day. This tuition-free orchestra was the brain-child of Yunior Lopez. Yunior envisioned an orchestra composed of young artists who wanted to challenge their musical skills and expose them to true rigor of orchestral music.

Since their debut, Yunior Lopez’s vision came full circle. The debut launched the Las Vegas Young Artist Orchestra. Since then, the elite group of 22 artists expanded into two major sections, the Academy and Symphony. The orchestra unites the most talented young musicians up to age 22, who bring their creativity and exceptional musicality to over 15 concerts and events per season. The program is currently comprised of the YAO Symphony featuring 70+ young musicians, up to the age of 22, and the YAO Academy with 50+ students, up to the age of 16. The YAO has showcased over 50 concerts and events in the Las Vegas community making it one of the largest presenters of music education programming in the State of Nevada. To date, they partake in masterclasses, workshops, and perform high quality concerts in a variety of disciplines and styles while experiencing, performing with professional guest artists from around the globe.

Founded on the basis of educating and promoting young musicians, the Young Artists Orchestra is fully dedicated to the artistic, personal, and professional development of outstanding instrumentalists. Through a wide range of performance and instructional activities, the Young Artists Orchestra seeks to develop the skills and qualifications required of twenty-first century musicians. The program offers detailed exposure to traditional and modern orchestral repertoire, collaborations with nationally and internationally recognized guest artists, in addition to unique chamber music opportunities. Moreover, it’s one of the few tuition-free youth orchestra programs in the United States. Since the inception of YAO in 2015, 100% of our high school graduates have studied at some of the finest music schools and universities in the United States, as well as abroad. Current students and alumni are attending or earned their degree from Yale University, Vanderbilt University, Indiana University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Lamont School of Music, to name a few.

YAO enhanced the musical foreground through collaborations with renowned musicians. Past guest artists include renowned violist Steven Dann (professor of the Royal Conservatory of Music and former Principal Viola of the Royal Concertgebouw), Daniel Hass (Israeli-born solo cellist), Roberto Occhipinti (veteran jazz performer, producer, and educator), and Stanislav Pronin (violin virtuoso and 1st Concertmaster of the Aarhus Symphony), to name a few. Moreover, the program hosts up to 10 masterclasses per season, in addition to chamber music concerts performed alongside professional musicians.

The organization paid tribute to one of its distinguished supporters: Dr. Shirley Linzy. She was the Director & Supervising Nurse at the Adelson Clinic in Las Vegas. She oversaw the orchestras use of the rehearsal space next to the Adelson Clinic, and was a supporter of the orchestras mission and talent. As of October 2017, YAO was renamed after the late Dr. Shirley Linzy to The Dr. Shirley Linzy Young Artists Orchestra of Las Vegas.

Members of the 2016 Young Artists Orchestra Symphony & Academy at the Studio Gallery in Las Vegas - Photo by Kevin Glover

Members of the 2016 Young Artists Orchestra Symphony & Academy at the Studio Gallery in Las Vegas – Photo by Kevin Glover


  1. The YAO offers a full Symphony, String Orchestra, and Percussion Ensemble for the students of Southern Nevada.
  2. Students have the opportunity to perform in over 15 concerts and events per season, which includes Orchestral Concerts, Recitals, Masterclasses, and a variety of events. Past students have had the opportunity to perform for major televised events including the Latin Grammy Awards and the Country Music Awards.
  3. Students will collaborate and work alongside nationally and internationally recognized musicians. Past notable guest artists include violist Steven Dann, jazz veteran Roberto Occhipinti, cellist Daniel Hass, violinists Stanislav Pronin and Qi Cao, The Lique, pianist Alexandria Le, and many more.
  4. The YAO has an instrument bank of fine & professional grade instruments available for students to use on loan. In 2019, the Bank had over $160,000 worth of violins, violas, and cellos owned by or on-loan to the YAO.
  5. Our students are exposed to professional caliber music that challenges them, which allows them to grow as young artists.
  6. The YAO is the only tuition-free youth orchestra program in the State of Nevada. Regardless of background and wealth, we acknowledge and reward talent, hard work, and dedication.
  7. The tools and discipline learned within the YAO help our students develop life skills needed to become successful citizens.

Our concert season is made possible through the hard work of our family, friends, and sponsors. Please visit our Sponsors Page to view our supporters.

The advancement and success of our students are tied directly with our mission & goal. We strongly believe that music education creates a path that allows students to reach maximum potential, in turn, creates outstanding citizens bettering our community. Lastly, the success and longevity of our program will extend a trend that through time would evolve into a tradition of fine arts, and cultural awareness within Southern Nevada.

Yunior Lopez
Founder & Executive Director


  • Andrew Fackrell, President
  • Jennifer Au, Secretary
  • Dave Modica, Treasurer
  • Paul Johnson, Director


  • Yunior Lopez, Executive Director
  • Melissa Rios, Assistant Director
  • Jerry DeGuzman, Bookkeeper

Board of Directors

  • Andrew Fackrell, president
  • Jennifer Au
  • Dave Modica
  • Paul Johnson

Advisory Board

  • Kerry Bennett
  • Manny Gamazo
  • Jonathan Krehm
  • Linda Ammons
  • Stanislav Pronin
  • Peter Cosbey

Artistic Staff

  • Yunior Lopez, music director
  • Kerry Bennett, conductor
  • Manuel Gamazo Jr., percussion director
  • Yuri Cho, violin coach
  • Susan Kim, violin coach
  • Andy Smith, cello coach
  • Moonlight Tran, cello coach
  • Jeremy Russo, cello coach
  • Brycen Ingersoll, double bass coach
  • John Seaton, winds/brass coach