, / Why I Give: Abby and Sarah Kahler, in their own words

BYSO is just ONE week away on April 23! Any gifts between now and April 23 will be matched in honor of BYSO Day - BUT if you are an alumni, your gift will be double matched! Your gift will go even further in supporting our students, and ensuring that even more youth can partake in our exceptional programming. Make your gift to BYSO today!

Support from our incredible alumni is extra special to us. Abby and Sarah Kahler are sisters, and recent graduates of BYSO. Here's why both of them have chosen to give back! 

"I give back to (G)BYSO because it gave me some of the happiest memories I have. It gave me soul friends to last a lifetime, who I know I can reach out to and be my true self with, even now that we are spread all over the country, and even when we haven't talked in months - or sometimes years! It gave me a sense of self by grounding me in my musicianship, taught me how good it feels to work hard at something, and the high quality that dedicated practice can yield. It gave me teachers, like John Holland, who with humor and grace taught me not only how to play violin, but about life.

I didn't realized it back then, but all the time I spent playing music on those Sundays was sort of like a meditation; the music was something I could be completely absorbed in. I give back to BYSO each year because I now know how formative it was for me, and I want other young people to be able to experience the things I did in their own way through BYSO!"

"When I started BYSO back in 2007, I had no idea how much influence the orchestra would have on my life. BYSO not only gave me the opportunity and privilege to play with musicians, like members of the BSO and Yo-Yo Ma, and to perform on some amazing stages, but it gave me a group of friends that will last a lifetime. With the help of these friends, the orchestra's amazing conductors, sectional coaches, and assistants, I was able to improve my skills as a violist significantly more than I could ever imagine.

Music will always be such a big part of my life and one of my main sources of happiness, thanks to BYSO. I give back as a young alumna because without BYSO, I would not be the musician or person I am today. My hope is that my contributions, as well as others, will allow young musicians to find the same passion for music that BYSO gave me and so many others."