The Alachua County Youth Orchestra, founded in 1973, is committed to fostering the community’s gifted young musicians by providing them with the opportunity to rehearse and perform orchestral music at the highest level possible. As music programs are scaled back in public schools, the ACYO helps fill this void by offering quality orchestral instruction under renowned Music Director and Conductor R. Gary Langford. Middle and high school students are admitted through competitive auditions at the beginning of the academic year. The orchestra rehearses Sunday evenings at the University of Florida under the auspices of the School of Music. Performances take place at the University of Florida Philips Center for the Performing Arts and the University Auditorium.