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"This amazing group of musicians is one of the finest and most talented I have heard." Itzhak Perlman


The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) is an award-winning youth orchestra for regional string musicians of high-school age and younger. PACO’s five ensembles – SuperStrings, Preparatory, Debut, Sinfonia, and Senior PACO – have approximately 25 members each which rehearse weekly and perform throughout the year presenting an extraordinary level of music-making and commitment to their art. At PACO, we believe that making music-and lifelong friends-is best achieved in an atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork. Our focus on small orchestras and chamber music makes that possible, and we minimize internal competition to foster creativity and collaboration for our young musicians. PACO students get many opportunities to work with each other across orchestra levels, knitting our musical family together and providing teaching and learning opportunities for all. Team work, compassion, empathy and imagination are hallmarks for our community. More than just learning how to play the notes, our students learn the real meaning and value of playing well with others. 


Our emphasis on chamber music uniquely sets PACO apart from other youth programs and lies at the core of our educational success, allowing a highly personalized commitment to both our students and our community, as envisioned in our mission statement :   “To cultivate the highest artistic values and embrace the importance of human relationships through the study of chamber music; to serve as goodwill ambassadors through the performance of chamber music at home and abroad; and to instill a life-long appreciation of chamber music in young people, their families, and the community.”


Our Annual Chamber Music Workshop

Members of the Debut, Sinfonia, and Senior PACO orchestras attend our Annual Chamber Music Workshop (PACO Camp) in August, where advanced ensemble training takes place under the watchful eyes (and ears) of a nationally renowned faculty.

Presto PACO

Starting in July 2017, PRESTO PACO is a shorter, local version of PACO camp. This 3-day workshop for young string players ages 8 – 13 is open to members of our Superstrings and Preparatory orchestra members as well as young musicians from our community by audition.