The Regional Youth Orchestra provides a vehicle for young musicians to develop and display their artistic skills unique to the jazz idiom.

Weekly rehearsals and public performances throughout the academic year provide students with an additional motivation to lead and perform within the community, as well as the national level.

About the orchestra

The Conrad O. Johnson Regional Youth Orchestra has a history of rousing performances at the world famous Carnegie Hall, the New York City Jazz Festival in Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

We are currently seeking to expand our participant roster for what promises to be a very eventful and challenging season with many upcoming local and national performances.


Cost & Benefits

For an annual $300 tuition, The Conrad O. Johnson Regional Youth Orchestra provides its participants with

  • instruction in music theory and applied music 
  • local, state, and national performance opportunities 
  • seminars, clinics, and workshops
  • environmental interactive musical stimulants
  • community service certificates

Auditions and rehearsals

Every Saturday
1:00-3:00pm

Augustana Lutheran Church
2001 Wheeler Ave.
Houston, TX 77004


For further information, Please contact

Artie Onayemi
Executive Director
(713) 299-7106

William Portis
Orchestra Leader
(832) 744-3528


Members of The Regional Youth Orchestra also have
access to a variety of other enrichment opportunities


Instrument Acquisition Program

This effort is was originally intended to offset inadequate funding for instruments and music instruction at Kashmere High School and the fledgling music efforts underway at Houston area schools. The Foundation believes that every student musician should have access to an instrument for use in class, during lessons and independent practice, and when performing.


Student Musician Scholarship Program

This important activity is intended to encourage the pursuit of post-secondary education as an avenue for the further development of artistic and performance skills. The Foundation believes that deserving youth who achieve academically, demonstrate leadership, and seek opportunities for enhanced performance ability should have access to the financial resources needed to get underway.


Performance Enrichment Program

This effort provides private instruction in small group after-school sessions. The Foundation believes that such small group instruction offers repeated opportunities for mentoring by accomplished artists that contribute to character building and the molding of important life skills.


COJ Jazz Workshop and Competition

This annual workshop brings together youth nominated for participation by directors of music programs throughout Harris County who study big band theory, sound engineering, and music technology while refining their music performance skills under the direction of "master" musicians. The workshop culminates with the critique of ensemble performances. The Foundation believes that the workshop creates an atmosphere in which budding jazz artists can socialize, talk shop and nurture dreams while enhancing performance talents through critical review.