Boston Schools Cut Ties With Volunteer-Led Youth Orchestra Program

Boston Public Schools has ended an after-school youth orchestra program run by an outside volunteer.

The program was The Roxbury Youth Orchestra, and it was led by professional violinist David France, its founder.

School department officials will not discuss the reason they abruptly stopped the program last month. They released a statement saying, "The Roxbury Youth Orchestra no longer operates at the John D. O'Bryant School for Math and Science." A BPS spokeswoman said the department is working with a different nonprofit to offer a new string instrument program at the school.

France declined to comment on school officials' decision to end their arrangement with him.

WBUR featured France in a story in June, as part of a series called “Change Agents."

Six students were taking part in the orchestra program when it was terminated, according to school department officials. It was not a Boston Public Schools program, but the schools gave France space to operate it. Students paid a small fee to participate.

The new music classes at the O'Bryant school will be offered to students for free.

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Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



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