About Us

Meet the Orchestra

Kuringai Youth Orchestra

The Kuringai Youth Orchestra (KYO) is a vibrant community youth orchestra based in Sydney’s upper North Shore. Welcoming high school students and above, KYO offers a dynamic musical environment allowing talented musicians to thrive. Our musicians hail from various schools and universities across Sydney, including local schools in the Ku-ring-gai area, as well as the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney and UNSW.

KYO stages four performances every year at the end of each school term, performing music ranging from Tchaikovsky and Dvořák to John Williams. We also support emerging composers, commissioning and premiering new works from students of Composition at the Conservatorium. Our engagement with the community extends beyond our formal concerts, with small ensembles actively participating in events such as the Ku-ring-gai Council Australia Day Citizenship ceremony and the 2023 Try Turramurra Festival.

With a notable track record, KYO secured the top spot in the Community Youth/Secondary School Orchestra 25 and under category at the Sydney Eisteddfod for three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016. Additionally, our orchestra has garnered television exposure. In 2018, KYO featured on the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Gala, reaching an audience of over one billion viewers. In 2024, KYO made a delightful appearance on the ABC Kids TV show Fizzy & Suds, introducing younger audiences to the enchanting world of orchestral music.

KYO functions as a not-for-profit association, operated by an elected volunteer committee comprising musicians and parents. The Committee works with KYO’s Musical Director, Brad Lucas, and with a selection of professional musicians during annual workshops, to develop and stretch the orchestra’s musical abilities. The wide age range of musicians also fosters a culture of older musicians mentoring younger players.   

Beyond the music, KYO fosters a vibrant sense of community and camaraderie. From shared social snacks during rehearsals to lively games nights and end-of-term drinks, our orchestra provides a welcoming space for musicians to connect and forge lasting friendships.

Meet the Conductor

Brad Lucas

Brad Lucas is a passionate educator and conductor in high demand in Sydney. He holds a Bachelor of Music Performance in Euphonium from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he studied under the tutelage of Scott Kinmont. Since 2015, Brad has lectured Euphonium at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and is currently Coordinator of Brass. In 2023 he was made Visiting Professor of Shenyang Conservatory. As a performer, Brad had performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, NSW Police Band, and the Royal Australian Navy Band Sydney. He is a founding member of the Sydney Ophicleide Quartet (SOQ).

As a conductor he has been fortunate to be mentored by both Stephen Williams and Dr John Lynch. Brad is the Musical Director of the Kuringai Youth Orchestra, and has been invited as a guest conductor to work with many of Sydney’s community orchestras, including the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra. Brad also works at the NSW Department of Education ‘Arts Unit’ as conductor of the NSW Public Schools Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and conducts Symphony Orchestras and Wind Ensembles at the NSW State Music Camps. He has been invited to work with ensembles across NSW and interstate. 

Brad is the Vice President of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA) after serving as a committee member and as Secretary since 2016. ABODA provides professional development to conductors and educators. In his time on the committee, Brad has organised and run numerous events for the organisation including their annual Conducting Summer School. He has also been engaged to provide professional development sessions on Conducting and Ensemble Direction for the NSW Department of Education.