Rotary Club of Portland: Service Above Self

BRAVO – Inspiring Youth through Music

BRAVO – Inspiring Youth through Music

  • Tuesday
    March 14, 2017
    12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
  • The Sentinel
    614 SW 11th Ave, 3rd floor
    Portland, OR

Speaker: Seth Truby

BRAVO Youth Orchestras was launched in 2013 at Rosa Parks School with a mission to transform the lives of underserved youth through intensive orchestral music education.  BRAVO was inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela's national program of social change through music and is Oregon's first program modeled after it.  Four priority schools are served by BRAVO and by 2020 in partnership with Portland Public Schools, it will provide strings, winds and percussion programs to eight schools in the Roosevelt High School cluster.


BRAVO brings daily choral and orchestral music instruction to schools that haven't had music education for years.  It currently serves 125 students in after-school programs and another 400 students through in-school programs taught in partnership with PPS teachers.  The students rehearse ten hours or more per week.  Of the more than 40 concerts they present each year, BRAVO's young musicians have performed with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Carlos Kalmar, with international touring artists like Metales 5 Mexican Brass, and played onstage at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with the hip-hop/classical crossover duo Black Violin for an enthusiastic audience of more than 2,000.


BRAVO's board, staff, volunteers and hundreds of supporters believe that experiencing the beauty and power of music is a fundamental human right, and that the orchestra is an effective tool for cultivating children's self-esteem and the skills they need to succeed in life: focus, discipline, teamwork, and community service. For more information see


Seth Truby, Executive Director and co-founder of BRAVO Youth Orchestras grew up in a large family in Durham, North Carolina.  He played sandlot football on the wrong side of the tracks and the violin and piano on the other side of the tracks.


He won a scholarship to study violin at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and after completion toured the capitals of Europe with an elite orchestra. He attended Oberlin College and Conservatory as a National Merit Scholar.


Seth has explored a variety to career options: social worker, carpenter and an accomplished violinmaker.  He was founder and fundraising chair for the Portland Village School, now the city's largest public charter school.  He served as Director of Development and Community Engagement at Chamber Music Northwest.


When he initiated BRAVO it brought together many threads of his life and his passion for music and education.  Seth has a firm belief that the beauty of music should be accessible to all.  His enthusiasm and commitment have assisted him in raising more than one million dollars for BRAVO since it began in 2013.


Seth, his wife Angela and two daughters enjoy camping, home repair projects, and making music together.