Western Australian Youth Orchestras (WAYO) is a not for profit registered charity which, since 1974, has been providing exceptional musical performance opportunities for young Western Australians and our audiences.

For over 45 years WAYO has inspired young people to achieve excellence through a love of music, while also helping them develop skills of self-esteem, discipline, teamwork, leadership and performance. As one of Australia’s leading and most comprehensive youth orchestra programs, with over 400 members from around Perth, South West WA and beyond, WAYO is committed to the long-term investment of helping our young musicians realise their potential and their dreams. WAYO is a family of orchestras, ensembles, and initiatives, with the flagship WA Youth Orchestra at the helm. You can read more about our ensembles here

WA Youth Orchestra Conductor & Musical Director – Peter Moore, OAM

Originally from London, Peter began his early musical life studying piano, violin and later the bassoon. For many years Peter has delighted young audiences in Asia and Australia with concerts designed to introduce young people to the excitement of classical music. The highly successful Babies Proms Concerts with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Youth Orchestra and the Penang Philharmonic are now in their 14th, 30th , and 3rd year respectively. He is a frequent guest Conductor/Presenter with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. In June 2017 he will conduct ‘The Rusty’ Orchestra with the West Australian Symphony; this is a community program combining professional and amateur musicians.

Peter has also had a distinguished career as a professional bassoonist, having been a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and for 13 years Principal Bassoon with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He has played as guest principal bassoon with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. From 2004 – 2016 Peter was Principal Baroque and Classical Bassoon with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

For 20 years Peter was an Associate Professor and Head of Wind Studies & Conducting at the University of Western Australia. He is regularly invited to conduct the Faith Court Orchestra at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Peter was musical director for National Camp in the year 2000 and has presented conducting programs for Symphony Australia as well as chamber music programs for Musica Viva.

Currently Peter is Musical Director and Conductor for the West Australian Youth Orchestra Association, a position he has held since 1988. In the year 2000 he was honoured by the Australian Government with the Order of Australia Medal for his work in music education.



My early  interest came from running ‘May Music Camp for young WA musicians’ from the late 1960’s until 1984 when, together with two friends (Elizabeth Hewgill and Amanda Drybrough), we started up ‘Saturday Morning Music”. This program was set up to provide orchestral experiences for young string players and to be a feeder group for the University Training Orchestra; a combined university and community member orchestra with Graham Wood as its conductor. Graham became the artistic director and chief conductor until the mid 70’s when we added more senior conductors to take the various groups. ‘Saturday Morning Music at the Uni’ became the WA Youth Orchestra in 1980, then comprising three orchestras (one symphony and two string orchestras), and totaling players of 100 plus. This has now steadied into annually ~400 players in two symphony orchestras, two junior string orchestras, and a flute choir. – Carol Day


The WA Youth Orchestra has a rich performance history.

The orchestra showcases the talents of Perth and Western Australia’s young orchestral musicians aged 12 – 24 years old and has a deserved reputation as one of the finest youth orchestras in Australia. WAYO presents an innovative and accessible concert program, ranging from Concert Hall blockbusters, special outdoor performances and our ever popular children and education concerts. In reaching live annual audiences of over 30,000, WAYO plays an important role and continues to thrive within Western Australia’s cultural scene. WAYO’s international footprint continues to expand with important international collaborations and friendships as well as touring activities in Asia cementing our place in the Australasian community. In addition to a committed international touring program, the past decade has seen WAYO enjoy increased exposure to guest conductors of international standing including Benjamin Northey, renowned Russian conductor Vladimir Verbitsky, Estonian Maestro Arvo Volmer and the eminent Singapore-based conductor Tze Law Chan. These fine conductors build on the fantastic work of all of WAYO’s music staff lead by WAYO’s Music Director and Chief Conductor for close to 30 years – the inspirational  Peter Moore OAM.

In 1998 WAYO was invited by the Hyogo Prefecture to tour Japan, giving seven concerts throughout the Hyogo and Tottori Prefectures, furthering an already strong sister state relationship.WAYO performed in in Europe in 2005, Singapore in December 2009 as part of their tour to Asia, and was the first youth orchestra in the world to perform in the famous Concert Hall on the Esplanade Theatre, Singapore. In 2016 WAYO returned to Singapore and Japan, thrilling audiences with a collaboration with Orchestra of the Music Makers (Singapore) and soloist Alexandre Da Costa, and a special repeat performance in Hyogo, reliving the performance and visit of 1998.

In 2012 WAYO was also the first youth orchestra in the world to perform with Maestro Ennio Morricone in a sell-out performance at Burswood/Crown Theatre for the 2012 Perth International Arts Festival. This major event was one of the most successful in PIAF’s history. In 2016 WAYO was the featured orchestra in the 2016 PIAF opening Home to an audience of 30,000. The orchestra has previously performed at large major scale outdoor concerts around Perth, including ten consecutive annual seasons of a themed concert in Burswood Park since 2008, and collaborations with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in King’s Park in 2005 and 2009. WAYO has also performed with music theatre star, Lucy Durack, jazz vocalist, Grace Knight, and iconic pop band, The Whitlams, as well as the Joondalup Resort and Leeuwin Estate Concert Series’. In addition to large-scale concerts WAYO presents its renowned sell-out Children Concerts and Outreach Concerts to facilitate educational exchange, learning, and mentorship. Read more about WAYO’s performance history from the 1970s – today. 

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