Maine Youth Rock Orchestra


KØ / Executive Director & Founder

KØ (Kevin Oates) started cello at the age of 4, and was brought up through a classical background. Through middle and high school especially he relied heavily on his music to get him through. Attending the University of Southern Maine School of Music in Gorham, ME, KØ received his degree in music education with a concentration in cello. Beginning in 2006 he began to work with Portland artists and bands, adding strings to albums and live shows, and discovered that this was an important piece of music education that was missing for a majority of students. Inspired by Sigur Ros and Murder by Death, KØ began to write and record frequently for artists, while still developing his passion for music education and teaching, which he was determined to pursue sincere was 13. 

Teaching in both upstate New York and in Maine at every grade level, KØ developed a curriculum based on necessary technique, knowledge and repertoire for orchestral students, but engaging students additionally through content that they connect with directly, and how to properly use social media platforms and YouTube to help students discover all there is it in music. 

Since moving back to Maine in 2012, KØ began his vision to revolutionize music education. He founded Maine Youth Rock Orchestra (MYRO), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides orchestral students of all ages educational opportunities to work along side and perform with national bands and artist. MYRO's success since it's inception in 2014 has led to launching youth rock orchestras in New York City and other locations to be announced through 2018. His vision is to start youth rock orchestras in every state over the next 20 years, adding new opportunities for students to express themselves through music they connect with while reinforcing classical technique. 

In 2017, KØ will be releasing two books; Rock the Classroom for teachers and Bach n' Roll for students, giving all in the education sector a fresh perspective on the direction of music education and how to engage and reinvent. 

He has been featured in DownEast MagazineNPR MusicJohnson String InstrumentConsequence of Sound and in OldPort Magazine in November 2016.