The Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra is a professional orchestral preparation program for young musicians, providing instruction and performance opportunities in an ensemble setting. Founded in 1971, the Delta Youth Orchestra operated in Ladner for more than 40 years. In 2013, the Orchestra changed its name to the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra to reflect its growing membership from the City of Richmond. Today, RDYO comprises eight divisions and enrolls over 160 young musicians from all over Metro Vancouver.

Faculty and Staff

Stephen Robb

Music Director, Symphony Division Conductor
Stephen is a graduate of Queen’s University, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia. He has been with the RDYO since 1990, starting as a woodwind coach, then becoming a staff conductor in 1995. Stephen is an accomplished clarinetist, performing both classical chamber music and jazz idioms.

Jonathan Der

Chamber Music Coach, Senior Strings Conductor
Jonathan is a violinist, conductor, chamber musician, and church organist who has given chamber and solo recitals in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Jonathan joined RDYO in 2002. Jonathan has a master’s degree in violin performance from Indiana University.

Karen Nakajima

Junior Winds Conductor
Karen studied music at the University of British Columbia, Universität Wien and Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien in Vienna, Austria. Her degrees focus on music theory but she is also an active pianist, trumpeter, and music educator. Karen is an alumni RDYO trumpeter. Karen joined RDYO in 2005 as a student, returning in 2014 as Junior Winds conductor.

Bo Peng

Junior Strings Conductor
Bo holds a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music, and a Performer’s Diploma from Indiana University. Bo joined RDYO in 2016, conducting our Junior Winds division.

Manti Poon

Intermediate Strings Conductor
Manti is a violist and a much sought-after musician as a soloist, orchestral musician, and chamber music collaborator. He is currently principal violist with the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. Manti joined RDYO in 2017.

Nadia Petriw

Orchestra Manager
Nadia is currently a student in Capilano University’s Music Therapy Program, having already completed her Bachelor of Music in String Performance at Brandon University. Nadia serves as RDYO’s Orchestra Manager.

Robert Humber

Orchestra Administrator
Robert recently completed his Master of Music in Composition from UBC after completing his Bachelor of Music at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Robert serves as RDYO’s Orchestra Administrator.

Mission and Purpose

  • To provide high quality musical education for youth in orchestral and ensemble settings.
  • To encourage young musicians to learn more about themselves through their music.
  • To provide all members equal benefits and opportunities to develop musically.
  • To provide a graduated program that increases musical expectation from beginner to advanced levels.
  • To provide a balanced musical education including orchestral, chamber, and soloist opportunities.
  • To promote understanding and appreciation of orchestral music in our communities through public performances.


The Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra is operated by the BC Youth Music Society, a not-for-profit society registered in the Province of British Columbia. The Board of Directors conducts the day-to-day business of RDYO, including fundraising, managing facilities and inventory, maintaining the music library, hiring musical and administrative staff, and planning the orchestral season of rehearsals and concerts in conjunction with the musical staff.

All RDYO families are encouraged to be active in the Society. Members of the community who are interested in RDYO and its operations, and who wish to be involved in the Board of Directors, are asked to submit a resume and cover letter to the President of the Board of Directors

Board of Directors

President: Sarah Xie
Past President: Katy Ellsworth
Vice-President: Sultan Kayalak
Vice-President: Dean Markel
Secretary: Jill Reid
Treasurer: Cindy Liu
Directors at Large:
Greta Cornejo
Henry Ng
Seema Sagar
Daniel Sheinin
Echo Miao
Izumi Khayrallah
Makoto Kokubo

Policy and Governance Documents