top of page


The Pan African Youth Orchestra was established in 1995 as a youth wing of the Pan African Orchestra.

Director Kweku Kwakye, son of the late Nana Danso Abiam

Instructor Carol Palms
Instructors Mark, Ai, Ameyaw
Instructor Carol loves the shirt
ACCRA Univ.png
Instructors visit to University
Music Department
DEC 19.jpg

About :

The Pan-African Youth Orchestra (PAYO) was established in 1995 in collaboration with the National Theatre of Ghana as a youth wing of the Pan-African Orchestra (PAO).



The instruments of the orchestra are selected from diverse regions of the continent. They comprise atenteben flutes (seven holed vertical bamboo flutes), gyle xylophones (anhemitonic 

pentatonic xylophones), gonje fiddles, a set of atsimevu drums comprising one master drum and four supporting drums; a set of fontomfrom drums comprising two master drums and five supporting drums.

Challenges / Objectives:

For the past few years, the orchestra has had to discontinue its activities owing to lack of funding. To remedy the situation, Mr. Kwaku Kwakye, Director of the Pan-African Youth Orchestra, has since August, 2013 initiated various practical programs to resuscitate and rebrand PAYO. 

Our vision:

 develop a new style of symphonic music from the wealth of musical raw material bequeathed to us via tradition. 

 develop a conservatory program in the area of African music composition and performance.

 standardize, mass-produce and quality control African musical instruments.

Our Repertoire:

The orchestra’s repertoire includes compositions by the renowned composer and music educator, Nana Danso Abiam, whose works are a clear illustration of qualitative developments taking place within the past forty years in African music composition history. His conception and realization of the Pan-African Orchestra in 1988, combining for the first time, traditional instruments from differing ethnic societies on the continent, is still a novelty far ahead of its time. 

Our Performance Background:

PAYO has performed in various local and international festivals/concerts such as Kiddafest (Accra, Ghana), Panafest (Cape Coast, Ghana), Emancipation Day Celebration (Accra, Ghana), major state functions in Ghana, and also collaborated with the Peace Train Band (South Africa) and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (South Africa). Consistent with its aim to develop diverse educational programs in the practice of neo-traditional  African music.

Our Operations (what we do):

PAYO’s current work involves concerts, workshops for schools and the community. We organize concerts of classical African music, ranging from solo recitals to large scale works. We bring information and direct assistance to artistes and organizations in Ghana and beyond. Our instructors are accomplished musicians and performers ready to make their services and facilities accessible to all. 

bottom of page