Since 1956, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has nurtured, challenged and inspired generations of students, profoundly changing lives and our community for the better. MYSO has grown from one orchestra and 30 students to become, by several measures, the largest and one of the most respected youth orchestra programs in the nation. We serve 1,000 students during the academic school year who come from more than 200 schools throughout the greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area.
In 2015 we were selected as a winner of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the country’s highest honour for youth arts programs, presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. MYSO is the only youth orchestra program in the United States to have received this award.
Today we offer more than 40 ensemble and enrichment options, ranging from symphony, string orchestras, jazz and steel pan bands, to music theory, composition, and international tours, providing quality musical experiences for a wide range of skill levels.
For more information about MYSO and its many programs, please visit www.myso.org.
MYSO’s flagship ensemble, an 82-member symphony orchestra of musicians ages 14-18, presents a variety of major concerts each year, including performances by renowned soloists. The accomplished musicians of the Senior Symphony have undertaken a number of domestic and international tours over the last 50 years including travel to Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Montreal, Spain, Italy, and Scotland with appearances in New York City’s fabled Carnegie Hall and the National Youth Orchestra Festival. The orchestra has achieved an enviable international reputation for excellence. In 2012, the Senior Symphony performed in a sold-out Gala Winners' Concert, the culminating event of the prestigious Summa Cum Laude International Youth Festival and Competition in Vienna. The festival included ensembles from 31 countries and involved 1,500 young musicians. The orchestra, which won a spot in the competition via audition, was the only American orchestra invited to compete before an internationally renowned jury, which awarded it second place "with outstanding success" in the symphony orchestra category. Their most recent tour in 2015 included concerts in Vienna’s legendary Musikverein and the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest.