Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Hires Joe Phillips as Chief Philanthropy Officer

Milwaukee, WI — The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has hired Joe Phillips as Chief Philanthropy Officer.

Phillips steps into a newly created role, managing a philanthropy staff of three people, and joins the MYSO leadership team.

Phillips loves music and youth development, two pillars upon which MYSO is built. He is a committed advocate whose mission is to build bridges and enrich the places we call home.

“My life stands as a testament to the profound impact of music, particularly during our formative years,” Phillips said. “High-school music programs played an indispensable role in shaping my identity. Now I’m thrilled to bring my fundraising experience to MYSO. We’re dedicated not only to shaping the lives of countless students, but also to emphasizing that music possesses the remarkable power to transform entire communities.”

Phillips’s career has spanned the nonprofit sector in executive leadership and lead fundraising roles for multiple organizations locally and nationally. He has broad experience in major gifts, strategic planning, developing, and running capital campaigns, and training gift officers.

Phillips comes to MYSO from Luther Manor Foundation of Wauwatosa, where he was serving as Executive Director. Previously, he served as International Development Officer at Cross Catholic Outreach in Florida, and Director of Philanthropy and Director of Spiritual Services-Chaplain at Congregational Home for seniors in Brookfield.

Phillips also serves as a 6th District Alderperson for the City of Wauwatosa.

“I’m delighted to welcome Joe to the MYSO team,” Chief Executive Officer Linda Edelstein said. “With his deep commitment to fostering genuine relationships, he is well suited to help MYSO meet the growing demand for our transformational programs, changing lives and our community for the better.”

Phillips received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Master of Divinity degree cum laude at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He lives in Wauwatosa with his wife and four children.


Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

Since 1956, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has been nurturing, challenging, and inspiring young minds through music, profoundly changing lives and our community for the better. MYSO has grown from one orchestra and 30 students to become one of the largest youth orchestras in the country, and one of the most respected. MYSO yearly serves 900 young musicians, ages 8 to 18, who come from more than 200 schools, 90 zip codes, and as many as 14 counties throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. We reach an audience of 25,000 people through more than 150 public performances.

Our programs include more than 40 ensembles and supplemental training options, ranging from symphonies, string orchestras, jazz and steel bands to music theory, composition, international tours, and more, providing high-quality experiences for students of varying skills and experience.

MYSO is a proud founding member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).

For more information about MYSO and its many programs, please visit

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