PURSUE YOUR PASSION. JOIN MYSO.
Develop your musical abilities and make new friends who share your deep passion for music.
one of The Largest After-School Youth Orchestras in the U.S.
Find joy, passion and inspiration at MYSO, one of the largest and most respected after school youth orchestras in the country. Connect with like-minded highly motivated young musicians and make new friends. Train in the custom acoustically-designed Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, one of the only facilities of its kind in the U.S. Stand out in the college application process with your achievements in MYSO. Participate in any one of 40 ensembles and enrighment programs ranging from full symphony and string orchestras, percussion, jazz and steel pan ensembles to music theory and composition classes and international tours.
We employ some of the most accomplished music educators in the region, who blend creativity and pedagogical expertise with great breadth of musical knowledge. And our Master Classes provide exposure to the talents of Milwaukee area and visiting professional musicians.
Find Your Place at MYSO
Share powerful musical experiences with like-minded peers. Dare to challenge yourself musically, intellectually, and personally. Find sanctuary at MYSO and a safe place for creative self-expression, exploration, and personal discovery. Enter an environment that takes you away from the ordinary and the everyday to an uplifting, thought-provoking, and entertaining place. Participate in the cultural vibrancy of Milwaukee with our diverse student body.
Interact with instructors dedicated to developing confidence and essential life skills necessary to reach your full potential. They are comprised of the region’s most sought-after musicians, music educators, and teaching artists, including members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Your MYSO audition is the first step you’ll take toward making music with many other wonderful musicians just like you. You’ll be inspired and challenged, and will receive expert guidance from those who care about you and your musical development.
MYSO has been successful in safely providing in-person rehearsals and performances in the COVID era. Students rehearse at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center which has a state-of-the-art ventilation system, high ceilings, large spaces, and additional safety measures in place.
VIDEO AUDITIONS FOR…
- All woodwind, brass, and percussion players
- Current MYSO string players in Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Metropolitan, and Senior Symphony
- New string players currently in grades 6 & up
Click here for information on what to prepare and how to submit your audition video, then complete the appropriate registration form to sign up for your audition.
IN-PERSON AUDITIONS FOR…
- Current MYSO members in String Orchestra and Prelude Orchestra
- All new string players currently in grades 5 & younger
Click here for audition requirements and the in-person audition process. Then, complete the appropriate registration form to sign up for your audition. Auditions take place April 14-16, at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.
If you are a previous member of MYSO who is returning, please complete the “new musicians” form.
STRINGS: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Harp
WINDS: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone (alto, tenor, baritone)
BRASS: Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone, Tuba
PERCUSSION: More experienced players should prepare a solo on the Snare Drum, Xylophone/Marimba and Timpani. Younger players should prepare a solo on one or more of these. Call with questions!
JAZZ: All instruments listed above plus Piano, Guitar, and Electric Bass
STEEL PANS: Students from the City of Milwaukee who have a good sense of rhythm and a great attitude are encouraged to try out for this award-winning program.
Students will be notified by mail by the middle of June regarding placement decisions.
When available, along with the placement we’ll include constructive comments regarding the audition in this mailing.
Most MYSO ensembles rehearse once a week during the school year. The season begins in September and continues through May.
Students must be enrolled in their school instrumental music program, playing the same instrument at school that they play in MYSO, where such programs exist. Any variation from this policy must be approved by your school music director and MYSO’s artistic director. If your school does not have a school orchestra or band, please have your principal sign the MYSO School Music Participation Form (which members receive in the fall) and attest to that.
Additional opportunities for members of MYSO include the Chamber Ensemble Program, concerto competitions, music theory classes, John Downey Creation Project for young composers, our Community Concert Series, “side-by-side” rehearsal and coaching opportunities with professional musicians and much more. Learn more about our enrichment programs.
All members are required to audition (some ensemble exceptions exist) in order to participate during the following season. Auditions are held in the spring for the following school year. Details are usually communicated in January.
In addition, each musician will audition for his or her conductor in order to determine section/chair placement and to make part assignments. These auditions typically occur in mid-to-late August. Requirements vary and are usually announced in July.