MYSO Tidbits

by Michelle Hoffman

Read about the amazing things our musicians and alumni are doing.

Sinfonia Violinist First Stage Lead

Did you know that several musicians from MYSO also perform with our MYAC partner organization, First Stage? One of these multi-talented young artists is Sinfonia violinist Emily Honigman who is performing as Clarice in this season’s Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. The Shepherd Express called her vocals “stunning and emotive,” and her performance “a heartwarming moment.” Rudolph runs through December 24. Break a leg, Emily!

Alum Featured on Local Program

Malik Johnson (’17) will be featured on long-running local PBS program Black Nouveau. The segment will focus on how Malik is helping to develop the next generation of musicians. The award-winning Black Nouveau “promotes positive images, interviews, and profiles of African-American movers and shakers.” ( You can watch on January 12, at 7:30 pm, on Milwaukee’s Channel 10 (and MYSO will link the segment to its Facebook page).

Alum Recipient of Stradivari Loan

Congratulations to violinist Julian Rhee (‘19) who recently won the Silver Medal in the 11th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, one of the world’s most esteemed violin competitions.

This summer, Julian became the latest recipient of a violin from the Stradivari Society. On generous loan through the Mary B. Galvin Foundation, Inc., Julian plays the famed “Lady Tennant” Stradivari of 1699, which Julian affectionately refers to as his “musical partner.” Previous recipients include world renowned artists Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Midori, and Sarah Chang. “The Stradivari Society is dedicated to the preservation and pursuit of excellence in classical music by uniting the world’s most promising young artists with the superb rare, antique Italian instruments they need to help begin their professional careers thanks to generous patrons.” ( We are thrilled to see Julian leap to the top of the music world!

Cellist’s Premiere of Accordion Piece

The Houston Accordion Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Waltz by Senior Symphony cellist Gabrielle Peck on January 14. Gabrielle studies the bayan accordion (and piano) with renowned bayanist Stas Venglevski. An active MYSO member since 2016, she has been a Progressions mentor as well as a participant in the Downey Creation Project which gives select MYSO students the opportunity to compose their own piece with the guidance of a professional composer.

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