Senior Symphony

This 100-member symphony orchestra of advanced musicians performs a variety of major concerts each season, including performances by renowned soloists. Most students are in grades 10-12.

Myso’s flagship orchestra

The Senior Symphony performs standard orchestral repertoire of the highest caliber. The orchestra has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls to enthusiastic audience response.

The Senior Symphony has achieved an enviable international reputation for excellence. Tours have included concerts in China, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Scotland, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, and more. On July 2023, the orchestra traveled to Belgium and The Netherlands for a 10-day cultural and performance tour.

At a Glance

  • 100 members
  • Rehearsals generally on Monday evenings
  • Most students in grades 10-12
  • More than 50 years of domestic and international tours
  • Music Director: Mr. Carter Simmons

Upcoming Events

The Senior Symphony Staff

Paul Hauer

Senior Symphony String Advisor

Carter Simmons

Artistic & Music Director | Music Director, Senior Symphony & Chamber Orchestra

Paul Hauer

Position: Senior Symphony String Advisor
Categories: Orchestral & Musical Studies

Senior Symphony String Advisor Paul Hauer joined the violin section of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2016. Solo concerts have brought Mr. Hauer to the countries of Germany, Greece, France, the Czech Republic, and the Philippines. Chamber music and orchestral concerts have brought him to Italy, San Marino, Singapore, Mexico, and China. Before moving to Milwaukee, Mr. Hauer was Principal Second Violin of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and performed regularly with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Louisville Orchestra.

Mr. Hauer traveled to Athens in May of 2015 to participate in the 4th Leonidas Kavakos International Masterclass. One month earlier, he performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Other honors include winning the Indianapolis Matinée Musicale Collegiate Competition in 2013, which resulted in a performance at the Indiana Landmarks Center with pianist David Keep. In the summer of 2011, he toured Europe with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra as the soloist for the Barber Violin Concerto. While serving as teaching assistant to Addison Teng, he performed and taught lessons with the Teng Studio on their international tours.

His early violin training came from Gloria Schroeder and Ferenc Fenyő. Hauer also studied with Stéphane Tran Ngoc, Carol Leybourn, and Catherine Walby through the Lawrence Academy of Music. He has attended the Montecito International Music Festival, Oberlin in Italy, and International Academie de Courchevel. Hauer received his degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. His principal teachers include David Bowlin, Alex Kerr, and Addison Teng. As a teacher, Mr. Hauer is on faculty at the Fulton Summer Music Academy and coaches strings at MYSO and Maranatha Baptist University. As a founding member of the 414 Quartet, he performs with his MSO colleagues in venues across southeast Wisconsin. Mr. Hauer is a native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and performs with the Peninsula Music Festival each summer.

Carter Simmons

Position: Artistic & Music Director | Music Director, Senior Symphony & Chamber Orchestra
Categories: Administration, Orchestral & Musical Studies

Artistic and Music Director Carter Simmons has provided leadership for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) for more than 30 years. He conducts the organization’s Senior Symphony and Chamber Orchestra and leads MYSO’s impressive artist management team and faculty who serve thousands of students each season.

As a conductor he has collaborated on projects leading the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic among others.  In 2017, Simmons was appointed Music Director of Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony, a professional orchestra which provides free concerts for its audiences. Simmons has led performances throughout the United States, in China, and across Europe most recently in the legendary Royal Concertgebouw. A former President of Milwaukee’s Civic Music Association, Simmons currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Youth Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras.

Born outside Washington, D.C., his training included participation at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Eastern Music Festival, and lessons at the Tanglewood Music Center. Simmons is grateful to his teachers Dr. John R. Locke, Robert Gutter, Larry Rachleff, and Professor Thomas L. Dvorak, and he feels honored to have the opportunity to lead these wonderful MYSO musicians.




Interested in Auditioning?

Each student is required to audition to become a member of MYSO. Being a MYSO member is a rewarding experience that drives a student’s musical, learning, and social skills.
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