Senior Symphony

This 110-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. In 2019, the orchestra traveled to Ireland for a 10-day cultural and performance tour and embarks on a tour of Belgium and The Netherlands in summer 2023.

At a Glance

  • 110 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 Director | Music Director, Senior Symphony & Chamber Orchestra

Lisa Werner

Senior Symphony Orchestra Manager

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

With the musicians of the orchestra, MYSO Artistic and Music Director Carter Simmons is grateful to bring music to our wonderful community where he also serves as Music Director of the Festival City Symphony. For 30 years, Simmons’ leadership has been sought nationally and throughout our region where he has conducted for the Milwaukee Ballet, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, artists of the Florentine Opera, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic, among other regional orchestras. Simmons has toured throughout Europe, South America, and China, and led performances in Germany, the Czech Republic, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. In 2023, Simmons will lead MYSO’s international concert tour of Belgium and The Netherlands including a performance in Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw.

During his tenure leading the artistic and program staff, MYSO has grown to serve thousands of students and received the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2015. Mr. Simmons has served on the Education and Community Engagement Committee of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He is a Past President of the Board of Directors of Milwaukee’s Civic Music Association who recognized Simmons as a Distinguished Professional in the Arts.

Born outside Washington, D.C., Mr. Simmons’ training included participation at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Eastern Music Festival, and lessons at the Tanglewood Music Center. A finalist of the National Conducting Institute of the National Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Simmons also participated in seminars conducting the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He attended classes of Elizabeth A. H. Green, John Downey, Leon Fleischer, Gustav Meier, and Frederick Fennell among others, and is most grateful to his teachers Dr. John R. Locke, Robert Gutter, Larry Rachleff, and Professor Thomas L. Dvorak.


MYSO logo featured image

Lisa Werner

Position: Senior Symphony Orchestra Manager
Categories: Orchestral & Musical Studies

Senior Symphony Orchestra Manager Lisa Werner is a trombonist who also performs publicly on flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, horn, baritone, tuba, and percussion in various community groups. She runs her own private teaching studio for band instruments, is the Associate Camp Director and Sectionals Teacher at the UW-Whitewater Summer Band and Jazz Camps, and has served as an Executive Board Member and Performer with the Burlington Kiwanis Civic Band since 1993.

Lisa has worked as a music educator, orchestra and band instructor at Whitewater Schools, North Lake School, Aldrich Middle School and Mukwonago High School.


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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