Group-Based String Orchestras
MYSO’s regional string training program rehearses in small groups at four satellite sites, in central, north, south and west Milwaukee-area locations.
These groups periodically come together in various combinations for joint rehearsals and performances. For concerts, the satellite groupings combine to perform as two large string orchestras.
At a Glance
- Rehearsals generally on Monday evenings
- Most students are in grades 4-7
- String Orchestra North Music Director: Dr. Janet Jensen
- String Orchestra South Music Director: Mrs. Lynn Trinkl
- String Orchestra West Music Director: Mrs. Mary Pat Michels
- String Orchestra Central Music Director: Dr. Janet Jensen
The String Orchestra Staff
Dr. Janet Jensen serves as Progressions Director, and Music Director of Prelude Orchestra and the combined String Orchestras North and Central.
She joined the MYSO staff following her 2016 retirement from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she was Professor of String Pedagogy and Associate Director of the School of Music. Her teaching responsibilities included preparation for teaching strings in multiple settings, coursework in string literature and repertoire, and conducting the non-major All-University String Orchestras. She also directed the masters degree in String Development, a degree focused on string teaching, performance and administrative skills. As Associate Director, she oversaw undergraduate admissions, advising, and scholarship and award allocation.
Prior to her UW-Madison appointment, Dr. Jensen held interim and instructor positions in string pedagogy and string education at Oberlin Conservatory, Bowling Green (OH) State University, and the University of Texas at Austin, and she taught instrumental music in Rockford, IL and Watertown and Madison for 10 years.
Herself an alumna of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO), Dr. Jensen has served as a WYSO conductor, board member, and director of the chamber music program, and has also been a staff member and advisor of UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic for more than 30 years.
She is a strong supporter of outreach programs in the arts, lifelong learning and engagement in music, and advocacy for policy decisions in support of arts education. Her research interests have included arts education policy, pedagogy curricula, iconographic representations of historical bows, and the Swedish bowed/keyed instrument nyckelharpa.
Her MYSO association began with Progressions teaching in 2005, and has included chamber coaching in many of the years since.
Her proudest achievement is the cumulative enrollment of over 2800 students in the All-University String Orchestras, and she was named the 2016 String Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin American String Teachers Association.
Dr. Jensen holds Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.
Mary Pat Michels is MYSO’s String Orchestra West Music Director.
Since 1997, she has taught in the School District of West Allis-West Milwaukee (WAWM) and is currently the Orchestra Director at Frank Lloyd Wright and Lane Intermediate Schools, Director of the WAWM Shining Strings and is the Music Coordinator for the district where she oversees the music programs of 24 teachers in 17 schools. She maintains a private violin and viola studio and was previously an instructor in the Waukesha Symphony’s “Success Through Music” Program.
Mrs. Michels is also an active free-lance musician and teacher in Southeastern Wisconsin. She earned degrees in Violin and Viola Performance and her Music Education Certification at UW-Milwaukee (UWM). While at UWM, Mrs. Michels was the Orchestra Music Librarian/Project Assistant, the Assistant to the Director of Bands, managed the UWM Brass Choir, and was the UWM Youth Wind Ensemble Program Coordinator. She recently completed the Masters of Educational Leadership Program at Cardinal Stritch University.
Mrs. Michels was Principal Violist (2010-2018), music librarian and personnel manager of the Wisconsin Philharmonic, of which she has been a member since 2000. She also served as Principal Viola of the Racine Symphony Orchestra (RSO) from 2000-2007, and has soloed twice with the RSO. An active free-lancer, she plays viola and violin for the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Bel Canto, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Bach Chamber Choir and Orchestra, the Festival City Symphony, Gabriel’s Horns, and Les Artistes. Mrs. Michels is also the manager and founder of the Lakeside Strings, which performs chamber music at special events throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.
Mary Pat Michels (née Subjak) is an MYSO/MFY alumna—and played violin and viola in all of the orchestras from 1982-1991. A highlight was the MYSO tour to Scotland and the Aberdeen, Scotland Festival orchestra, as principal viola of MYSO’s Senior Symphony.
From 1991-2000, Mrs. Michels coached various MYSO orchestras and chamber ensembles and served as an administrative assistant. In 2008, she returned to the MYSO staff as the Orchestra Director for the Progressions Program. After twelve years with Progressions, she is excited to be the next music director for String Orchestra West, which is the first orchestra she played in at MYSO/MFY!
Lynn Trinkl is a cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BM degree in Applied Viola. She also holds an MM in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.
She received her music education certification from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival. She has been a string sectional coach for the Wisconsin State High School Honors Music Project and has taught for the Waukesha, West Allis, and South Milwaukee School Districts, as well as maintaining a private studio.
During summers, Lynn served as Assistant Director and Counselor Coordinator for the Wisconsin String Teachers Elementary Orchestra Camp. Lynn has also performed with several local groups, including the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.
A Madison resident, Lynn enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.
MYSO alumna Sonora Brusubardis has been a coach for MYSO’s String Orchestra North for the last five years. In addition to her role as a MYSO coach, she is a violin instructor for MYSO’s Progressions Program. In 2018, Miss Sonora became certified to teach Suzuki violin and viola, and in 2020, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in violin and viola performance. She currently has a studio in the Summit area teaching violin, viola, and beginner piano to students of all ages.