Enriching Lives by Providing Transformational Musical Experiences and Opportunities
WYSO is a model for youth orchestras worldwide by providing a full range of innovative instrumental music education and performance opportunities accessible to all dedicated young people.
Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) was established in 1966 by Professor Marvin Rabin of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Music Department. More than 5000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin have participated in WYSO during its 51 years of existence. WYSO, currently under the artistic direction of James Smith, includes three full orchestras, two string orchestras, a chamber music program, a harp program, a percussion ensemble, and a brass choir program.
The orchestras rehearse on Saturday mornings during the academic year, perform three to four public concerts per season, and tour regionally, nationally and internationally. The Youth Orchestra toured to Italy in 2016, Argentina in 2014, and has toured to Central Europe, Canada, Japan, Scotland, Spain, France, Colorado, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. in the past.
The WYSO program is a not-for-profit organization, depending upon many diverse constituencies for its financial stability. Students who successfully audition into the WYSO program are assessed a tuition fee that represents less than 30% of the total cost to sponsor a WYSO student musician. Scholarship funds are available for season tuition, private lesson support, and international touring.
We invite you to become a part of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras family!