About the MSYO
In the conviction that music nourishes the mind, body and spirit of the individual and enriches the community, the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra provides a rigorous and inspiring orchestral experience for young musicians.
The Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra is entering its 37th successful season serving nearly 120 member musicians and their families from over forty public and private schools in the Central Valley. Led by a deeply engaged music director, the MSYO attracts outstanding musicians from area schools and allows them the opportunity to share their gift of music in a challenging and inspiring orchestral setting among their peers from all social, economic, cultural and geographic backgrounds.
The Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra began in 1976 when a dedicated core of string teachers in Stanislaus County formed an orchestra out of a group of junior high member musicians. In 1982, an Irvine Foundation grant provided the seed money for an additional senior high school orchestra. The merging of the two orchestras in 1988 brought great continuity and strength to both.
In 2011, the MSYO organization welcomes a new ensemble to the family: the MSYO Wind Ensemble, consisting of beginning to intermediate woodwind, brass and percussion students. The MSYO Concert Orchestra will become a beginning to intermediate strings only ensemble, while the MSYO Symphony Orchestra will include a full complement of intermediate to advanced string, woodwind, brass and percussion players. These ensembles, the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble are formed through skill based auditions.
All ensembles perform in and around the region. The Concert Orchestra has toured San Francisco, Sacramento and the Central Valley. The Symphony Orchestra has toured England, France, Japan, Eastern Europe, China, and the United States including a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In June of 2012, the Symphony Orchestra will tour Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague.
As a program within the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association, MSYO members enjoy musical interactions with MSO musicians as well as guest artists and guest conductors through coaching, master classes, rehearsals and concerts.
The MSYO expects that all members contribute their talents to the appropriate school instrumental ensemble, where available. This supports our school music curricula and helps to provide strong leadership and musical role models in the school environment. The strength of the regional school music programs is vital to the future growth and success of the MSYO.
MSYO auditions are held initially each spring prior to the start of the following concert season and are open to any musician through age 21. Additional auditions and seating auditions are held throughout the season.