Why should I join MSYO?

The MSYO provides young talented musicians with the unique opportunity and experience of playing in a full symphony orchestra ensemble with strings, winds, brass and percussion. This is a place where music students are surrounded by like-minded individuals from all over the region who enjoy making music together. Young musicians have the opportunity to work with experienced music educators, coaches and talented conductors. 

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When are MSYO new season auditions?

MSYO auditions are held in May prior to the start of the following new concert season. The best time to send your application is in early spring. For more audition information, current audition dates, or to register for an audition visit the MSYO audition page or contact us by email. August audition dates are added only as needed to fill available seats at the discretion of the Music Director. 

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What is the difference between the Symphony and the Concert orchestra, and how are students placed?

The MSYO’s two ensembles are arranged by student’s age and experience. The Concert orchestra is a preparatory group that works on building a musical foundation through classical pieces that are arranged for younger musicians. The Symphony Orchestra is a more advanced group that focuses on performing original classical repertoire at a professional level.

  • Concert Orchestra (grades 5-9) Intermediate Level.

  • Symphony Orchestra (grades 9-12) Advanced Level. 

Do students move from Concert Orchestra to Symphony Orchestra when they enter high school?

Movement from Concert Orchestra to Symphony Orchestra is based on the results of the audition held each spring. Students must demonstrate a high level of technical expertise in this audition and students in 9th and 10th grade may be asked to continue another year in Concert Orchestra. It is not unusual for a student to audition multiple times before acceptance and you are encouraged to ask for feedback from your audition to understand the areas in which you need to work.

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Can I participate in sports and an MSYO ensemble?

Sports and MSYO do not have to be mutually exclusive. If games and practices conflict with MSYO rehearsals, you’ll have to talk to your conductor ahead of time about whether it is possible to contribute adequately to both groups. Most sports only conflict with part of the MSYO season, so it is possible to participate in some, but not all, of the concerts throughout the year.

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Do I need to be enrolled in a school music program?

MSYO programs are designed to complement members’ personal music development – not be a substitute for other means of instruction. The MSYO strongly suggests that all members contribute their talents to their appropriate school instrumental program, where available. This supports our school music curriculum and helps to provide strong leadership and musical role models in the school environment. We believe in the value of music education in collaboration with our community.

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Do I need to take private lessons to participate in MSYO?

We strongly encourage students to take weekly private lessons to develop their individual technique and musicality to the highest level possible. The value of individualized instruction on one’s instrument is unmeasurable. A list of private instructors is available upon request. It is in the students’ best interest to study with a professional who has credentials and experience with the particular instrument.

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How much is MSYO tuition?

MSYO tuition is $440 per season when paid in a lump sum at the beginning of the year or $480 per season if paid via a payment plan. MSYO families with more than one child participating in any given year will receive a 20% sibling discount after the first full tuition. Please note that it is the family’s responsibility to keep all active MSYO members’ tuition accounts in good standing. The MSYO reserves the right to not allow participation in concerts if a member has an outstanding tuition balance and there are no prior arrangements made with the Finance Department.

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