MYSO Revisits 2014-15 Season Highlights at Annual Meeting

On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) held its Annual Meeting to share results of its 2014-15 season.

2014-15 Season Summary Thanks to the leadership of Board Chair Jennifer Mattes and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and staff, the 2014-15 season was extremely successful both artistically and educationally.

MYSO was named one of twelve winners nationwide (from a pool of 350 nominees) of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award - the nation's highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs. This award recognizes the organization's innovative Community Partnership Programs, launched in 2003 to reach and support students with barriers to music study. These programs now include nine diverse offerings that bring transformative music training to youth, creating equity and access to music study by providing the social, emotional, and financial support to excel in their training and youth development.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recognizes the country's best creative youth development programs for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to increase academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment. The award recognizes outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression and achievement outside of the regular school day.

This is the signature program of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Malik Johnson, Assistant Principal Cellist in MYSO's Senior Symphony, a graduate of the organization's Progressions program for City of Milwaukee third and fourth graders, and Executive Director Linda Edelstein traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept the award from First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on November 17.

MYSO and the 93-member Senior Symphony, led by Music Director Margery Deutsch and Associate Conductor Shelby Keith Dixon, embarked on an international performance and cultural tour to Austria and Hungary to perform at some of the world's greatest halls, including performances at the Musikverein in Vienna and Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest.

In the 2014-15 season, MYSO added Frank Almond as the organization's first Artist-in-Residence to its already impressive list of teaching positions. An internationally celebrated violinist and Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Almond also founded and directs the highly-regarded Frankly Music chamber music series. A devoted educator, he has held academic positions at San Diego State University, Texas Christian University and Northwestern University, and recently joined the faculty of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Components of Mr. Almond's Residency during the 2014-15 season, included:

- solo work with the Senior Symphony, MYSO's flagship orchestra, on its international tour, and with the Chamber Orchestra;

- coaching in the Chamber Ensemble Program, Sinfonia and String Orchestras;

- a masterclass and coaching sessions with Progressions students and graduates.

The Artist-in-Residence position is generously sponsored by the Johnston Family.

MYSO added its third full symphony orchestra, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in 2014-15. Led by Artistic and Music Director Carter Simmons, the orchestra becomes the organization's second most advanced ensemble. This addition allowed MYSO to address the continued enrollment and ensemble growth seen across the organization and allow for smaller sections in all its large ensembles, resulting in more effective instruction and music-making, greater focus on individuals, and increased opportunities for musical leadership--all crucial to the artistic excellence and student impact seen at MYSO.

Created in 2013, the Collaborative Spirit Award is conferred upon an individual, foundation, nonprofit, corporation or community leader who has demonstrated vision backed by action that illustrates extraordinary leadership, service and commitment to create impactful collaborative partnerships with MYSO. These alliances will have resulted in stronger MYSO programming and/or community offerings than would otherwise be possible without the relationship.

The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra's Board of Directors is honored to present its third Collaborative Spirit Award to community leader Les Weil.

Board Elections and Governance MYSO announced the election to the Board of Directors for the current year, through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016:

Officers, 2015-16 Chair: Jennifer Mattes Immediate Past Chair: Patrick Rath Chair Elect: Michael Jordan Vice President: Mike Fischer Treasurer: Craig Peotter Secretary: Patty Hanz

Directors, 2015-16 Myra Edwards Patricia A. Ellis, Ed.D David Frank Timothy Frautschi Dennis Garrett, PhD Mark Goldstein Troy Hilliard Renee Johnson Greg Kliebhan Paul Mathews Jamshed Patel John Pienkos Andrew Sajdak Matthew Sauer Kent Tess-Mattner Michael Van Handel Christine Williams

Retiring MYSO Board Members: Amy Jensen Brad Mahoney Laura Snyder

Please see MYSO's new website at for much more information.

At Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), we empower young people from diverse backgrounds to joyfully pursue musical excellence while building crucial life skills. Instrumental in changing lives since 1956, MYSO's programs foster critical thinking skills, creativity and collaboration through more than 25 ensemble options, all providing high quality musical experiences to students at various skill levels. With 1,000 young musicians ages 8-18 from as many as 215 schools, 60 communities and 14 counties throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois participating in its many music programs, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra has become one of the largest organizations of its kind in the United States.

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