About WYSO


WYSO was established in 1966 by Professor Marvin Rabin of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Music Department. More than 5,000 young musicians from communities throughout southern Wisconsin have participated in WYSO during its 50+ years of existence. Under the artistic direction of Kyle Knox, WYSO includes three full orchestras, two string orchestras, a chamber music program, a harp program, a percussion ensemble, a brass choir program and the WYSO Music Makers program.



The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras will Enrich Lives by Providing Transformational Musical Experiences & Opportunities


Through their involvement with Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, all young people will be inspired to sustain a lifelong connection with music and to strive for personal excellence in music and in life. 


Meet the WYSO Team! From Artistic Conductors & Directors to Music Makers Instructors to Administrative Staff, everyone is passionate about music and the WYSO Programs.

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Future WYSO Alumni Orchestra Members Practicing


WYSO alumni, numbering over 5,000 strong, are an essential part of the WYSO family. From our first orchestra members in 1966 to our most recent high school graduates, alumni have stayed in touch to let us know where they are and what they are doing. From musicians to teachers to scientists to politicians, WYSO alumni are making a difference in our world.

Recent high school grads, don’t forget to change your high school email address to an email you will continue after graduation. Use the button below to update your information!


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.