About Us


Enriching Lives by Providing Transformational Musical Experiences and Opportunities


WYSO will expand instrumental music education and performance opportunities for young people of diverse backgrounds and inspire excellence and a lifelong connection to music.


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 54 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.

WYSO orchestras typically rehearse on Saturdays during the academic year, perform three to four public concerts per season, and tour regionally, nationally and internationally. WYSO’s Youth Orchestra has toured to Peru, Italy, Argentina, Central Europe, Canada, Japan, Scotland, Spain, France, Colorado, Iowa, and Washington, D.C.

WYSO 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.



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