Erin Barnard Named as WYSO Music Makers Program Director

Jul 9, 2019 | News

Erin BarnardThe Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin Barnard as WYSO Music Makers Program Director, effective August 19, 2019. Barnard is currently the conductor of the WYSO Opus One orchestra, a position she will continue to hold for the 2019-2020 season in addition to her WYSO Music Makers duties.

Barnard, a music educator and violinist/violist, has been teaching private lessons and working with ensembles since 2002. She specializes in middle school string instruction both privately and in public schools. Barnard graduated from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Music in 2006, and completed her Masters of Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. She holds a National Board Certification, a Wisconsin Master Teaching License, and was a Kohl Fellow in 2017.

“I’m excited to join Music Makers because I know so many kids who currently and could potentially benefit from the program,” Barnard said. “Enriching and developing the music skills of children of all backgrounds is something I’ve been working to do in school settings and I’m looking forward to continuing that work in a more concentrated context.”

Barnard joined WYSO as Opus One conductor in 2018. Opus One places a strong emphasis on technique, incorporating instruction on fundamentals of playing string instruments as well as ensemble skills.

“Erin has already distinguished herself with her terrific work with our Opus One orchestra, so it is with great enthusiasm we welcome her to this new role,” WYSO Music Director Kyle Knox said. “She is a wonderful musician, has natural leadership skills, and demonstrates a rare ability to connect with students and parents alike. I could not be more proud to announce this appointment and look forward to a bright future for Music Makers under her leadership.”

The WYSO Music Makers program provides low to no-cost private and group lessons, as well as free access to music instruments and performance opportunities. Young people ages 5-18 interested in studying an instrument have access to high-quality music education from professional musicians and instructors.

“Erin will make a lasting impact on this very important community program,” WYSO Executive Director Bridget Fraser said. “She is an experienced music educator who will inspire and engage our WYSO Music Makers students.”

Learn more about the WYSO Music Makers program at

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