Chamber Groups

Chamber Music Program

Karl Lavine, Director

WYSO’s Chamber Music Program is designed for members who want to learn more about chamber music and perform in a small group setting. Chamber Music is often called “a conversation among friends” as the repertoire includes specific music written for each instrument. In a good conversation among friends, you can hear each distinct voice and must listen closely to each other. This is also true of chamber music.

Some common types of chamber music groups are:

  • String quartet (two violins, viola, cello)
  • Woodwind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn)
  • Piano trio (violin, cello, piano)

This program is open to WYSO members as well as student musicians in the community. Members in Sinfonietta, Concert, Philharmonia, and Youth Orchestras and their community equivalents are all invited to participate in the WYSO Chamber Music Program. Non-WYSO students (or those applying on a non-orchestra instrument such as piano) are required to submit video recordings to aid in chamber group placements.

Students can request specific group members (a pre-formed group) or be assigned to a group with others who have registered for the program. After a group is formed, a coach is assigned. Coaches are professional musicians, music teachers, and graduate music students from the UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music.

Registration & Tuition

The Chamber Music Program is open to WYSO members as well student musicians in the community. Students can request specific group members (a pre-formed group) or be assigned to a group with others who have registered for the program. A tuition fee of $400 for the year is charged for all participants and scholarships are available.

A recorded video is required as part of the registration to aid placement in groups.

Click here for scholarship information.

Lalita Honors Woodwind Quintet

The Lalita Honors Woodwind Quintet is a scholarship ensemble that includes one position each for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon. Selection for participation is based on position openings, which vary season to season depending on musician turnover.

This is an extraordinary addition to the WYSO Chamber Music Program and a wonderful opportunity for a few accomplished woodwind musicians. WYSO is most grateful to Deepika and Rajaraman Rajesh for generously endowing this ensemble. The Lalita Honors Woodwind Quintet is named in honor of Rajaraman’s mother, who was a woodwind enthusiast.


  • Free tuition
  • Weekly coachings with Music Director Kyle Knox and Marc Fink, Emeritus Professor of Music at UW-Madison
  • Exploration of the vast woodwind quintet repertoire
  • Work with guest artists
  • Preparation for competitions
  • Multiple performance opportunities throughout the season, including a dedicated recital by the quintet.

Woodwind Screen Capture

Honors Quartet

The Honors Quartet will provide educational and performance experience for current or incoming Youth Orchestra members. Participation will be by audition as an individual or as a pre-formed quartet. In addition to weekly coaching and rehearsals, the program will feature coaching with some of the finest chamber musicians and pedagogues in the Midwest.

This program is generously sponsored by Cyrena and Lee Pondrom.

• FREE Tuition
• 30 coaching services per year
• Supervised as well as independent quartet rehearsals

• Full recital program each year
• Community events
• Wisconsin Public Radio
• WYSO board meetings
• Fundraising
• Performances on Bi-Annual International tour

Develop rehearsal strategies and communication skills to work with younger string players from Sinfonietta and Concert Orchestras

Under the direction of the Chamber Music Program Director, Karl Lavine, the quartet will also have the opportunity to work with the Music Director Kyle Knox as well as members of: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Madison Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Northwestern University, UW Madison faculty, Indiana University

Preparation for Local and Regional Competitions