Giving Opportunities

Music touches our community in many ways and you can choose what’s right for you based on your interests and connections. If giving to a specific gift or fund is not important, your gift to the general fund will be directed to the area of most pressing need!

WYSO Music Makers

WYSO Music Makers ) is a non-competitive and inclusive program that provides quality instruments, private and group lessons, and performance opportunities to under-resourced students (ages 5 to 15).  75% of Music Makers students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Ethnic and cultural backgrounds include Hispanic, African-American, African, Hmong, and East Asian— and almost 70% of the students speak a language at home other than English.


In an effort to encourage all students to participate regardless of financial circumstance, WYSO offers over $50,000 in scholarships every year. Our scholarship program provides funds for these students to attend the 33 rehearsals, private lessons, tours, and other associated costs of being in WYSO.

The Stanley and Shirley Inhorn Scholarship Fund supports tuition scholarships to expand access to WYSO’s transformational music programs. Initiated by a lead gift from WYSO Life Trustees Dr. Stanley and Mrs. Shirley Inhorn, the fund helps to eliminate financial barriers for students who want to participate in WYSO.

The WYSO Families First Fund was designed to help students whose families have been affected by COVID-19, either by illness or economics. The Fund supports WYSO tuition, private lessons, and chamber music scholarships. It also funds recommended instrument accessories to guard against COVID-19 transmission (such as bell and instrument covers) and helps with necessary instrument repairs, rental, or procurement for students affected by the pandemic.

The Thomas Buchhauser Scholarship Fund supports an annual scholarship award to an outstanding student in Philharmonia Orchestra who returns to WYSO the next year.

The Bonnie Greene Scholarship Award honors Bonnie Greene, who founded the Music Makers program in 2007, and is still active with WYSO Music Makers today. This award is given annually to a Music Makers student who successfully auditions into a WYSO orchestra. The student chosen is awarded a full-tuition scholarship for the WYSO orchestra into which he or she auditions.

James R. Smith Guest Artist Fund

The James R. Smith Guest Artist Fund was established to honor WYSO’s Emeritus Music Director James R. Smith who led WYSO and conducted the Youth Orchestra for 30 years beginning in 1985. This fund supports Guest Artists who teach masterclasses and rehearse, conduct, and perform with students.This is a learning experience that is like no other and helps to raise a young musician’s standards and foster the desire to learn and progress musically.

Martha Fuguitt Fund for WYSO Music

The Martha Fuguitt Fund for WYSO Music was generously created by her husband, Glenn, and children, Gayle and Graham Fuguitt, to support music rental and purchase, and to establish the WYSO music library. WYSO members in all orchestras benefit from this generous gift of music.

Endowed Chair Program

Whether the Endowed Chair gift bears your name, your family name, that of a friend or relative, or a group that has a special connection to the orchestra, the Endowed Chair becomes a permanent mark of recognition. Each Endowed Chair is titled according to the wishes of the donor and is so noted in all WYSO printed programs. The chair may be named to recognize the donor(s), or be in honor or memory of another person (family member, friend, teacher, coach, or conductor). All Endowed Chair gifts will be placed with the WYSO Foundation, a companion 501 (c)(3) organization established in 1999 for the purpose of accepting and managing gifts and bequests for the benefit of WYSO. Click here to learn more!

Marvin Rabin Legacy Society

The Marvin Rabin Legacy Society recognizes individuals and families who have placed the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras Foundation in their estate plans. WYSO invites you to become a member and help ensure the future of WYSO’s high-quality orchestral training and performance opportunities. WYSO is grateful for all planned gifts, whatever their size. Notify us that you have included WYSO in your estate plans, or contact us if you are interested in learning more about possible year-end tax advantages of various planned giving opportunities.

WYSO Chamber Music Program

The WYSO Chamber Music Program provides chamber music opportunities for members who want to learn more about chamber music and perform in small groups. Donated funds support student scholarships and operational costs of the chamber music program including coach salaries, music expenses, and concert facilities.

The WYSO Facilities Fund

This fund provides support to help WYSO afford increasing costs for facilities to host programs, student lessons, rehearsals and performances. WYSO is grateful to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music for providing WYSO with facilities support for our first 53 years. Now independent from this support, this new fund is critical to ensure WYSO’s continued operation.


Your advertising purchase provides WYSO with support to produce the handbook and concert program books, helping us to keep tuition and fees affordable for our members. Click here for 20-21 rate sheet.


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