Imagine WYSO’S New Home


IMAGINE a new home for WYSO that can accommodate all of the organization’s programs under a single roof and include:

  • State-of-the-art rehearsal space for orchestras and ensembles of all sizes,
  • Studio teaching spaces for area musicians,
  • Administrative offices,
  • A music library,
  • Space for all of WYSO’s current orchestra and Music Makers students
  • Room to grow the programs.

This dream is on its way to becoming a reality, thanks to two lead gifts totaling $18 million from Pleasant Rowland and Jerry Frautschi, who have long been supporters of the WYSO organization.The 40,085 square foot center for music will be constructed at 1118 E. Washington Avenue, and will continue WYSO’s vision to expand instrumental music education and performance opportunities for young people of diverse backgrounds and inspire excellence and a lifelong connection to music. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June 2022 with the building opening in fall of 2023.

More than 500 young musicians from communities throughout southern Wisconsin currently participate in WYSO’s programs. This 500% growth in student numbers since the organizations founding in 1966 is driving the need for new facilities, with WYSO’s programs currently spread throughout schools and churches in the greater Madison area.

“This new building right in the heart of Madison will change the horizon for WYSO and the community. Young musicians will dream bigger and work harder. They will connect with others who love music and together create a culture of excellence for everyone.”

Pleasant Rowland.



  • A building that is used for rehearsals, meetings, private lessons, and recitals.
  • A building that encourages all WYSO students to flourish in a community of student musicians all learning new techniques, ways of thinking, and instruments.
  • A building that can host collaborations of WYSO musicians with student dancers, writers, artists, or singers.
  • A location in a vibrant section of downtown Madison, on a major transit corridor for easy access, and close to performance facilities such as The SYLVEE, MyArts, or the Overture Center.


What Will Make This Building Unique ?


  • Three large rehearsal halls:
    • Each is large enough to hold a full orchestra of 100 musicians.
    • All have balconies for observation by parents, students, and visitors.
    • Halls feature 24’-39’ of acoustic height and provide a much-needed community resource currently in short supply in the Madison area.
  • Exceptional Acoustics
    • Acoustic isolation begins with blocking the noise from East Washington Avenue.
    • Sound isolation for each hall ensures that one orchestra cannot hear another.
    • Yet, within each hall, musicians can hear each note, each intonation.
  • An architectural design that inspires creativity and collaboration.
    • In a building inspired by the curves and textures of musical instruments, students will experience first hand how one art form can inspire another.
    • Multiple gathering spaces and studios will encourage collaboration between musicians and visiting artists, dancers and writers.
    • Program space includes room for all WYSO’s programs, from Orchestras to Music Makers.
    • Design meets LEED energy efficiency and Madison rain-water-runoff requirements. Includes a partial green roof.
  • A location
    • On a major transit corridor for easy access
    • In a burgeoning youth arts neighborhood
    • Close to collaborative and performing arts opportunities.

Download most recent Floor Plans here:




Floorplans and Diagrams
Hamel Music Center Rehearsal Hall


First Floor Diagram

Hamel Music Center Rehearsal Hall

Second Floor Diagram

Hamel Music Center Rehearsal Hall

Third Floor Diagram