The Story of WYSO’S New Home

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WYSO was created in 1966 with the belief that every child has the right to experience beauty and community by making music with others.

This vision continues with WYSO today and includes a top-tier youth orchestra program (with subsidized tuition fees and a robust scholarship program) and a community-impact Music Makers program that puts musical instruments and training into the hands of children who may not have ever held an instrument before.

In this building, students will create lasting friendships with others as passionate about music as they are. Families will create a network of musical opportunities and parents of alumni will return to help the next generation of musicians. This will be a place where the WYSO family, spanning 5,000 alumni and diverse generations, languages, and backgrounds, will gather to welcome newcomers and offer a hand-up to each new musician who enters a program.

View the images below to see the building site at 1118 East Washington Avenue in Madison, the original inspiration of the building based on the curves of a cello on its side, continued refinements to allow the form to follow the function of the large rehearsal halls with 24′ to 39′ of height, and the concept of landscaped gardens with bell and trumpet themes to carry forward the musical instrument theme.







Inside the building, high ceilings and curving banks of windows create a light airy feel.

Balconies allow viewers to observe the workings of orchestra rehearsals.

Sweeping curves that mimic those of instruments direct visitors from the glass fronted lobby.

Meeting and collaborative gathering spaces are scattered throughout. 



Rehearsal A

Hamel Music Center Rehearsal Hall

Rehearsal A

Hamel Music Center Rehearsal Hall

Rehearsal C—Percussion Studio