Become A Member

Auditions for Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 Season

Get involved in MYSO’s nationally recognized programs! Sign up online for an audition at this link: An appointment will be assigned to you based on your request, and you’ll be notified of your time around mid-March. Please contact us at, or call the office at 414-267-2950 with any questions. We are eager to help!

Openings for Band, String and World Instruments:

STRINGS: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Harp

WINDS: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone (alto, tenor, baritone)

BRASS: Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone, Tuba

PERCUSSION: More experienced players should prepare a solo on the Snare Drum, Xylophone/Marimba and Timpani. Younger players should prepare a solo on one or more of these. Call with questions!

JAZZ: All instruments listed above plus Piano, Guitar, and Electric Bass

STEEL PANS: Students from the City of Milwaukee who have a good sense of rhythm and a great attitude are encouraged to try out for this award-winning program.

When and Where You Will Audition

Please know that appointment times for each instrument are limited and may not be available on all five days.

DATES & TIMES: Wednesday, April 5, 3:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Thursday, April 6, 3:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday, April 7, 3:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday, April 8, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday, April 9, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
LOCATION: Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut Street, Milwaukee

Playing Your Audition

Three Part Audition: Scales, Solo, Sightreading

It’s simple! During a 5-10 minute audition, one of MYSO’s professionals will listen to the student’s technical ability, tone, rhythm, intonation, interpretation and musicality. Placement into a specific ensemble is based primarily on achievement in these areas. Additional factors such as difficulty of the solo performed; prior experience in orchestra or band; age; musical, social and emotional maturity; and instrumental need in the ensembles are also considered. Our intent is to do what will be in the best interests of both the student and the ensembles.


The audition experience will begin with the student being asked to play at least one scale.

Scales most often asked are G, D, A, C, B-flat and E-flat. Students who play wind, brass, or mallet instruments should also be prepared to play A-flat and E major scales (anything up to four sharps or flats in the key signature). The scales we ask are specific to your instrument and not “concert pitch.” More advanced musicians may be asked additional scales in both major and minor keys.


Everyone must present a prepared solo or etude, no more than 3-4 minutes in length, preferably with contrasting tempos and/or styles (with no piano accompaniment).


The final part of the audition is a short section of music which helps determine how the student reads and understands printed music.

Following the Audition

Students will be notified by mail by the middle of June regarding placement decisions. When available, along with the placement we’ll include constructive comments regarding the audition in this mailing.

Playing in MYSO

Most MYSO ensembles rehearse once a week during the school year.  The season begins in September and continues through May. MYSO musicians are expected to enroll in their school music programs on the same instrument they play in MYSO. Click here for more information on MYSO’s constellation of ensembles, including rehearsal days and times.

Additional opportunities for members of MYSO include the Davidson Chamber Ensemble Program, concerto competitions, music theory classes, John Downey Creation Project for young composers, our Community Concert Series, ‘side by side’ rehearsal and coaching opportunities with professional musicians and much more. Click here for more information on MYSO’s enrichment programs.

Thank you for your interest in MYSO! We hope to see you at auditions!

MYSO is Instrumental in Changing Lives!

Celebrating six decades of excellence in arts education, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) is one of the largest and most extensive youth orchestra programs in the U.S. Every MYSO member plays with other fine young musicians in ensembles which include bands, string orchestras, jazz combos, ensembles and large symphony orchestras. MYSO members have a great time making new friends, playing great music and learning from MYSO’s highly-acclaimed professional instructors.

Serving 1,000 young musicians, ages 8-18, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra empowers young people from diverse backgrounds to joyfully pursue musical excellence while building crucial life skills.

Alumni have credited MYSO with far more than their musical growth. Recent research has shown clearly that MYSO members, as well as alumni, point to their MYSO experience as having a huge effect on their development of teamwork skills, confidence, commitment, determination and creativity, as well as fostering an ability to set and attain goals, focus and perform under pressure. Other reported benefits include sharpening time management and organizational skills while giving students the opportunity to work with young people from different backgrounds.

Thank you, again, for your interest in Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra!  We look forward to seeing you soon!