Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra

A full symphony orchestra comprised primarily of advanced high school musicians.

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High-Level Classical Performances

The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra program that both teaches and challenges student musicians to perform works composed in the late Classical through Romantic and Modern eras.

Building on successes in other MYSO ensembles, Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra musicians refine the skills required for participation in the Senior Symphony and Chamber Orchestra.

At a Glance

  • Rehearsals generally on Monday evenings
  • Comprised primarily of advanced high school musicians
  • Music Director: Mr. Carter Simmons

Upcoming Events

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Music Director

Carter Simmons

Artistic Director Carter Simmons has worked with the musicians of Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) since 1992. He was named Distinguished Citizen-Professional in the Arts by the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee and recognized by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for “distinguished contributions to music education in Wisconsin.” He leads an artistic staff of 50 professionals who teach musicians in over 25 ensembles making MYSO the largest after-school youth orchestra in the nation. During his association, MYSO has grown to serve 6,000 students and risen in national prominence including recognition as an awardee of the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award , the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs. Mr. Simmons also serves as Music Director of MYSO’s Chamber Orchestra and Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. His programs feature composers such as Adams, Copland, Debussy, Ginastera, Harbison, Higdon, Mahler, Ravel, and Theofanidis, and provide opportunities to perform earlier works of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, W.A. Mozart, and Schubert among others. His programming reflects a belief that young musicians seek challenge, that they should be led to experience the highest form of music making, and that their performances tell a story that is both important and compelling. Mr. Simmons’… More

Artistic Director Carter Simmons has worked with the musicians of Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) since 1992. He was named Distinguished Citizen-Professional in the Arts by the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee and recognized by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for “distinguished contributions to music education in Wisconsin.” He leads an artistic staff of 50 professionals who teach musicians in over 25 ensembles making MYSO the largest after-school youth orchestra in the nation. During his association, MYSO has grown to serve 6,000 students and risen in national prominence including recognition as an awardee of the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award , the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs.

Mr. Simmons also serves as Music Director of MYSO’s Chamber Orchestra and Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. His programs feature composers such as Adams, Copland, Debussy, Ginastera, Harbison, Higdon, Mahler, Ravel, and Theofanidis, and provide opportunities to perform earlier works of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, W.A. Mozart, and Schubert among others. His programming reflects a belief that young musicians seek challenge, that they should be led to experience the highest form of music making, and that their performances tell a story that is both important and compelling.

Mr. Simmons’ training included work at Interlochen, the Eastern Music Festival, and lessons at the Tanglewood Music Center. A finalist of the National Conducting Institute of the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, he participated in seminars conducting the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. His degrees are in horn and vocal performance, and in instrumental conducting. He was the first undergraduate to conduct the UNCG Wind Ensemble before his appointment as Assistant Conductor of the UWM Youth Wind Ensemble. He is indebted to his teachers Dr. John Locke, Robert Gutter, Larry Rachleff, and Thomas L. Dvorak and grateful for classes by Elizabeth Green, John Downey, Leon Fleischer, Gustav Meier, and Frederick Fennell.

Mr. Simmons is Music Director of Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony and has been invited to conduct for the Milwaukee Ballet, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Starry Nights Orchestra featuring artists of Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic.

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String Advisor

Mike Giacobassi

Michael Giacobassi grew up in Muskegon, Michigan and began studying the violin at age nine. He received his music degree from Michigan State University where he studied with Walter Verdehr. He joined the Milwaukee Symphony in 1974 and became a member of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra in 1975. Mr. Giacobassi has appeared in recital at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and is a member of the Washington Island Chamber Music Festival. He was a soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony in statewide performances of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 (Lucas Foss, conductor), Vivaldi’s Spring in April 2005, and has performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the MCO. In addition to orchestral playing, Mr. Giacobassi teaches aspiring young musicians and coaches violinists in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony. More

Michael Giacobassi grew up in Muskegon, Michigan and began studying the violin at age nine. He received his music degree from Michigan State University where he studied with Walter Verdehr. He joined the Milwaukee Symphony in 1974 and became a member of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra in 1975.

Mr. Giacobassi has appeared in recital at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and is a member of the Washington Island Chamber Music Festival. He was a soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony in statewide performances of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 (Lucas Foss, conductor), Vivaldi’s Spring in April 2005, and has performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the MCO.

In addition to orchestral playing, Mr. Giacobassi teaches aspiring young musicians and coaches violinists in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony.

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Interested in Auditioning?

Each student is required to audition to become a member of MYSO. Being a MYSO member is a rewarding experience that drives a student’s musical, learning, and social skills.

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