metropolitan youth symphony orchestras

On this week’s Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio, our hosts Bryan Nonni and Todd Schnick speak with Karen Hunt, executive director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta, and Chris Thibdeau, music director with MYSO. MYSO is a youth orchestra based in the Atlanta-area that serves more than 100 children in 10 different counties. This year marks the 26th season of MYSO in Atlanta, whose primary goal is to inspire a life-long love of music in its students.

With the focus on music fading in schools due to diminishing budgets, MYSO aids in supplementing the music education provided in schools. It also provides students not exposed to music with experiences that help to foster a love of music and a passion for instrumentation. As Chris Thibdeau adds, “You can’t’ inspire students to read important literature if they don’t know how to read, and you can’t inspire students to love and understand the classic works of our composers unless they know how listen to music and understand what they are listening to.”  This approach helps to spark an interest in music and once the foundation is in place, students often times take their own direction in musical tastes.

MYSO is an international organization helping to spread music education across the world. The ability to travel with MYSO also helps inform students about what different cultures are doing with music. The program often conducts concerts with Atlanta MYSO students playing side-by-side with MYSO students from other countries, further demonstrating the universal appeal music has.

MYSO offers two musical programs – the symphony orchestra and the philharmonic. The symphony orchestra consists of more than 80 students and is the top group at MYSO. This group consists mainly of high school aged students and conducts full orchestral works on par with performances from The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra or any symphony around the world. MYSO’s newest group is the philharmonic, which previously was string instruments only but will now transition to include wind, brass and percussion instruments. This group performs some full orchestral works, and does educational arrangements as well.

The MYSO program has been getting a lot of attention and is raising excitement levels. Group auditions are scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, and currently, there are more than 100 students that will be auditioning. For those who will audition or for those interested in auditioning, the process starts with finding out what the requirements for inclusion in the group are from the MYSO website. An audition involves playing scales and excerpts from selections listed on the site. If auditions are successful, the candidates will be invited to join either the symphony or the philharmonic.

For information on MYSO including concerts, auditions and upcoming events, visit Also, check out their Facebook page.


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