The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra Building is Ready for Its Premiere

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) is commemorating a significant achievement in its history: the inauguration of its new facility on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. This $25 million building, completed in three years, will serve as the permanent headquarters for WYSO and its programs.

Cutting-Edge Venue for Music Education

The recently constructed WYSO facility boasts a 400-seat concert hall, a rehearsal hall, a recording studio, a music library, a lounge, and several practice rooms. The structure is meticulously designed to offer optimal acoustics, lighting, and accessibility for both musicians and the audience. Additionally, the building incorporates sustainable features such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and geothermal heating and cooling.

This pioneering WYSO building is the first of its kind in the state and one of the few in the country dedicated to youth orchestra education. Since its establishment in 1966, WYSO has catered to over 500 students in grades 5 to 12, who audition annually to join one of its six orchestras. The organization also provides opportunities in chamber music, jazz, percussion, and harp ensembles, along with outreach programs for underserved communities.

Festivities for the Grand Opening

The official opening of the new WYSO building will be marked by a series of concerts and events scheduled from February 16 to 18, 2024. The grand opening celebration will showcase performances by all six WYSO orchestras, featuring guest artists, alumni, and faculty. The highlight of the festivities will be the premiere of a new commissioned piece by composer John Harbison, a Pulitzer Prize winner and WYSO alumnus.

Anticipated to attract more students, audiences, and supporters, the WYSO building is poised to enhance the organization’s mission of delivering high-quality music education and performance opportunities for young musicians. The hope is that this new facility will inspire the next generation of musical leaders and contribute to the cultural enrichment of the state and beyond.


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