A Weekly Newsletter for the WYSO Community  May 22, 2020
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May 30th WYSO Music Makers Recital

Save the date for our Spring WYSO Music Makers Recital, which will stream live on Saturday, May 30th at 1:00 pm, directly from our WYSO Music Makers Facebook Page.

The program will feature 24 Music Makers students who have just completed the Spring season of studying music via Zoom, Facebook, FaceTime, Skype, and Google Meets.  A total of 779 classes (private and small group lessons)  adds up to something special to celebrate! No Facebook account is necessary to join us at this afternoon of live music!

Let's Celebrate the WYSO Senior Class!
It is time to celebrate the members of this year's WYSO Senior Class!  While we will continue to call out these students individually in the Senior Spotlight through the end of June, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate them all at once with this lovely Senior Tribute Slide Show, compiled and designed by Mary Jo Froden of the WYSO Parent Leadership Committee.

We will certainly miss these 52 students, some of whom have been a part of WYSO for eight years. Representing all sections of the orchestra and WYSO Music Makers, these students have the unique perspective of joining WYSO before there was an Opus 1 Orchestra. Collectively, the Class of 2020 has studied under conductors Erin Barnard, Geri Hamilton, Christine Mata Eckel, Michelle Kaebisch, Kyle Knox, James Smith, Mark Leiser, Tom Buchhauser, Vicki P. Jenks, Randall Swiggum, Paran Amarinazi, and Bonnie Green. Collectively, they have toured the State of Wisconsin, and traveled to Minneapolis, to Argentina, to Italy and to Peru.

After they graduate, these students are choosing to study Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Cognitive Science, Communication Arts, Computer Science, Economics, Electrical Engineering, English, Genetics, Instrument Performance (Bassoon, Cello, Flute, Harp, Horn, Oboe, Trombone, Viola, Violin),  Japanese, Landscape & Urban Planning, Legal Studies, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Neuroscience, Non-Profit Management, Nursing, Physics, Political Science, Spanish, and to work and travel.

Schools they have chosen for next year include Amherst College, Carleton College, Carthage College, Cornell University, Drake University, Eastman School of Music, Luther College, McGill University, Northwestern University, Redeemer University, Rice University, St. Norbert College, San Francisco Conservatory, University of California-Berkley, University of Illinois-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-LaCrosse, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater, Wheaton College, and Yale University.

Let's collectively cheer these graduates on as they embark on their next journeys, and wish them the best of luck in whatever they choose to do!
2020 Auditions and Seat Reservations
Audition Applications & Seat Reservations Are Due Sunday, May 31.

The deadline for both Audition Applications and Seat Reservations is ten days away. If you want to stay in your current orchestra next Fall, you should submit a Seat Reservation, so that WYSO knows your intent and holds your place. No payment is necessary until it is time to register and pay tuition.

If you want to audition for the next orchestra, submit an Audition Application form. Your seat in your current orchestra will be held until after audition decisions are made.

When you submit your Audition Application, you will receive specific instructions by email telling you what to prepare. Because of COVID-19, this year you will need to submit a video-recorded audition, rather than auditioning in person. Your recorded auditions can be submitted as early as Monday, June 1, with the final day to submit on Sunday, July 5, 2020.

WYSO realizes that this year is not like other years. If you run into problems with the process, please contact If COVID-19 has affected your financial situation, please apply for our WYSO Families First Fund Scholarship. 
Click here for Audition & Seat Reservation Information
Senior Spotlight: Ryley Busch

I first found out about WYSO through my private teacher while I was in fifth grade. I was super nervous but auditioned anyway and the next year I started out in Sinfonietta. As a harpist I also joined the WYSO harp ensemble. As the years progressed I got to experience each orchestra for myself, often more than one orchestra at a time in the same year, and loved every one. I can say with complete certainty that as an eleven year old I did not foresee how much my life would change after starting WYSO.

This was my seventh and last year at WYSO and I have learned so much. Not only did I get a chance to connect with other harpists, an opportunity I wouldn’t have had otherwise, I got the chance to learn how to play with others, not just in an orchestra but as an ensemble. I had the pleasure of playing and growing as a musician in all four (I started before Opus One) orchestras. They provided me with the opportunity to explore pieces I never thought a harp could play on as well as the classical harp pieces. The skills I’ve learned in WYSO have helped me achieve performances at music camps and school, opportunities I couldn’t dream of when I was a young student. I’m so grateful that I got the chance to participate in WYSO.

I’m proud to announce my continuing studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a plan for a dual degree in harp performance and engineering.

WYSO Alumni to Admire: Akash Pattnaik 
Congratulations to alumnus Akash Pattniak, WYSO 2011-2016, who will be starting his PhD in Bioengineering at  the University of Pennsylvania this Fall.

Akash Pattnaik was a member of WYSO from 2011 to 2016 and played flute and piccolo in Concert Orchestra and Youth Orchestra. He also participated in the WYSO Chamber Music program.

Akash will be graduating from Princeton University this month with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, after recently submitting his Senior thesis titled “Investigating Sensor Fusion Models for Human Activity Recognition.”

His research explores deep learning methods to combine two sensor modalities for detecting common daily human activities in a scene. 

Akash will be continuing his studies this fall while pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His graduate research will focus on brain implants and neural signal processing.

Akash shared with us this quote about his WYSO experience:

WYSO was a critical part of my growth not only as a musician but also a problem solver and critical thinker, skills which I continue to use as a student every day. Additionally, the memories I made with life-long friends are invaluable.
Two memories that stand out are playing Enigma Variations at the Side-by-Side concert with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in May 2015 and performing in Cremona on the Italy tour in July 2016.

Congratulations & best wishes to WYSO alumnus Akash Pattniak!
The WYSO Weekly Tune Up is a new weekly newsletter with the goal of connecting our WYSO community with stories taking place across our channels. WYSO Seniors: please submit your Senior Spotlight articles to  Alumni: we would love to know what you are doing. Additional story ideas? Please contact
Donate to the WYSO Families First Fund
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