A Weekly Newsletter for the WYSO Community  May 29, 2020
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WYSO Music Makers Recital This Saturday!
Our Spring WYSO Music Makers Recital will stream live on Saturday, May 30th starting at 1:00 pm, directly from our WYSO Music Makers Facebook Page.

The recital will feature Music Makers students who have just completed the Spring season of studying music via Zoom, Facebook, FaceTime, Skype, and Google Meets.  A total of 830 classes (private and small group lessons)  in an eight-week period adds up to something special to celebrate! 

The program includes everything from Mary Had A Little Lamb to an excerpt from Concerto in A Minor by Vivaldi. No Facebook account is necessary to join us at this afternoon of live music!

Funding for the WYSO Music Makers is provided by American Girl’s Fund for Children, Dane County Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., a charitable arm of The Capital Times, the Edith Olsen Music Foundation, the Forest Foundation, Inc., the W. Jerome Frautchi Foundation, Javier Garay, Jun and Sandy Lee, Madison Arts Commission, Madison Community Foundation, Madison Gas & Electric Foundation, Inc., B.J. Panke, the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, the Coe and Paul Williams Fund for Young Musicians, and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Announcement 0f WYSO AWARDS!

Blankenburg Spirit Award 2020: Hannah Wendorf, Viola

The WYSO Board of Directors created the Blankenburg Spirit Award in memory of longtime board member Pat Blankenburg. The award is given annually to a WYSO Senior in Youth Orchestra.

The winner, voted by their peers, was selected based on the following criteria: excellent attendance at rehearsals, leadership qualities, participation in the Musical Notes campaign, artistic achievement, a positive spirit, and an interest in building relationships across several sections of the orchestra. These are qualities that Pat possessed and admired in WYSO’s young musicians. Congratulations to Hannah!

Mark Leiser Award 2020: Alicia Peterson, String Bass

The WYSO Board of Directors established the Mark R. Leiser Award in 2018 in honor of Mr. Leiser’s 25 years as WYSO’s first Sinfonietta conductor. This award is given annually to a Sinfonietta student who displays the musical and personal attributes most important to Mr. Leiser: arrives at all rehearsals prepared and ready to work, displays enthusiasm and a positive attitude, loves to make music with others, places the needs of the ensemble over their own desires, participates in their school music program, is anxious to learn from others, and is dedicated to all facets of WYSO. Congratulations to Alicia for this achievement!

Buchhauser Scholarship Award 2020: Sydney Kostelac, Flute

Thomas Buchhauser conducted WYSO’s Philharmonia Orchestra from 1983 until his retirement in 2013. In addition to 30 seasons conducting for WYSO, Mr. Buchhauser was Director of Orchestras at Madison Memorial High School and Jefferson Middle School from 1966-1999, was a Madison Symphony Orchestra cellist for nearly 20 years, and served on the faculty of the National String Workshop for ten years. 

The WYSO Board of Directors established the Buchhauser Scholarship Award in 2013 in honor of Mr. Buchhauser’s 30 year career with WYSO. The Buchhauser Scholarship Award is given at the conclusion of each WYSO season to a Philharmonia member who will return to WYSO and reflects the qualities most important to Mr. Buchhauser: excellent musicianship, superb attendance at WYSO rehearsals, dedication to the member’s school music program, and consistent participation in the Musical Notes family fundraising campaign. Congratulations to Sydney on this scholarship award!

Audition and Seat Reservation Deadline!
Due this Sunday: Audition Applications & Seat Reservations 

The deadline for both Audition Applications and Seat Reservations is just two 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: Heather Swartz

My first time playing in an orchestra was 2 years ago when I joined the flute section of WYSO’s Youth Orchestra. I didn't realize how much I had been missing out on! Now I am planning to major in Music Education in Canada after taking a gap year.

My first season in WYSO, Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony was programmed, and I was assigned the piccolo part. For those who don’t know, there is a piccolo solo in the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony that is one of the most challenging piccolo excerpts in orchestral repertoire! This was likely the most daunting musical challenge I’ve had to this day, especially since it was my first time playing in an orchestra. I had to learn how to correctly time my playing as a wind in the back of the group, how to react to the conductor’s gestures rather than being exactly with them, and on top of that I had to play a frighteningly challenging piccolo solo. I would not trade that experience for anything!

One of my favorite experiences in WYSO was during Youth Chamber Orchestra when we conducted ourselves through the whole first movement of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony because Mr. Knox was running late to rehearsal! I owe much of my musical development throughout high school to these wonderful music educators: Danielle Breisach, Ben Jaeger, and Kyle Knox.

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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