Fall and Winter Session Ensembles (September - March)

North Star Strings (NSS) is our introductory strings only orchestra. The goal of this ensemble is to introduce students to ensemble playing and help develop note reading. Students in this orchestra should have a minimum of 1 year of private lessons, should be able to read music, and are typically in grades 3-8. All students who apply are accepted into this ensemble. NSS is directed by Mark Wamma.

Youth Philharmonic* (YP) is our intermediate ensemble open to string, wind, and percussion students. YP students can expect to see more challenging key signatures (up to 4 flats or sharps) and challenging rhythms. String players can expect to shift into higher positions. These students will typically have between 3-6 years of experience on their instrument, have prior ensemble experience, and are typcially in grades 6-9. YP is directed by Mark Wamma.  *YP is not being offered for the 2023-2024 season.

Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO) is our most advanced ensemble offered to wind, percussion, and string musicians. YSO students will typically have 4 or more years of experience on their instrument, have prior ensemble experience, and are typically in grades 9-12. Repertoire for YSO will be selected from advanced high school or introductory collegiate level works. YSO is directed by David Stordalen.

<<< Please reach out to the directors if you have questions about which group is appropriate for your child. >>>

Spring Session Ensembles (April - June)

Pops Orchestra is open to string, wind, and percussion student musicians of all playing abilities. It is generally recommended that students in this orchestra have 2 or more years of experience on their instrument and are comfortable reading music. Rehearsals are 2 hours on Sundays.

Pops Orchestra Lite is geared toward younger and beginning string students. It affords them the opportunity to play with the Pops Orchestra on parts that are fit to their note reading and playing ability. They will rehearse for 1 hour with the Pops Orchestra and also receive a 30 minute sectional to help them learn their music. This group is recommended for first time orchestra players or students who have 2 or less years of experience note read and playing their instrument.

Ensembles on hiatus for 2023:

Percussion Ensemble is open to any student regardless of whether they play percussion. Students will prepare 1-3 pieces for the final concert. Percussion ensemble is a great way to develop rhythm and counting skills as well as try out some fun percussion instruments! Rehearsal is 45 minutes on Sundays.

Jazz Ensemble is a great chance for students to get introduced to jazz or continue their studies. Students will learn basics of jazz improvisation and music theory. No previous experience is needed and all instruments are welcome. Rehearsal is 1.25 hours on Sundays.

Where are rehearsals?

MAYSO rehearses on the campus of Bethany Lutheran College in the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center.