The Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) is the educational arm of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. We celebrate our 70th season this year. We are made up of talented, young musicians from across the state of Mississippi. Most of our musicians come from the tri-county area of Jackson including Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties and attend public, private and home schools. MYSO is open to all youth musicians through their senior year of high school. MYSO has performed across the country and regularly performs at a myriad of events in and around the Jackson area throughout the season. We are excited about the new and challenging repertoire, performance opportunities, and collaborations in store this year.
Our mission is to provide the youth of Mississippi with orchestral experience under the guidance of professional musicians in a stimulating atmosphere of mutual learning and respectful cooperation and to reach out to the people of Mississippi with orchestral performances.
MYSO has operated as an organization supporting young musicians for 70 years. Theodore Caskey Russell was the youth orchestra’s founder and first conductor. Since then, the youth orchestra has been under the direction of many dedicated, professional and talented MSO musicians. The youth orchestra has continued to thrive through the unyielding efforts of the conductors, parents, the parents’ governing board, volunteers, and young musicians.
MYSO is composed of three orchestras: Philharmonia, Sinfonietta, and Jubilante. More experienced musicians play in Philharmonia, intermediate musicians play in Sinfonietta, and the beginning musician is placed in the Jubilante Orchestra.
Rehearsals & Performances
MYSO orchestras meet regularly on Saturday mornings to prepare for public appearances, tours, and concert performances. Two main concerts are provided for the people of Mississippi in the Fall and Spring of each concert year. In addition to full orchestra rehearsals, all members attend regular sectionals taught by professional musicians to supplement their musical education and orchestral development.
Tours & Trips
MYSO strives to take end-of-the-year trips. In 1994, the Senior and Junior Orchestras attended a competition in Dallas, TX and in 1996, MYSO performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2000, MYSO traveled to Beijing, China and the Intermediate Strings and Beginning Cadets performed in competition in Orlando, FL (Disneyworld). In 2002, MYSO traveled to Europe. They performed and toured London, Paris, Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich. In 2003, Beginning Cadets and Intermediate Strings performed in competition in Orlando, FL (Universal Studios). In 2005, MYSO performed on the American Queen Steamboat boarding at the Oak Alley Plantation in New Orleans, LA. In 2006, MYSO performed in the USM Wind & Brass Ensemble Competition in Hattiesburg, MS and in the Music Fest in Orlando. A MYSO ensemble performed at the IBC 2006 Artist Reception in Jackson, MS. In 2007, MYSO performed and toured in Costa Rica (San Jose, San Carlos, La Fortuna, Nicoya and Samara). More recently, in 2015 and 2010 MYSO performed in New Orleans, LA, in 2013 MYSO performed for Disney audiences in the select Disney Performing Arts Onstage Festival in Orlando, FL and in 2017 MYSO performed at Six Flags in San Antonio, TX.
Sectionals are an invaluable opportunity that musicians will receive as members of MYSO. These are sessions where your musician will practice with his instrument group only and technique is stressed just for that instrument group. All musicians will attend regular sectionals taught by professional musicians to supplement their musical education and promote orchestral development. Participation is required. Sectionals are for one hour and orchestra rehearsals follow immediately after. Please see the attached schedule for more specific information.
The operating budget of MYSO is supported partly through member tuition, concert program ad sales and occasional fundraising projects. The balance is funded through the generous donations from individuals and businesses interested in promoting talented and inspirational musicians. Additional options are available to provide support to MYSO, such as student sponsorships, service donations, seniors’ book scholarships and underwriting travel expenses. Contact us for more information on how to support MYSO.
There are several ways to get updated information about MYSO this season. Please visit our Facebook page -Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra. Don’t forget to Like us. You will find the latest, most updated information about MYSO, pictures, video clips, and conductor instructions there, or here on our website. As always, you may contact us via e-mail at or call (601) 376-9760.