Inspiration to Passion
Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra was formed on July 19, 2013 by a group of musicians and music enthusiasts. The new board of directors endeavored to offer communities a program which would be the cornerstone for youth orchestra programs in the region
The Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra inspires and prepares its students to become passionate leaders in their community or school programs (if available) by being a good example through music preparation, listening to instructions, and enhancing their musical knowledge and instrumental skills.
In the Beginning
Several students in the region do not have a school orchestra program or a program that offers orchestra levels based on experience and ability. CMYO has filled this need by offering three ensembles that places skills in a range that allows students to achieve a balanced proficiency along with other students of a similar skill level.
CMYO has been collaborating with private instructors, directors, professors, local educational institutions by offering ways to utilize local professionals by offering mentoring within the CMYO programs. In addition, CMYO plans to develop a grant approved program which would bring professionals to assist directors with sectionals within the school orchestra programs.
The first home for rehearsals resides at the College of St. Benedict/St. John University.
The fall of 2013, Dr. David Arnott and Dr. Lucia Magney from CSB/SJU were guest artists offering a master class on ‘Scottish fiddle’ music. In the spring of 2014, Dr. Marion Judish from SCSU offered a master class on the Symphony No. 25 by Mozart.
In November, Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra was approved for its Non-Profit 501(c)(3) status. In addition, we continue to form a partnership with the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University and St. Cloud State University for the use of facilities for rehearsals and performances. St Cloud Symphony donated funds to assist with the growth of the programs, and Chamber Music Society of St. Cloud has offered discounted tickets.
CMYO was offering tuition assistance that was available to students who are struggling to make tuition payments. We are very grateful for their generosity towards the success of the program's mission.
Since 2015, CMYO no longer has a tuition based system. This is design to ensure no student who qualifies for an ensemble is turned away for financial reasons. We hope if a family capable of paying for the service, they will make best efforts based on their capability. However, no one is turned away for any amount donated if they qualify for an ensemble. To date, we have been able to provide a fun and educational experience to many students including families who are unable to contribute financially.
CMYO started to offer a field trip with bus for free to the Minnesota Orchestra performance. In addition, local arts were contacted to ask for discounts for CMYO students to make local events more attainable for the students and families.
Quite a bit happened in 2016. Three field trips (MN Orchestra, SPCO, and Sybarite 5) were offered to the students and chaperones at no charge. A new website designed to help service the parents and students. CMYO is looking to find new ways to provide quality performance and mentorship to the students via grants and other sources. Plus, a brand new ensemble was announced at the Spring performance: Prelude - Cello.
"To provide a unique orchestral experience leading to performances that shape, educate, and inspire lives of the developing musicians in the communities of Central Minnesota."
Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra