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82 Reviews
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May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

MYA made a real difference in the life of our daughter. During her time in MYA, she grew as a musician and matured as a person. Everything MYA does, it does as well as or better than anybody else.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I had the lucky experience to participate for two years and it was a phenomenal experience! The caliber of musicians in MYA is staggering and I am blessed to be around some of the best musicians in the country. Dr. Dennis is doing a fantastic job of making MYA not just a stellar music institution, but also a warm, nurturing atmosphere that always makes Saturdays my favorite day of the week. I've participated in many youth orchestras but MYA is definitely the most talented and has a very unique family-like atmosphere. Literature like Ein Heldenleben, Scheherazade, Prokofiev Symphony 5, Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, and working with world class Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians is amazing!!! MYA will always be in my heart!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

Our high school aged daughter aspires to be a professional musician. When we moved to the Chicago area 2 years ago, we looked for opportunities to promote her growth as a musician and found Midwest Young Artists. We couldn't have found a better youth orchestra. Like all youth orchestras, it strives to provide it's members with the opportunity to play advanced symphonic literature and to be challenged by playing alongside other musicians who strive to be the best they can be. What makes it special is the degree of respect and caring exhibited by all the adults charged with teaching these young musicians. It is an environment of constructive teaching, not only of musicianship, but of citizenship. We could not be more pleased.....bravo MYA!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

MYA shapes both future musical artists and future audiences by fostering a love and appreciation for all types of music in a supportive, well-administered, nurturing, yet professional environment. Our son is now pursuing a career as a professional musician. This would likely not have happened without his experience at Midwest Young Artists.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my son's musical growth

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add more scholarships for underprivileged youth

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

none - it was great

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

met new people

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

like I had a small part in helping a great organization

May 22, 2012

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May 22, 2012

I joined MYA back in 2003 when I was a freshman in high school. My first rehearsal in the symphony orchestra was a disaster, not being able to play on the same level as my peers around me. Declaring to my parents my intention to quit, they took me to speak with Dr. Dennis, the director, in person. He encouraged me to stay, telling me that he wouldn't have accepted my audition into the orchestra had he thought I wouldn't be able to handle it. His encouragement didn't fully convince me, but I decided to stay. The next four years rushed by me. I had a great network of friends that I've made through MYA, along with a formidable professional network with the staff of MYA who all were very accomplished musicians themselves. Through MYA I had the opportunity to encounter different cultures abroad in Spain and Portugal, to discover great classical music, to perform along with world-class musicians such as Pepe Romero and Leonard Slatkin IN world-class venues such as Symphony Center in Chicago, among so many other things. I still keep in contact with Dr. Dennis among other MYA staff. The passion, love, time, and energy they put into this organization and its students cannot be measured. Even now as I begin to pursue music as my career, switching from medicine, I know I have the full support of MYA, its staff, my peers from MYA, and its wonderful director Dr. Dennis.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

March 25, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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March 25, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I was a student in MYA from 7th-12th grade. The level of musicianship exhibited by the students and faculty is second to none. The quality that sets this organization from its competitors is culture. It is a perfect place for students to develop musically and personally. I got so much out of the program that after college i started volunteering for MYA to give back to the organization. Today, i serve as the president of MYA's Young Professionals Board. We work closely with the Board of Directors, faculty, and administrators. I would highly recommend MYA to anyone looking for a fulfilling volunteering opportunity where you can make as big or little of a contribution as your time allows.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I was a member of the Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra and chamber music programs for 4 years from '98-2002. Simply put, this organization provides the finest and most comprehensive music education available for pre-college students.

In addition to seemingly limitless musical
opportunities (world travel, celebrity masterclasses taught by current CSO musicians, etc) MYA offers students a place to hang out and be themselves.

Everyone can be comfortable in their own skin at the home-like MYA center. There is no judgement, and the prevailing attitude is that of tolerance and understanding. There is no need for anti-bullying talks, because there are no bullies at MYA.

Having performed in an Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra in college, I can certify that the level of instruction at MYA meets and generally exceeds that of the MYA orchestra program. The best preparation for college and conservatory level coursework is practice, proper nutrition and Midwest Young Artists.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Preparing me for University level music performance

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the space and find a way to have an MYA concert hall.

February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I started performing with MYA when I was in middle school and continued in the program through my high school graduations. I can't even count the hours in a car that I spent driving to MYA rehearsals and concerts for the 6 years that I was in the program.

The programs at MYA allow
students not only to grow as musicians, but also as a community. It is a safe, exciting avenue to creatively express and learn music, that I will never forget.

As a music teacher I draw great inspiration from what I learned in my tenure at MYA, and was excited when I was able to have my own students become a part of the program.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a student in the program, it helped prepare me to become an orchestra teacher. As a teacher the students who I send to MYA develop into leaders in my orchestra program.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

February 4, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 4, 2011

I loved being a part of MYA when I was in high school 1991-1995. It was a chance to play real orchestral material with others whose talent level was way beyond that of a typical high school orchestra. Concerts and rehearsals were always a moving experience and I still remember the intricacies of each section of some of the pieces we played. Dr. Dennis always rehearsed us with such precision and attention to detail, that the symphony felt like an old friend by the time we got to performance time. I love that this wonderful orchestra continues to achieve and attract talent from the Midwest area.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My talent was nurtured and strengthened so I was able to attend Northwestern University's music school with scholarships.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it even more well known so that every kid with a musical dream in the Midwest sought it out as a place to learn and grow as a musician.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

January 31, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 31, 2011

My son has had the privilege of participating in the music programs at MYA for 5 years. Through the years, he has risen through three levels of orchestras into the Symphony Orchestra, and he participates in the outstanding Intensive Chamber Music Program. He has played in the Honors Wind Symphony, and has had the opportunity to perform in the Walgreen's Concerto Competition, and the Discover Chamber Music Competition. Although he's only in the ninth grade, he has already performed in every major music venue in the Chicago area: Symphony Center, Lyric Opera House, Harris Theater, Ravinia's Bennett-Gordon Hall, Northwestern's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, and Waukegan's Genesee Theater. These have all been incredible experiences for him. The range of opportunities that MYA offers students of every age and level in classical, jazz, choral and chamber music is phenomenal. But that's not what makes MYA so special.
What makes MYA truly special lies within: it is the amazing ensemble directors, faculty and staff that have created the warm and nurturing environment at MYA, where each student is encouraged to strive to be the best musician and citizen that they can be. The caliber of the faculty is second to none, but it is their passion for music and their unending dedication to the growth and success of their students that stands out. They inspire students to work hard. They promote camaraderie over competitiveness. Students of all ages, from all edges of the Chicago-land area come together each week to make music, but in the process, they gain so much more. Work ethic, teamwork, discipline, confidence, self-esteem, community and life-long friendships are what I see being developed each week. Many students from MYA go on to attend the best music conservatories in the country. Some students continue on to top universities and colleges in order to pursue other professions. The tools students gain at MYA will help them be successful in anything they choose to do in life. But what will they remember about MYA for the rest of their lives? The warm fire, the homemade goodies, the unending support of their directors and coaches, the sense of community, and the incredible joy, and excitement of having made beautiful music together.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching MYA students make a positive difference by enriching the lives of others through their music performances at underserved schools, nursing homes, senior centers, and community and civic events. One of the highlights for my son last year was performing Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with the MYA chamber orchestra for children at 3 underserved schools in North Chicago and Waukegan. MYA is clearly committed to teaching students to give back to the community and to share their talents with others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

MYA students are blessed to have a wonderful music facility in Fort Sheridan - one that most consider their second home, but there is definitely a need to expand. Although nearly 1,000 students currently traverse the halls and rehearsal rooms each week, it is MYA's mission to ensure that even more children have the opportunity to be enriched through music. MYA needs room to grow!

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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