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Metropolitan Youth Symphony

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: For almost 40 years, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony has provided unique opportunities to young musicians in the Valley.

Target demographics: Educate young instrumental musicians through the 12th grade in the art of symphonic performance through the use of the world's finest music to develop character, discipline, leadership, cultural awareness, and a strong commitment to excellence; thus, enabling MYS to contribute to the Valley of the Sun’s rich cultural heritage and create a higher level of appreciation for the performing arts.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 300+ musicians and families

Geographic areas served: Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Programs: MYS provides musical training for serious young musicians with a variety of performances and programs. MYS is one of the oldest valley youth music programs. •Setting high standards in repertoire and performance level •Educating talented and committed students in a professional style orchestra •Amazing audiences with high caliber performances •Giving proven young musicians the opportunity to advance to the next level with conductor recommendations Founded in 1982, Metropolitan Youth Symphony (MYS) is one of the valley’s finest youth orchestra education programs. MYS is dedicated to professional orchestral training for students. Students come from all over the Phoenix Metropolitan area and from a wide variety of economic and cultural backgrounds to play in MYS orchestras. While many of our students hail from the Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler suburbs, some are from as far away as Peoria, Paradise Valley, Apache Junction, and San Tan Valley. Every week these students spend Thursdays studying and playing fantastic music with some of the finest conductors and music educators in Arizona. In addition to our fine orchestral program, we offer a fiddlers program for our Division I and II members. The MYS Fiddlers perform at public and private functions throughout the valley and at our final MYS concert in the Mesa Arts Center.

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent group of people who truly care about my son's music experience! This is our 3rd year and they are great with my son and communication! The smaller ensemble's this year due to Covid have made our experience even more positive and shows how much they truly care about the children in the orchestra!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I myself was a member of MYS from its founding year in 1982 and for 5 years thereafter. Through MYS, I had wonderful experiences--musical, personal, and social! MYS prepared me for All-State orchestra, music camps around the country, college orchestra, and beyond! Both of my kids have participated in MYS. It has grown immensely in the past almost-40 years. The caliber of instruction and performance is unparalleled, and MYS continues to meet the needs of kids throughout the Valley by adding new programs and experiences. During this pandemic, MYS has organized small, socially-distanced chamber groups so that students may continue to make music together. We couldn't be more thankful or impressed!

Gayathri R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MYS is one of the best places the kids can get quality music learning experience. My daughter has been playing french horn for the past one year and her music teachers are extremely knowledgeable. We have seen an amazing growth in her skillset in the past one year. The organization conducts musical concerts several times throughout the year and they are done extremely well with an exemplary professional touch. MYS is definitely a go to place for kids with music interest.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We LOVE MYS! We have been blessed to be apart of this organization for the last couple of years. It has provided so many opportunities for my children. From fundraising marathons to the actual performances it has helped my children to be more well rounded musicians. It is one of the highlights of our week and we are so thankful for all the work that’s put into each year. We have greatly enjoyed each conductor we’ve had the joy of being under. Each conductor has provided unique teaching opportunities to expand the knowledge and skills of their division.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter joined MYS three years ago. We received a scholarship making it possible to continue her private violin lessons as well. We're a homeschool family with 5 kids, and always thought violin lessons and orchestra were not something we could do. MYS made it possible for us, and our daughter, now 10 years old, had grown tremendously in musicianship and made so many friends. They even have a fiddle group! MYS is well run and managed by caring musicians who are also parents and teachers. Everyone goes out of their way to make us feel welcomed & informed. The kids have a great experience performing on a large stage in a professional environment.

Laura P.10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We fell into MYS as a recommendation from my daughters band director. We love the people and the kids who are part of the community. My daughter loves that she is playing with kids who actually like to play their instrument. I love that she is surrounded by a positive music atmosphere. The only way this organization runs though is through the effort of the parents in getting their kids to rehearsals and concerts and the support at home to practice.

Whitney M.6

Donor

Rating: 5

The conductors at MYS treat the kids as professional musicians in training. The music is challenging but attainable. The concert series is an opportunity for the young musicians to experience a live performance behind the scenes. My girls have really enjoyed their experience with MYS.

Dong W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MYS is very professional and kind. My son love there and like to spend time with conductors to play cello.

Client Served

Rating: 5

MYS conductors have motivated and encourages my daughter to strive for her personal best. This organization fills the need in music education to spur kids on to build confidence and vision for themselves. They build a lifelong love of music.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been apart of MYS for the last 5 years, he loved and really enjoyed all the different divisions he attended, He also did their fiddle club and loved it, they have many different divisions and extra activities to participate in which is wonderful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been fortunate to be a part of Metropolitan Youth Symphony this past year. The organization is fabulously organized and truly invested in the young members and their families. My daughter has enjoyed every moment of her journey with MYS and we are thankful to all of the committed staff, conductors, board members and volunteers. She has excelled in her audition and performance skills and made some great friendships in the process.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MYS is a positive force in the Mesa, AZ community. Enriching young people with the joy of music! My son benefited from being in this outstanding organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony began when my son joined the group in January of 2017 as a 6th grader. In the summer of 2017 I became a board member. The directors are caring individuals and great music educators. My son has grown as a musician because of his participation in the group. What impresses me the most about the organization is that MYS is available to a wide range of age groups and skill levels. In addition, they have reached out to the homeschooling community to offer class for those students. This coming year MYS will be adding a guitar class which will reach another group of young musicians. MYS rehearses in a wonderful facility at Mesa Community College and they perform at the Mesa Arts Center which is a fantastic venue for concerts.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Metropolitan Youth Symphony is a cornerstone in the Metro Phoenix youth music community!
It helps students by building confidence, community and technical skills all while playing in a music ensemble that fits their strengths and abilities. My 3 children have thrived while in this organization and 2 have gone on to study music in college. The directors are caring, enthusiastic and great role models. In this time in our Nation, we need positivity! I would recommend MYS to anyone who is looking for an extracurricular music ensemble to join.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sound organization where our child learned and grew, and still doing so!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our family has experienced a wonderful period with our daughter going through MYS for a number of years now. Her level of play, understanding of music, and appreciation for her instrument, and the efforts of her fellow performers have all grown steadily during her time at MYS. I have been a proud supporter of MYS as a parent, financial backer and board member. We're very glad MYS was recommended to us by our daughter's private violin instructor. Thank you, MYS!

Donor

Rating: 5

As a parent of a 2nd year member, I have been completely impressed with the AZMYS. My child has continued to grow in her appreciation of her music, as well as her involvement in a group experience that is fun, challenging and rewarding. Everyone we bring to the concert performances, fundraisers, etc. are all amazed at what they see and hear, grateful for having been awoken to something so special, and enthused to spread their appreciation to their own friends and families. The AZMYS is rightly proud of their history and their achievements, possesses talented and dedicated professionals to educate and coordinate the divisions, and successfully challenges the kids to challenge themselves. I am proud to be a parent, donor, fundraiser, and champion of the AZMYS!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

MYS is an extraordinary orchestral group organisation where the child comes first. MYS has always been financially solvent, has been supportive of members needing scholarship support, and hires outstanding directors to work with children

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MYS is a wonderful organization and a great community partner in shaping our youth in a positive way. They are always well organized, purposeful, and knowledgeable in their rehearsal, performance, and other events. As a music educator I have always appreciated knowing I can refer my students to them and guarantee they will thrive in the MYS environment. Now as a parent if a student in MYS I feel the same way in addition to a sense of pride in that my own family is involved in such an amazing program. I love that there is a place for all student musicians wanting to enhance their musical experience, and I will continue to support this viable and worthwhile program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was part of this organization for 5 years, first as a string player, then as a wind player in the upper orchestra. I could not believe the level of playing coming from these young people. He learned commitment, how to rise to a challenge, team playing, not to mention all the valuable, beautiful music he was exposed to. He also made many great friends. The conductors are experienced professionals who love the kids and bring out the best in them. Their concerts are given at the Mesa Arts Center, an amazing opportunity for the kids to experience a professional venue and give their performance the respect it deserves. I have two more auditioning in the fall - I can't wait to see where this organization is going to take them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in MYS as a student for two years in the mid-1980s, so that must have been near the beginning. I am so thrilled that the organization has flourished and expanded since then! MYS was my first full orchestra experience as a young violinist and it cemented forever my love of orchestral music and the orchestral experience as a musician. Decades later, I have distinct memories of the staff and conductors (including Mr. R) being supportive and encouraging in very real, practical ways and giving their students the experience of rehearsing and playing together in a variety of environments. In high school, I went on to play with the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestra, and I credit MYS with preparing me to do so.

And the summer camps in San Diego - I still remember how amazing that was!

Thank you, MYS, for being such a positive part of my youth.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in MYS when I was a kid, and now I'm an orchestra teacher recommending kids to MYS. During my time in MYS I attended music camp, made great friends, learned about priorities (I had to skip trick or treating in order to make rehearsal one year...tough choice for a kid!) and learned about hard work and dedication. I also of course got to play some amazing music with outstanding musicians and conductors. I was recently asked to identify the when I really fell in love with music, and it hit me that MYS fueled my passion for music more than anything else. MYS is dedicated to kids and works to ensure that EVERY child who wants to participate can. The passion for kids and music is obvious, and the tireless work they do to ensure that kids are getting everything they need is impressive. I am so happy that I now have my own students experiencing the awesomeness of this organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A highlight of my childhood, MYS was worth every minute. I gained a ton of experience as a cellist while making lifelong memories and friends. I often wish I could participate in one more rehearsal, one more summer camp, just one more performance. I am so grateful to have known about and participated in this symphony for as many years as possible. Any young musician would benefit greatly by joining MYS.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 2 boys were both members of MYS. Best thing they have been involved in to date! Thank you Mr Wayne Roederer for founding such an incredible organization. The music that these kids make is amazing! What they take away from there time in MYS is priceless.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

When started 34 years ago, MYS was hoping to have a couple of little orchestras. The turnout was so large that we actually started with three orchestras, one full orchestra and two string orchestras. In order to serve as many young people as possible, the third orchestra consisted of VERY beginning students. If you could play a one octave scale up, YOUR IN!! Sight reading? Many students were Suzuki students who were not yet reading notes but played well. It was quite a mix of excited young musicians.

Now there are five orchestras, a wind ensemble, a fiddling group and a string quartet program. In addition there are eight recital programs, a scholarship competition, an instrument loan program, private lesson assistance for those in need as well as tuition assistance.

Having been involved since the beginning and seeing the growth of the program I can only marvel at the excellence of the people working with the students. The conductors, office staff and volunteers are simply amazing and some of the most dedicated people I have ever seen. If you have a child who loves music, you must look into MYS. It will change your life as it did mine.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

All four of my children have been involved in Metropolitan Youth Symphony. My youngest son is still involved. I would say the thing that Metropolitan did for all of them was open their eyes to possibilities. They were all tops in their school orchestras, but finding out there were others who were "the best", gave them a reason to practice and strive to be better. My oldest son is now playing professionally and teaching orchestra, MYS provided a strong foundation for him. The educators who run MYS provide an amazing professional experience for the children and their parents. And performing in the IKEADA Theater - well that is just the icing on the cake.