The members of the 2018 Mankato Area Youth Symphony Orchestra, or MAYSO for short, will be presenting the culmination of several months’ preparation, Ready Player One: Free Music Concert. The theme, based on old and new video games, was chosen to make it fun for the student participants.

MAYSO Summer 2018 Poster
MAYSO Summer 2018 Poster

The MAYSO summer programs offers students the opportunity to hone their skills with a larger group. Dave Stordalen, MAYSO Summer Winds Director explained, “There will be students coming from far south as Fairmont, from the north as far as Hutchinson, from the east and west Waseca and Mountain Lake.” Many of these students don’t have the opportunity to play with larger groups during the school year.

According to Carolyn Borgen, MAYSO Executive Director, “We have a full orchestra so that means that there’s brass, winds and strings all playing together. And then we do breakout sessions. The strings players will work directly with the strings director and have a chance to work on some of their skill set. The same goes for brass and winds. They go off with another director and work directly with them on a couple of songs.”

“We pride ourselves on preparing students to play college level music once they reach MAYSO.”

Scene from the 2017 MAYSO summer performance. Mark Wamma, strings director, professional musician and MAYSO alumnus helping out with percussion.
Scene from the 2017 MAYSO summer performance. Mark Wamma, strings director, professional musician and MAYSO alumnus helping out with percussion.

Why an organization like MAYSO? According to Stordalen, “In Europe, there is a stepping stone process. Regional to National. America doesn’t have those things, that’s why you see these youth orchestras.” Borgen added, “We pride ourselves on preparing students to play college level music once they reach MAYSO.”

A free community art project for all ages will also be offered during the concert. Afterwards, there will be a “musical petting zoo,” an opportunity to handle and try various instruments. “Thanks to Music Mart,” Borgen said, “they’re lending us instruments. So if the students want to they can come up and try the flute, violin, or other instruments. We call it a musical petting zoo because the kids can come up and handle the instruments.”

There is no fee for summer MAYSO concerts. Ready Player One will be performed at the Leas Schwickert Arts Pavilion in Sibley Park, Mankato on June 24th at 3:00 pm. It will also be presented as part of the Library Rocks programming at the St. Peter Public Library on June 27th at 6:30 pm.

Additional Links

MAYSO Facebook Page
Sibley Park listing on MankatoLIFE