Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Annual Meeting Highlights 2016-17 Season

Milwaukee, WI – On Monday, November 13, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) held its Annual Meeting to share highlights of its 2016-17 season and to announce its Board of Directors for 2017-18.


Highlights of the year include:

  • The unveiling of a new mission statement–“We nurture, challenge, and inspire young minds through music, profoundly changing lives and our community for the better”–and logo in 2016-17.
  • Affirmation of the organization’s mission by an alumni survey.
    • Two out of three agree that MYSO strongly influenced who they are personally, and credited MYSO with giving them life skills such as focus, time-management, leadership, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence.
    • Alumni most commonly credit MYSO for its challenging curricula and high demands placed on them by staff and peers. They describe rising to challenges and reaching heights they were not previously aware they could achieve.
    • Alumni tend to be philanthropically inclined, with 55% donating up to $1,000 to charities.
  • An 11-day concert tour to Argentina and Uruguay, in the summer of 2017.
    • The 81-member orchestra presented three performances in Teatro El Circulo in Rosario, Argentina, the Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires, and, in a sold-out show, at the Teatro Solis, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Continuing success for MYSO’s programs, confirmed by an annual survey of students, parents, MYSO instructors, and classroom teachers. Findings show:
    • MYSO offers high quality and consistently positive results.
      • 87% grew their cognitive skills; 73% grew their character skills, and 91% grew their musical skills.


The following individuals will serve on MYSO’s Board of Directors for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2018:


Directors and Officers, 2017-18 


  • Mike Jordan, American Red Cross, Senior Development Officer


  •  Mark J. Goldstein, Goldstein Law Group, S.C., President/Attorney


  • Jennifer Mattes, Johnson Controls, Director, Executive Engagement


  • Craig Peotter, Baird, Finance Director


  • Richard Buchband, ManpowerGroup Inc., Senior VP and General Counsel
  • Amy Croen, Geneva Capital Management, Co-founder
  • Myra Edwards, City of Milwaukee Office of the Mayor, Senior Advisor
  • Erik Eisenmann, Husch Blackwell LLP, Attorney/Partner
  • Patricia Ellis, EdD, Midwest Educational Services, LLC, President/CEO
  • David Frank, PNC Bank, Senior Vice President – Region Manager
  • Tim Frautschi, Foley & Lardner, Retired Partner
  • Troy A. Hilliard, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C., Attorney
  • Renee Johnson, WEC Energy Group,
  • Greg Kliebhan, Marquette University (Retired), Senior and Corporate Vice President
  • Robert Monnat, Mandel Group, Inc., Partner/Chief Operating Officer
  • Jamshed Patel, Foley & Lardner, Attorney
  • John Pienkos, Husch Blackwell LLP, Partner
  • Andrew Sajdak, Stan’s Fit For Your Feet, Partnership Manager
  • Matt Sauer, Northwestern Mutual, Senior Director
  • Kent A. Tess-Mattner, Schmidt, Rupke, Tess-Mattner & Fox, S.C., Attorney/Shareholder
  • Michael Van Handel, ManpowerGroup (Retired),
  • Jan Wade, WISN TV, President and General Manager
  • Rick Walters, Hal Leonard LLC, Vice President, Classical & Vocal Publications
  • Christine Williams, Marcus Corporation, Senior Director, Marketing

Retiring MYSO Board Members:

·      Dennis Garrett, PhD

·      Patty Hanz

·      Paul Mathews




Since 1956, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has been nurturing, challenging, and inspiring generations of students, profoundly changing lives and our community for the better. MYSO has grown from one orchestra and 30 students to become the largest after-school youth orchestra in the country, and one of the most respected. We serve 1,000 of the area’s young musicians who come from more than 200 schools, 60 communities, and as many as 14 counties throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. We also provide outreach programs to an additional 5,000 youth annually through the more than 80 concerts we perform.


The importance of MYSO as a catalyst for youth development and community change has not gone unnoticed.In our 2015-16 season, MYSO received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the country’s highest honor for after school youth arts and humanities programs, presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. MYSO is the only youth orchestra in the country ever to have received this recognition.


Today we offer more than 40 ensembles and supplemental training options, ranging from symphony, string orchestras, jazz and steel pan bands, to music theory, composition, and international tours, providing quality musical experiences for a wide range of skill levels.


For more information about MYSO and its many programs, please visit


MYSO is a proud founding member of the United Performing Arts Fund.



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