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Student and Parent Testimonials

"Youth symphony has been an amazing experience for me.  It has helped me learn many things, such as how to play in a small group setting, as well as develop my playing, listening, and leadership skills.  I also love being in a group of people my age who enjoy music as much as I do.  I am so grateful for the chance I have had to participate over the last few years and can’t wait to continue to do so.”  Madison 
"Music plays a huge role in my life and symphony orchestra is a cherished piece of that puzzle. I greatly enjoy my time I spend working on the music and playing with the symphony. I have learned so much and grown as a musician because of this wonderful opportunity."  Jase
"As a parent, I'm so grateful for the Youth Orchestra.  My daughter has taken individual violin lessons for several years, but hadn't had much opportunity to learn to play in a group.  What a delight to see her learn various musical styles and pieces over the course of the year under the tutelage of conductors who inspire love and enthusiasm for music.  My daughter's love for music grew over the course of the year, and her skills did as well. I look forward to her future opportunities to grow as a musician through her participation in the Youth Orchestra."  Kari 
"The youth orchestra was a very good experience for our daughter, Eliza, age 7.  She was introduced to new repertoire, made new friends, and challenged her musical understanding and abilities.  She grew in her knowledge of general music, yet also learned a lot of technique for the violin.  We especially appreciated the patience that Natalia showed in working with the group of students.  Her kindness made the experience extra special."  Danika 
"Youth symphony has opened the door for me as a woodwind for an inspiring symphonic experience and has shaped me into the musician I am today. I have made so many friends through youth symphony as well. It was also great to have playing opportunities outside of the school setting."  Sophia 

"As a parent, it has been very rewarding to see my daughter participate in Youth Orchestra.  Performing in YO has boosted her confidence and given her the opportunity to understand how to work as part of a group, rather than just as an individual musician.  It also provides another reason for self-discipline and purposeful practice."  JoEllen 

"Being in Youth Orchestra helped me to learn how to listen to other instruments and make adjustments in my playing.  It helped me listen for cues in other instrument parts, and know when to come in for my part.  I am less nervous performing now and more confident in my stage etiquette, since I've done more performing as part of the Orchestra.  I also met new people and made some good friends."  Lydia
"Before joining youth symphony, the concept of seeing beyond the notes was foreign to me. I could read music, sure, but I was missing out on a whole world of expression and interpretation - not to mention a wealth of connections and opportunities. With each practice, I explored what it meant to be a musician rather than a machine. I honed my ability to actually feel the music - both as a single musician and as a united group. Through it all, I was accompanied by students who shared my passion and aided by a conductor who pushed me past the boundaries of what I believed I was capable of. I would not be the musician or the person I am today without this experience."  Mackenzie S, cello 

"Since my daughter has joined the youth symphony, her confidence has grown exponentially. She loves playing concerts with her group and has made so many friend.  She has learned what it means to play with a group and follow the conductor.  Each student contributes their own strengths and combines it with the other students to make beautiful music.  It has been so much fun to see the group progress and grow together!" - Brenda F, parent

“I had a wonderful experience being in the youth symphony! I learned many valuable skills surrounding chamber music playing. My time with has definitely benefited my violin playing as I have transitioned to college.” – Karlee

“Youth Orchestra gives me an opportunity to perform with an advanced group playing more challenging music.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in joining.” – Tiffany, cello 

“I like being able to perform more difficult pieces and it helps improve my orchestra grades in school.” – Emma, cello 

“I learned many valuable skills surrounding chamber music playing. My time with BMSYO has definitely benefited my violin playing as I have transitioned to college.” – Karlee Black, biology major at Concordia

“The BMSYO was a small, close-knit community where I felt comfortable asking any musical question.  The environment during rehearsal was conducive to communicating, learning, and playing as an ensemble. I am more comfortable playing in larger and more diverse ensembles because of the skills I learned in the Youth Orchestra.” – Hunter Huff Towle, concertmaster of Concordia Orchestra

Donate to the BMSYO

The Youth Orchestra is one of the grandest elements of the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra. Because of our fervent desire to foster young musical talent, we do everything we can to keep these young people playing. Part of our efforts include providing scholarships for young musicians in need. Please consider supporting the Youth Orchestra’s mission of helping as many young people as possible hone their skills and become the future performers in our community and beyond. Your DONATION to the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Youth Orchestra will help us to continue these outreach efforts.