If you have trouble with any of the forms below, please contact Tiffany Bell, Education & Community Engagement Manager.
New this season, those accepted into WSYO membership or returning for the 2017-2018 season can register AND PAY their tuition online through the forms below. Click the link below that matches the Orchestra you have been accepted into to complete your registration and pay via credit card. Checks are also still accepted if you do not wish to pay online, however you will still need to fill out the form below to complete your registration. Simply select "Pay by Check" on the payment page, make your check payable to "WSO" and mail to Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras, 225 W Douglas Ave, Suite 207, Wichita, KS 67202.
Please fill out one form per student
Family discount options for are available through these forms if you are registering more than one student.
Please Note! WSYO membership for new members is subject to an entry audition. If you completed a registration form and have never auditioned to join WSYO you will be notified of the next WSYO audition membership audition and eligibility requirements.
If you wish to participate in the WSYO Honors Usher Program in the 2017-2018 season, please fill out the form below:
If you do not accept membership or do not plan to return to the WSYO program in the 2017-2018 season, please fill out the form below:
Founded in 1947, our Youth Symphony is a charter member of the Youth Symphony Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras. Today, the Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras Program (WSYO) is made up of three orchestras that serve over 260 students from 22 cities and towns in central Kansas and northern Oklahoma.
YOUTH SYMPHONY: Founded in 1947, the Youth Symphony is recognized as the foremost youth orchestra in central Kansas and features top student musicians throughout central Kansas and northern Oklahoma. Members perform a wide variety of standard and emerging orchestral masterpieces, including full symphonies and works by living composers. The Youth Symphony performs two concerts at Century II Concert Hall each season and participates in the WSYO Fall Educational Outreach Tour at local schools. Members meet in regular sectionals with professional community musicians and members of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. The Youth Symphony is open to students entering grades seven through twelve next season and has openings for strings, winds, and percussion.
REPERTORY ORCHESTRA: Serving as the largest WSYO orchestra, the Repertory Orchestra provides members with the opportunity to perform orchestral masterpieces and contemporary film music. This intermediate orchestra prepares its members for musical participation in the Youth Symphony, and members also meet in regular sectionals with professional community musicians and members of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. They perform two concerts at Century II Concert Hall each season and participate in the WSYO Fall Educational Outreach Tour to local schools. The Repertory Orchestra is open to students entering grades seven through twelve next season and has openings for strings, winds, and percussion.
YOUTH CHAMBER PLAYERS: Our youngest orchestra, the Youth Chamber Players is WSYO's only string orchestra, and it prepares young musicians to advance into the Repertory Orchestra as they grow and develop their skills. Members improve individual playing technique, develop ensemble skills, and gain valuable performing experience. They perform two concerts at Century II Concert Hall each season and participate in the WSYO Fall Educational Outreach Tour at local schools. The Youth Chamber Players is open to students entering grades four through ten next season and has openings for violin, viola, cello, and double bass.
Membership is by audition only. Members must also have the recommendation of their orchestra and/or band directors. (Exceptions are made for students from schools that have no orchestra or band program and students that are homeschooled.)
Members of WSYO are required to participate in Saturday morning rehearsals from 9am to 12pm, and some Sunday afternoon rehearsals from 2pm - 5pm. WSYO holds only one rehearsal per weekend except for concert weekend dress rehearsals.
Rehearsals are usually held at the Duerksen Fine Arts Center on the Wichita State University campus. Some rehearsals may occur at Wichita High School East and Century II Concert Hall.
WSYO concert seasons typically run from mid-August through March with a break from rehearsals during December. (Subject to Change)
For More Information:
For more information on the Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras Program (WSYO), contact Tiffany Bell, Education & Community Engagement Director at 316-267-5259 ext 105 or email@example.com.
Dr. Mark Laycock
Director of Youth Orchestras Program
Youth Symphony Conductor
Fred and Mary Koch Foundation Endowed Chair
Dr. Laycock serves as the Director of Orchestras at Wichita State University where he holds the Ann Walenta Faculty of Distinction Endowed Professorship; he serves as Director of Orchestras and Coordinator of Strings. Recent activities of the WSYO Symphony Orchestra include international tours to Spain and Canada, a concert at Carnegie Hall, and multiple invited performances at Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) In-Service Workshops. Dr. Laycock has conducted the Wichita Symphony Orchestra in Classics, Pops, and Young People's Concerts. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic; he is Chair of Orchestra Activities. He has conducted All-State, Region, and District orchestras throughout the country. In May 2016, he presented professional development sessions for instrumental music educators in Brisbane, Australia and returned in September to conduct the Sir Charles Mackerras String Orchestra of the Queensland State Honours Ensemble Program. He earned a Doctor of Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Laycock holds a Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music history and literature from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Wesley DeSpain, Conductor
Delmar and Mary Klocke Endowed Chair
Dr. Wesley DeSpain began directing the high school and middle school orchestras of the Derby Public Schools in the Fall of 2010. He conducted the Friends University Community Orchestra from 2010 - 2014 and is currently in his sixth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Delano Chamber Orchestra. Dr. DeSpain was the Interim Director of Orchestras at Wichita State University for two years (2004 - 2006) and performed as clarinetist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra for 25 seasons (1984 - 2009). His summer activities include teaching at Camp Allegro and directing two youth orchestras sponsored by the Delano Chamber Players. He is an alum of WSYO and was a member of the Youth Symphony during his Junior and Senior years at Wichita East High School. Dr. DeSpain holds degrees from Baptist Bible College (B.A.), Wichita State University (B.M.E., M.M.E., M.M.), and the University of Oklahoma (D.M.A.). He served as Chair of the Kansas Music Educators Assocation All-State Orchestra from 2015 - 2017.
Eric L. Crawford, Conductor
Eric Crawford was born in Dayton, Ohio, where he began playing the double bass at age ten. He received his Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Eastman School in Rochester, New York, and his Master of Music degree from Wichita State University. Mr. Crawford has played with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra for 19 seasons and with the Music Theatre Wichita pit orchestra for 15 seasons. He currently teaches orchestra at Wichita High School East, where he is also the Chair of the Performing Arts Department. Mr. Crawford serves as the Orchestra Curriculum Coach for the Wichita Public Schools. An active clinician and guest conductor, Mr. Crawford has directed numerous student groups throughout the midwest. He is also the Program Director for "Bows at the Barn," a summer camp for middle school and high school orchestra students. He served as President of the Kansas chapter of the American String Teachers Association from 2013 - 2015 and is current President of the Wichita Musician's Association.
Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras activities are made possible with the generous support provided by Textron Aviation, The Sam and Rie Bloomfield Foundation, and The City of Wichita.
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Every year, the Wichita Symphony holds the annual Youth Talent competition for members of the Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras. The auditions are open to the public. The selection committee for these awards consists of the conductors of the Repertory Orchestra and Youth Symphony and two professional musicians from the community. These auditions showcase the talent of Wichita’s brightest young musicians and provide opportunities for scholarships to attend music camps and post-secondary schools as future music majors.
Open to all seniors in the Youth Orchestras Program. The first place winner will perform with the Youth Symphony in the spring concert and is awarded a cash prize. If selected, the second place winner will perform with the Repertory Orchestra in the spring concert and is also awarded a cash prize. Each candidate must audition with the musical selection to be performed with the orchestra.
This award is open to all members of the Youth Orchestras Program. It provides a partial scholarship to the Interlochen Music Camp, Aspen Music School, the Brevard Music Festival or other comparable music camp.
This is awarded to the winning wind or percussion player at the Youth Talent Auditions. In the event the winner of the Youth Talent Award is a wind or percussion player, the Senseney Award will be presented to the second place wind or percussion player. The Senseney Award includes a cash prize.
This is awarded to the winning string player at the Youth Talent Auditions. If the Youth Talent Award is presented to a string player, the McHugh Award will be presented to the second place string player. The McHugh Award includes a cash prize.
A $1500 award will be presented during the spring concert to a graduating senior in the Youth Orchestras Program. Selection of a recipient is based on artistic excellence, potential, attitude, overall involvement in the Youth Orchestras Program and the pursuit of a music major following graduation.
The Janice Hupp Memorial Fund was established in 1999 upon her death to recognize her dedication and service to music and music education in south-central Kansas. A product of the Wichita Public School system herself, Ms. Hupp was a member of the Wichita Youth Orchestras as a student. From 1978-1988, she served as Manager of the Youth Orchestras Program. Through these awards, her legacy of helping aspiring students achieve their goals will be continued in perpetuity. Those wishing to make contributions to the Janice Hupp Memorial Fund should contact the Wichita Symphony Orchestra at 316-267-5259.
Established in 2002 by Eldon Lipp’s family to recognize his decades of service and dedication to the string students of our region, the student winning this prize is allowed to perform for a year on the beautiful memorial viola bearing the Eldon Lipp memorial inscription.
A $500 scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating senior who will be enrolled as a music major in college. Those wishing to make contributions to the Paul Conrad Woolwine “Rising Star” String Scholarship should contact the Wichita Symphony Orchestra at (316) 267-5259.
The Paul Conrad Woolwine Violin Award was established in 2012 by his family as a tribute to his years as a member of the Youth Orchestras Program. A student winning this prize is allowed to perform for a year on this wonderful violin.
Additional awards may also be presented in the spring to seniors. Each scholarship is awarded to members in the Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras Program who have exemplified excellence in the program. Recommendations for these awards are made by the artistic and administrative staff.