OYS, Inc. has musicians from Oshkosh, Omro, Neenah, Fond du Lac, Appleton and other surrounding communities within a 60 mile radius of Oshkosh. The OYSSO (Symphony Orchestra) and OYSPhil (Philharmonia) orchestras are structured similarly to professional adult symphonies. They each have 20 to 100 members. In OYSSO all instrument groups are represented. OYSPhil is made up of only stringed instruments. A normal concert season for the OYSSO orchestra includes three public performances and a children’s concert for Oshkosh and surrounding school districts’ third graders. OYSPhil, has two public concerts and participates in a third, Holiday Concert, alongside the musicians of OYSSO. OYS, Inc. concerts are held at the Alberta Kimball Auditorium at Oshkosh West High School, 375 N. Eagle Oshkosh, WI 54902 .
The rehearsal and concert schedule for OYS, Inc. runs from September through March. The season begins with a Registration and Retreat Day on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Regular rehearsals for both orchestras are on Monday evenings at Oshkosh North High School. OYSPhil rehearses in the ONHS Orchestra Room from 6:00-8:00 pm. OYSSO rehearses in the ONHS Band Room from 6:30-8:45 pm. Additional dress rehearsals prior to concerts are scheduled by the conductors. In addition to all the orchestra concerts, OYS Inc. also runs a Chamber Music Program after the regular concert season. Small chamber music groups are formed to practise classical chamber music so that student musicians could take spotlights in a center stage during our annual chamber music fundraiser concert in April.
OYS, Inc orchestras are open to any string, brass, woodwind or percussion students in the Fox River Valley. Orchestra members in grades 6 – 12 are accepted with an occasional exception for either a younger or older musician. Acceptance is based on a successful audition. Auditions are scheduled in April immediately following the spring concert and during the first week of September. E-mail OYSIncMusic@gmail.com to schedule an audition for OYS, Inc. Scholarships available based on need. The membership fees cover approximately one half of the major expenses incurred by OYSSO and Philharmonia during a concert season which include honorariums and salaries paid to conductors and sectional coaches, facility rent, guest artist fees, music purchase and rental, promotional materials, printing and postage.
OYS, Inc. relies heavily on the support of local grants and donations to pay the remaining operational expenses. Contributions made to OYS, Inc. are tax-deductible. Checks, corporate matches, or other gifts may be made payable to OYS, Inc and mailed to: OYS, Inc. PO Box 3093 Oshkosh, WI 54903. Parent involvement is expected, both in supporting their musician and contributing volunteer hours. Parent meetings are normally held 3-4 times throughout the season, with dates, times and locations on the calendar. A parent board helps to coordinate and work with other parents who are active on volunteer committees. All of these efforts make it possible to run a successful youth symphony program.
Here are videos from our 2019 Spring Concert – East Meets West: The Spirit of Community