Founded in 2010, the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra is a free summer festival ensemble dedicated to providing an intensive small orchestra experience for advanced high school and college musicians. Led by Co-Artistic Directors Mikko Rankin Utevsky (conductor) and Thalia Coombs (concertmaster), the orchestra prepares a full program over the course of each one-week summer session, culminating in a public concert.
We focus on the collaborative experience of a mixed-level small ensemble (25-35 players), and the freedom it allows for exploring stylistically challenging music. Particular emphasis is given to masterworks of the Classical period and contemporary music: the orchestra frequently presents world premieres, and has commissioned works from five composers in its first six seasons. Partnerships with local soloists and composers (ranging from advanced students to established professional performers and teachers) are integral to the program. Other special offerings include a Historical Performance program with members of the Madison Bach Musicians and a unique Conducting Apprenticeship Program. See Special Programs for more information.
Participation is open to players from 8th grade through graduate school, and is free of charge.
MAYCO is made possible in part by a grant from the Madison Arts Commission, with additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board. The orchestra has been recognized by the Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) at its 2013 awards through the First Chair Award for community leadership by young musicians, and with a first-place grant from the UW New Arts Venture Challenge.