Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

PICS Organization Name            
Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

Milwaukee, WI

Organization Description

Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) nurtures, challenges, and inspires young minds through music, profoundly changing their lives and our community for the better.

Programs foster critical thinking skills, creativity, and collaboration through more than 40 ensemble and enrichment options, ranging from symphony, string orchestras, jazz and steel pan bands, to music theory, composition, chamber music, and international tours providing high quality musical experiences to students from all backgrounds. Students, ages 8 to 18, rehearse weekly at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, giving concerts in venues throughout the region.

Recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally for its excellence, MYSO is among the most successful and respected youth orchestra programs in the nation. With 1,000 young musicians from more than 200 schools, 60 communities, and 90 zip codes throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, it is the largest after-school youth orchestra program in the United States. The organization impacts an additional 6,000+ children annually through its free Community Concert Series, and 25,000+ audience members each year through 100+ formal and outreach concerts throughout the community.

MYSO connects our community through collaborative partnerships, engaging diverse populations and representation from the region in which we live and work. This is illustrated in the incredible growth in student diversity – from 12% students of color in 2003 to nearly 50% today. A unique example of this commitment is our facility, the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) which MYSO developed in an innovative collaboration with First Stage. Located in Milwaukee’s central city, MYAC also serves as a safe and welcoming facility for all children to engage in the arts.

Programming includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced ensembles, creating a ladder for advancement throughout participation. Students audition annually for membership and for seating assignments within their ensemble. Involvement in ensembles is fee-based, and the organization works diligently to ensure programming is affordable and accessible to all; membership fees cover less than one-third of the actual cost and are as low as $725 for the 2020-21 season. Since inception, MYSO remains committed to making its programs available to all qualified musicians; financial assistance is provided to those with demonstrated need.

At present, nearly 40% of the student body receives financial aid for membership, private lessons, transportation, instruments, and more. This investment to remove financial barriers for students is budgeted to surpass $330,000 in 2020-21.

MYSO programming was recognized as a 2015 winner of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, the highest honor of its kind for after school youth arts and humanities programming in the nation. MYSO remains the only youth orchestra in the country to receive this recognition.

MYSO has a history of sponsoring engaged servant leaders through our participation in the Marquette University Trinity Fellows Program. Trinity Fellows are matched to our organization and work with us for the 2 years of their Masters program. Trinity Fellows have been integral in providing significant support in our development, marketing, & finance efforts over the years. I am confident a Princeton intern will be equally valuable and successful.

Internship Description

Position Background Information: The duties contained in this job description are flexible and may be tailored to the intern's interests. Additionally, over the course of the fellowship, MYSO is dedicated to training and/or shadowing senior leadership to the intern, depending on the intern's interests. This will not only occur through attending meetings and the research as noted below, but also through direct contact and mentoring by the MYSO senior leadership team not only in development and marketing, but also in strategic development, finance, and artistic programming. A music background is not necessary to successfully fulfill the requirements of this position.

Job Summary: The PICS intern will develop and refine skills essential to the successful philanthropic goals of a non-profit organization. Participate in Development strategy, database analysis, digital and web content development.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Development:
    • Assist with the creation and implementation of the Development Plan that incorporates a range of strategies including annual appeals, major donors, grants, corporate and individual appeals, social media and special events.
    • Assist with the production and implementation of appeal campaigns and other fundraising communications and strategies.
    • Attend networking events with the Development team to increase professional network, refine relationship management skills, and enhance MYSO outreach and capacity.
  • Database Management
    • Database management projects including data clean up and maintenance.
  • Grants
    • Assist in grant research, tracking, and reporting.
    • Assist in updating grant calendar within database.
  • Marketing/Communication
    • Help develop content and coordinate affiliate social media posts including event outreach and visibility strategy.
    • Assist in updating and managing Development and Alumni pages on MYSO website and social media outlets.
    • Assist with production of Alumni e-newsletter.
  • Events
    • Helps coordinate and implement events, when applicable. Work with staff in establishing and adhering to event budget, assist with event preparation, and attend events to assist in set up, implementation, and clean up.
Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$450 8 None 9:00 am 5:00 pm No Yes No Yes

Internship Qualifications


  • Must have a sincere desire to learn and execute all aspects of the position.
  • The ability to take knowledge and transform it into exciting and useful information and disseminate it to the right audiences through the best distribution channels is critical.
  • Knowledge of and experience in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint is critical to success.
  • Highly collaborative style; experience in program research, development and implementation strategies a plus
  • A strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently
  • High energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position program discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, program participants, and other supporters
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong ability to think strategically and creatively.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills.
  • Be extremely organized with high attention to detail.
  • Be action and results oriented.


Experience in databases, research, music, the arts, development, marketing, and/or communications will be useful for this internship

Writing sample required?   

Yes: One - two page sample stating why you are interested in this opportunity.

Additional Info
Background check required