Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra
MISSISSIPPI YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHSTRA
ALEX ENCINAS, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, MSO
RAUL GOMEZ, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR
COTINA WICKS, CONDUCTOR
MYSO is now housed on the campus of Millsaps College at the Gertrude Ford Academic Complex – part of an expanded partnership between the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the College. It consists of two string groups with more experienced musicians playing in Philharmonia (conducted by Raul Gomez), while our younger, up-and-coming musicians play in Sinfonietta (conducted by Cotina Wicks).
Rehearsals take place on Saturday mornings and include extensive sectionals and coaching with professional musicians of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.
LEARN ALL ABOUT THE MYSO PROGRAMS and HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE AT: MYSOMS.ORG
You will find schedule information, tuition, blogs, videos and more involving our outstanding young musicians.
The tuition fee depends upon orchestra placement. Once orchestra placement is determined, you will receive an email indicating placement. Full tuition payment will be collected at the first rehearsal.
Our top orchestra level is Philharmonia and is conducted by Mr. Raúl Gómez. The next level is Sinfonietta and is by conducted by Ms. Cotina Wicks. Musicians will audition to be placed in one of these levels. Although, we have scaled the orchestras to just two levels and to strings only at this time, our goal is to add additional instruments and levels as appropriate over time to truly become a full orchestra.
ABOUT OUR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR:
Raúl Gómez is a rising young conductor increasingly recognized for his highly engaging and expressive performances. In high demand as a conductor and violinist, Raúl is known for his ability to connect and interact with audiences of all kinds. A versatile musical talent, he is active and comfortable in a variety of musical genres and styles, including classical music, pops, jazz and free improvisation.
In October of 2013, Raúl served as guest conductor for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s sold-out gala celebrating the grand re-opening of the Saenger Theatre, a newly restored New Orleans landmark. Since then, Raúl has become a regular guest conductor for the LPO, conducting park and educational concerts in New Orleans and its neighboring cities.
Raúl is the Music Director and co-founder of Compleat Stage, a New Orleans-based 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collaborative interdisciplinary performing arts and education (http://www.compleatstage.org). Starting in the Fall of 2014, Raúl also serves as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Previous season highlights include appearances with the Orquesta de la Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes in México and a special presentation as a featured speaker in Costa Rica’s TEDx PuraVida. In 2013 Raúl was appointed as a Conducting Fellow with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania, where he worked with Music Director Diane Wittry and the Allentown Symphony Chorus.
In 2012 Raúl was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Sinfonietta Belo Horizonte in Brazil and served as Assistant Conductor of Louisiana Sinfonietta in Baton Rouge, LA. He made appearances as guest conductor with Nicholls State University Orchestra, LSU Symphony Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of Panama, the Contemporary String Ensemble in New Orleans and the Premier Orchestral Institute in Madison, Mississippi. An avid supporter of new music, Raúl has recently conducted three world premieres: Liduino Pitombeira’s Concerto for Piano 4 Hands, Ronaldo Cadeu’s ballet Crime and Punishment, and New Orleans jazz legend Wardell Quezergue’s posthumous premiere of his “Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” which was recorded for broadcast by WWOZ, New Orleans.
As a 2011 Conducting Fellow at Aspen Music Festival, Raúl worked with Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Larry Rachleff and Murry Sidlin. Additionally, he has participated in master classes with David Effron, Carl Topilow, Theodore Kuchar, Diane Wittry, Mark Scatterday, Donald Hunsberger and Michael Votta.
Starting in June 2011, Raúl served as the founding Artistic Director of Kids’ Orchestra, a year round program designed to foster social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baton Rouge. After a successful first year during which Raúl led a team of teachers that changed the lives of close to 100 students, he continues his involvement with the organization as Artistic Advisor. His work with Kids’ Orchestra made him the recipient of the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Young Artist Humanitarian Award in 2012.