MYSO surpasses $2M scholarship goal

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:44 am

The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has exceeded its goal of $2 million within Fran’s Fund, a scholarship fund created in 2008 to grant music opportunities to underprivileged kids in southeastern Wisconsin.

The nearly $2.1 million raised during the 2012 campaign came from more than 500 individual donors, foundations and local corporations.

“We’re proud of a very wide base of community support for this effort,” said Emily Stern, MYSO development director.

Named in honor of former MYSO Executive Director Fran Richman and her goals surrounding music education, the fund was established to meet the growing scholarship needs of MYSO students and accommodate the expansion of MYSO Community Partnership Programs. The programs, started in 2003, include a number of diversity and outreach initiatives that serve about 300 young Milwaukee musicians with string training programs, jazz studies and a performance series program.

Another 5,000 individuals are impacted by outreach concerts.

The $2.1 million funding will provide the MYSO a safety net to continue offering quality music services and explore additional growth opportunities. The MYSO, which distributes about $200,000 in tuition and lesson scholarships to students each year, hopes to stretch the $2.1 million donations out over the next 20 years.

“This fund helps us really back the aspect of our mission that says no student will be denied participation due to financial constraints,” Stern said.

Moving forward, Fran’s Fund will largely benefit students progressing into higher level MYSO music groups.

“The legacy created by the generous donors to Fran’s Fund ensures MYSO’s longstanding promise to support any student in its programs, regardless of financial position,” said Linda Edelstein, current MYSO executive director. “On behalf of the thousands of students and families who will benefit from these resources, MYSO is grateful for the community support of this important initiative.”

The experiences MYSO offers underserved kids through its programming are instrumental in changing their lives, Edelstein said.

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