The Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) announces the appointment of Benjamin Firer as its new music director to lead the award-winning youth orchestra.
The former conductor, Lawrence Sisk, recently announced his retirement after serving 29 years.
Firer is director of orchestra and opera at Northern Illinois University, where he conducts the NIU Philharmonic and teaches music courses.
At NIU, Firer helped design a new master’s in conducting degree program, and he has built a thriving graduate orchestral conducting studio.
Firer is also conductor of the Northeastern Illinois University and the Chicago Chamber Music Festival.
Firer led the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra during their 50th anniversary season, which culminated a side-by-side concert with the acclaimed Minneapolis Youth Symphony.
A committed educator, he was engaged as a teaching artist through the Yale University Music in Schools Initiative, providing instruction at the John C. Daniels Magnet School while serving as music director of the Yale-Saybrook College Orchestra.
Firer has held posts as interim associate director of orchestras at the Pennsylvania State University, summer philharmonic conductor at the Merit School of Music, director of orchestras at Juniata College and music director of the Central Pennsylvania youth orchestras.
He holds a doctorate in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Yale University.
MYSO is currently holding auditions for the upcoming 2020-2021 Season.
Players will wear masks and be assigned their own music stand to ensure social distancing guidelines.
Rehearsals will take place in the spacious St. Charles Borromeo Convocation Hall on the campus of Lewis University in Romeoville
The fall concert cycle will feature a string orchestra. Wind, brass, and percussion musicians will be welcomed back to MYSO in January 2021.
MYSO is, however, currently accepting all musician submissions through Aug. 19, 20
MYSO currently has openings in all sections of the orchestra: violin, viola, cello, bass, harp, oboe, flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, and percussion.
Players seeking to join the orchestra can visit mysomusic.org for audition requirement.
Membership in MYSO consists of junior high and high school student from over 21 communities surrounding the Joliet area, as well as students from Lewis University and Joliet Junior College.