MYSP Programming Update

Dear MYSP Community, Since its founding in 1966, the MYSP has been providing meaningful musical experiences to students for over 54 years. We are committed  to providing music education opportunities for students despite the ongoing pandemic. The programming plan that I am about to share with you only goes through December as we will be reevaluating possibilities while we continue to receive guidance from the Shelby County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control.   It is the responsibility of the MYSP board and staff to make the most informed decisions that we can based on the information provided from scientists and medical professionals. As previously mentioned, we are following guidelines from the Shelby County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control. Our top priority is the safety of our students and families and for that reason, we will not be resuming in-person, large ensemble programming this fall. As disappointing as this news may be, we cannot risk the lives of young people, our families, and our staff.  By providing most of our music education offerings virtually, we are following in the steps of some of our biggest partners including Rhodes College, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and Shelby County Schools. The MYSP will keep looking forward and hope that we can reconvene large ensemble, in-person programming as time goes on. However, this will only be possible if a working vaccine is available, if the virus has been contained, and if we are able to take all the necessary safety precautions including finding a space that will be large enough for social distancing. In the meantime, while we may not be able to be together as usual, we will be providing some wonderful opportunities to keep student musicians engaged this fall. The arts are important now more than ever and we are committed to staying mission relevant even during this difficult time. Upcoming MYSP Programming: Chamber groups Auditioned students from all MYSP ensembles will have the option to register for a MYSP chamber group. Depending on the instrumentation of the group, available venues, health and safety guidelines, and parent comfort levels, these groups will likely rehearse virtually each week culminating in in-person, outdoor performances that will be recorded and shared virtually. The MYSP has drafted a “Health and Safety Guide,” which details precautionary measures implemented for in-person programming. Virtual College Preview Day  On Saturday, August 22, the MYSP is hosting a Virtual College Preview Day. The topics will include the following: picking a college that is right for you; how to write a successful college admission essay; and more useful information about college choice from a variety of institutions from all over the country. This event is free and open to the public.  Virtual Kick Off Weekend To stay in line with MYSP tradition, we will be hosting our annual “Kick Off Weekend” virtually this year. The “Kick Off Weekend” will be on Saturday, September 19th. During the day, the MYSP will host a parent meeting, ensemble social hangouts, and a virtual student solo concert. This event is free and open to the MYSP students and families.  Meet the MYSP Students with Ms. Bovell MYSP students who are interested in being featured will schedule a short Zoom interview with conductor, Ms. Bovell. Ms. Bovell will take some time to learn more about you and your MYSP experiences. These interviews will be shared on social media. This opportunity is free and open to MYSP students. Virtual Lecture Series The MYSP will host a lecture series covering a variety of musical topics with musician panelists of varying expertise from all over the country. These sessions will occur every other week. This series is free and open to the public.  Music Theory 101 Offered in a three-part series, join Rhodes College music theory professor, Dr. Courtenay Harter as she dives into beginning-intermediate level music theory lessons that will help you grow as a musician. These sessions are free and open to the public.  Monthly Virtual Masterclasses  The MYSP will host monthly masterclasses for the following instrument areas: violin, viola, celli and bass, woodwind, brass, percussion once a month. A professional musician will listen and offer feedback to performing students. All students are welcome to attend and learn from this experience. This opportunity is free and open to the public. Limited spots for student performers will be available on a first come, first served basis. Student Advisory Council For a third year, MYSP leadership is excited to engage with a Student Advisory Council. The Student Advisory Council is a volunteer opportunity that is designed to give high school students an opportunity to voice their suggestions and ideas regarding MYSP programming, social events, recruitment, and fundraising. Meetings will be held virtually over Zoom. This opportunity is only open to MYSP students. Virtual Concerto Competition  In mid-October, MYSP students will be invited to submit an at home recording of themselves performing a solo of their choice. Professional musicians will be hired to judge video submissions. Student winners will be selected from all ensembles/levels. A recording of the winners performing with a professional pianist will be released virtually. This opportunity is only open to MYSP students. Closing Remarks Because of the challenging economic climate, we are committing to provide majority free virtual programming, with the exception of a modest fee for participation in chamber ensembles and the virtual concerto competition. While the MYSP has been affected financially by the pandemic, we believe it is important for all students to have accessible music education during this unprecedented global health crisis. If you are able to make a donation to the MYSP to support our mission during this time, please visit Finally, I wanted to add that despite the ongoing pandemic, the MYSP is able to use this time to accomplish many of our strategic goals such as increasing chamber opportunities, adding a lecture series, growing community engagement, and being more inclusive within the Memphis community. Though the start of the season may not look like a typical one, I am hopeful that we will accomplish great things. Thank you for being a valued part of the MYSP community.  All my best,  Brittany Cooper-d’Orsay MYSP Executive Director


Recent Posts

See All