Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra

A nonprofit organization

Paramount Theater: Local Root Series Performance

The MARK WOOD: Electrify Your Strings Event (2018) was organized & provided by CMYO.  Funds were provided by the Central MN Arts Board, through local business sponsors, and fundraising support by donors like you.  

Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra Mission Statement

"To  provide a unique orchestral experience leading to performances that  shape, educate, and inspire lives of developing youth musicians in the  communities of Central Minnesota."

The Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 2013.   The Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra inspires and prepares students to become passionate leaders in their community or school  programs by being a good example through music preparation, listening to instructions, ensemble awareness, and enhancing their musical knowledge and instrumental  skills.


Families involved in the Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra participate in a Fair Share program.  Rather than paying tuition, families are shown the expense involved to make the program successful and asked to make a pledge for the year.

Advantages of this system include the opportunity for families to pay based on their financial ability without dealing with scholarship applications.  Additionally, the fair share program could be used as a tax deductible contribution.

Key Points:

  • Allows any student who qualifies for an ensemble to participate, regardless of the family’s financial circumstances
  • Removes the need to provide subsidy scholarships that would require more guardian information and paperwork
  • Allows payments to be treated as a donation that can be used as a write-off on personal taxes


CMYO partners with many venues and educational institutions in the region.  Students experience beautiful locations to perform including Saint Cloud State University Ruth Gant Recital Hall, Saint John's University Great Hall, College of Saint Benedict Rehearsal Hall, Salem Lutheran Church, and the Paramount Theater.

The program performs two to three thematic concerts a year.  In addition, CMYO ensembles performs at other events including a lobby performance for the St. Cloud Symphony, collaborate with other ensembles like the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota, and large scale workshops like the Mark Wood EYS.


CMYO offer students opportunities to experience professional performances like the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Society, and major events like the Mark Wood Experience.

Plus, CMYO continues to provide opportunities to local events like the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra.  A field trip is planned every year at little to no expense for the CMYO families.


A wide range of local to international guest artists meet with the CMYO ensembles to solo at concerts, perform recitals, and conduct master classes.  This musical exposure assists students with their continued growth as musicians.

Each week, the Intermezzo and Encore ensembles join in a class that features a mix of music history, music theory & ear training, conducting, critical study, and practice & performance discussions.

Several local teachers from schools and private studios become mentors to assist students with their music during rehearsals and performances.


CMYO offers four ensembles designed to place students based on similar skill levels.  Each ensemble requirements continue to challenge the students as they progress in their instrumental skills. 

In addition, a new student committee has been formed to help shape & grow the vision of the CMYO program.

Board of Directors: http://www.cmyo.org/Board_&_Staff.html

Directors/Instructors: http://www.cmyo.org/Directors_&_Mentors.html


Recently, CMYO has taken on the challenge to be more transparent about who we are, what we do with funding, and our impact we make in the region.  As we move forward, we will continue to update and refine our actions to continue to improve the program that best serves this region.   This is CMYO’s commitment to you and to your children.  

Organization Data


Organization name

Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Children & Family


P.O. Box 671

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