Metropolitan Youth Symphony was founded in 1974 by Maestro Lajos Balogh with 16 string players and the group grew quickly to 35 members by their first performance in 1975. MYS was founded on the belief that the study of music is an integral part of a child becoming a well-rounded adult. Not only does music promote intellectual and aesthetic knowledge, it also builds leadership skills and creates a supportive, community environment.
MYS provides music education and performance opportunities for young musicians of all ages and levels of experience. Now in our 44th year, we enroll over 500 youth from the Portland Metro and SW Washington areas in 14 ensembles including orchestra, band, jazz, and percussion. New this season, we are offering an entry level String Orchestra on Saturdays in Hillsboro. Additionally, MYS offers theory classes, a mid-winter chamber music program, and a one week summer chamber music camp, Portland Summer Ensembles. Our commitment to access is foundational. MYS has a strong financial aid program that welcomes all students regardless of their financial circumstances, a tuition-free Beginning Strings program with classes on Saturday in Portland and after school in Hillsboro, and a school outreach program that performs 15 in-school concerts each season for over 5,000 students from underserved schools.
MYS Music Director Raul Gomez leads a team of professional conductors and instrumental coaches who work with our students each Saturday at Roseway Heights K-8 in NE Portland and Lincoln Street Elementary in Hillsboro. We believe that quality music education taught in a supportive but challenging environment gives every student musician the opportunity to be successful. MYS is one of the largest youth orchestra programs in the nation and one of only a handful offering a jazz program.