Community Outreach


Young Artists’ Competition
In the fall of each year, students of orchestral instruments and piano, grades 9 through 12 in southeastern Wisconsin are invited to compete in the RSO Young Artists’ Competition. This competition, has been conducted by the RSO for over 30 years. Young musicians audition before a panel of judges, playing approved music that can be performed with the orchestra. Cash prizes are presented to the first, second and third place “winners” and the first place winner also gets to perform with the RSO. Competitors are also invited to play with members of the RSO in the April Side by Side Classical Concert. This season, the Young Artists’ Competition will be held on Sunday, February 14, 2016, beginning 1:00 pm. Additional information, including the application, will be available as the Competition date approaches.

Annual RSO Concerts for Fifth Grade Students
For over 50 years, the RSO has offered fifth grade students in the Racine area a concert that introduces them to classical music played by a live orchestra. Cumulatively, more than 85,000 fifth grade students have attended these concerts. Each year, students attend a 45 to 50 minute concert performed by professional members of the RSO and conducted by the RSO’s Artistic Director. The performance is designed to spotlight classical repertoire specific to instruments or musical elements such as tempo, rhythm or pitch. The public is invited free of charge to attend these Concerts.

Side-by-Side Youth Invitational
The Side-by-Side Youth Invitational concert invites local high school students to play in the orchestra and be mentored by the orchestra’s professional musicians. Up to 30 students are selected through an audition process, to rehearse and perform, with the Concertmaster and principal players in the week long rehearsal workshop, culminating with a public performance. Classical chamber music from such composer as Haydn, Warlock, Beethoven or Mozart are performed.

Artist in Residence Program
The RSO invites a professional musician, to come to Racine for a week-long “Artist in Residence.” During this residency, the musician is scheduled to perform at a variety of venues and settings ranging from preschools to nursing homes. The Artist in Residence makes 15-20 appearances during the residency teaching and performing for hundreds of people, from elementary, middle, high school and college students and a wide diversity of ethnic groups. The Artist in Residence also performs a free recital for the public, and is the soloist at either the RSO’s Fall Classical Concert or at the RSO’s Annual Fifth Grade Concerts. Recent artists have included three violinists (one from New York City, one from Chicago and one from Boston), a cellist from Chicago, a pianist and a composer.

Holiday Pops High School Choral Invitational
Every year, the Orchestra presents a Holiday POPS concert featuring seasonal music. An integral part of this POPS concert involves members of local High School chorales singing together as a holiday choir with the Orchestra. The RSO Artistic Director rehearses with the high school choirs prior to the full rehearsals with the orchestra. The tradition of the high school choirs has gone on for over 20 years and is a great way for our community to kick off their holiday season.

Middle School Mentorship Program
In its second year, the Middle School Mentorship Program teams up instrumental music students at middle schools with Orchestra musicians from October through April. Having a professional musician serve as a guide and mentor, while working with student musicians on a one-on-one basis or in small groups, can have a very positive impact. The object of this Mentor Program is to increase students’ skill sets, expand their repertoire and build performance confidence. We hope to expand this programs into additional middle schools, including schools in western Racine County.