DYSO Standing

Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra Program

In light of the COVID-19 virus, the Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra has canceled all activities through the fall of 2020. If you would like to inquire about future events, please contact Neal Smith at nsmith@millikin or 217.424.6358.

The DYSO Program is a comprehensive musical training program for students in the Decatur area who play orchestral instruments. It is focused on building musical excellence at all stages of musical development by placing students in an encouraging and collaborative environment and presenting them with appropriate musical challenges using high-quality musical repertoire. Instruction is directed by a staff of experienced and dynamic music educators and draws from the resources of the prestigious Millikin University School of Music and the Millikin/Decatur Symphony Orchestra.


Register for the DYSO Program  

Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO)

The DYSO is high-quality ensemble of area orchestral musicians who are selected by audition and wish to develop their musical skills beyond their curricular music programs. Students rehearse well-known symphonic repertoire under the direction of Dr. Neal Smith, Coordinator of Music Education for the Millikin University, School of Music. Membership is open to music students in grades 6 through 12 who have had at least one year of experience playing an instrument.

Rehearsals take place Monday evenings from 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. in Kirkland Fine Arts Center at Millikin University. Tuition is $52 per semester (scholarships available).

The Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra is supported by Millikin University, the Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur, and Decatur School District #61.

DYSO Staff

Prelude Orchestra

The Prelude Orchestra is an intermediate ensemble designed for string, wind, and percussion students with at least one year of playing experience who are interested in developing their musicianship in an engaging and collaborative environment with other Decatur area student musicians.

Students who participate in the Prelude Orchestra will have the opportunity to perform with both a full orchestra and either a string or wind ensemble depending on the instrument they play. Under the direction of Alexandra Rodriguez, adjunct faculty member at Millikin University and music director at St. Teresa High School, students will rehearse fun and challenging repertoire that will strengthen their technical and musical abilities. 

Members of the Prelude Orchestra will also gain performance experience at several venues throughout the community including First Christian Church and Millikin University’s Kirkland Fine Arts Center. The Prelude Orchestra rehearses on Monday nights from 5:30-6:30pm in Pilling Chapel.

Please contact Alexandra Rodriguez (alexandrarodriguez@millikin.edu) with questions or for more information.

Prelude Orchestra Staff

Violin Players