Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra

A high-quality symphonic ensemble designed for young musicians who are interested in making music in a collaborative, encouraging environment with other students from throughout the Decatur area. This is an exciting opportunity for talented young musicians to enhance their musical skills. Students rehearse well-known symphonic repertoire under the direction of Dr. Neal Smith, director of Instrumental Music Education at Millikin. 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 $50 per semester (scholarships available).  The first rehearsal of the Spring 2017 semester will be January 23rd.  

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

DYSO staff


Auditions will take place on September 5, 6, and 7 starting at 5pm

Students should prepare music that showcases their expressive and technical playing.  That could be one piece that does both or two separate ones.  They will also need to play scales (appropriate for their grade level) and sight read unfamiliar music.

Location: Perkinson Music Center - Room #105

To sign up for an audition you can visit our sign-up page here or call 424-6358 or email

Online Registration Form
Printable Registration Form

Millikin University School of Music
Preparatory Department
1184 W. Main St.
Decatur, IL 62522
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