Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras is dedicated to the artistic and personal development of young instrumental musicians.

It was challenging and allowed me to play with some of the best student musicians in SE Minnesota

– SEMYO graduating senior

Participation in SEMYO has been a decidedly, valuable experience for our son.

– SEMYO parent

Mom, we are really good!

– New Philharmonic Student


For over 40 years, SEMYO has played an important role in providing arts opportunities for young people to experience and explore the world of symphonic music. SEMYO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Rochester, MN.

SEMYO is open to any young musician, elementary through high school, who plays a musical instrument. Led by conductors who are professional musicians and educators, SEMYO meets the needs of beginning to advance musicians by offering three ensembles.

Membership in SEMYO is by audition only.

Students are evaluated on the quality of their audition and, if admitted, are then placed in the appropriate ensemble. Students must audition each season regardless of prior participation. Placement is based primarily on ability and the needs of the ensembles.


Part of SEMYO’s charter is to involve the Southeastern Minnesota community in the orchestral arts. SEMYO is partnering with the Rochester Area Y offering free music lessons and instruments to children who participate in the Y Space Program.


SEMYO seeks to be an organization that values cultural inclusivity and which offers physically and programmatically accessible envi­ronments to individuals with disabilities in rehearsals, performances or special events.

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