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

There is a sense of belonging and pride being part of the SEMYO Orchestra. The fact that my son is up and ready and looking forward to practice every Saturday morning speaks for itself.

– SEMYO Parent

SEMYO has been a huge part of my life for the past eight years, and it’s allowed me to grow as both a musician and a person, and forge new friendships with people I wouldn’t have met without SEMYO.

– SEMYO Alumni

SEMYO has allowed me to discover orchestra, a discovery that has truly changed my life for the better. Listening to the sound of an orchestra is enthralling, but being a part of that sound is a magical experience.

– Current SEMYO 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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