Please fill out our interest form to receive summer audition information for the 2022-23 season.

LYSO performs on the Chapel stage during their fall 2021 concert. Mrs. Albright stands in front conducting.

Lawrence Youth String Orchestra (LYSO) (Grades 5-8*, auditioned)


Corrina Albright, teacher-conductor
Ann Hada, manager

Shattuck Hall 156, Lawrence Conservatory of Music / online via Zoom
Rehearsals: Sundays, 3:30–4:45 p.m.
2022-23 Schedule
September 18–November 13
January 8–March 12

“My goal is to get better with violin, so I look to LYSO as extra practice! The ensemble teaching style really helps with things I am having trouble on, and the pieces of music are so fun I want to keep playing. I could not ask for better teachers!”
– Annabelle Mahnke, LYSO student

The Lawrence Youth String Orchestra (LYSO)—formerly the Academy String Orchestra (ASTRO)—provides dedicated string students a first opportunity to rehearse and perform engaging orchestral music within an ensemble of motivated peers. Students develop reading and ensemble skills that are complemented with individual practice at home. The orchestra rehearses weekly on Sunday afternoons at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music; two ten-week semesters each culminate with a performance on the stage of the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

LYSO is the preparatory orchestra for the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra program—LYSO and FVSYO directors and administrators work collaboratively to ensure that student musicians in the Fox Valley region receive opportunities in high quality orchestral training. Students generally spend two years in LYSO before moving on to play in the FVSYO Philharmonia Orchestra; this is particularly true for students who have begun their string studies in school small group lessons and for students in grades 5 and 6.

Students registered for Community Music School ensembles are also expected to participate in a curricular (during the school day, for credit) performing musical ensemble when available; LYSO should not substitute for curricular music programs.

Auditions and Registration

We are excited to announce that we will be holding additional LYSO auditions this summer! Fill out our interest form to receive more information. Click here to view the audition requirements. 

Interest Form

Returning students need not re-audition. Please fill out our online form to register for the 2022-23 season.

Registration Form

* LYSO auditions are open to string players in grades 5-8, although students who study with a private instructor and meet audition requirements are welcome to audition in grade 4.

Tuition assistance is available to families who demonstrate financial need.


Policies and Materials

Registration in a Community Music School program indicates your understanding and acceptance of our guidelines. In addition to the our guidelines, please click through the subjects below to read about LYSO-specific policies and required materials.

Google Classroom
Lawrence Community Music School youth ensembles utilize Google Classrooms to communicate with students and their families. Registered families will receive an email with an invite link and instructions on how to join and use their choir’s Google Classroom. Families who do not have a Google account can create a free account using an existing email. With parent/guardian permission, the invite link also may be used by the student if they wish to join the Classroom with their own Google account. (Please note that some school accounts block access to Classrooms outside their organization for the students’ safety.)

The LYSO staff will post resources, practice notes, and announcements in the Classroom. Families are responsible for checking their email and Classroom for up-to-date ensemble information.

Click here to view general Classroom instructions.
Electronics Policy
Cell phones, iPods, electronic readers, and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited during ensemble rehearsals and backstage during concerts. If a family emergency takes place during a rehearsal or concert, please contact the ensemble manager.
Orchestra Materials
  • Students should bring their music folder and a pencil to all rehearsals.
  • All folders and music are the property of the Lawrence Community Music School and should be returned at the end of each semester or when the student leaves the ensemble.
  • Students new to the program will receive a tote bag that becomes theirs.
    • Additional or replacement bags can be purchased through the Community Music School at the cost of $8 plus tax.
  • Violinists, please have an extra E string in your case.
  • Cellists/bassists, please have a rock stop.
Concert Attire
  • Students should wear a white shirt (elbow-length or longer) with black or dark bottoms; no jeans, tennis shoes, or excessive jewelry.
  • If a student wishes to wear a skirt, the skirt should be knee-length or longer when seated and non-patterned.
  • Students may wear ties.


2022-23 Concert Schedule

Registered families will receive a complete calendar to download and print before the first rehearsal. Ticket sale dates will be announced in the fall. Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office online, over the phone, or in-person.

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

“LYSO is a well-organized music program that has taught my child discipline and time-management skills on top of providing additional musical learning. It has also given him a sense of belonging.”
– LYSO parent/guardian (2021-22 season)

Four photos: a closeup of a violinist smiling and playing, viola and violin players plucking their instruments during a concert, two bassists leaning on their instruments and smiling for the camera,  two cellist playa during a concert