MARIPOSA — The Mariposa Yosemite Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), formerly the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra, returns to live public performances this April, following a three-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.
The concerts (specific April weekend to be announced) will be offered as a 7 p.m. Saturday evening event in the Fiester Auditorium at Mariposa County High School, and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. at a location in or near Yosemite National Park. But fiscal assistance is needed.
The newly-renamed orchestra sporting the acronym “MYSO” (or MY Symphony Orchestra) is now an independent non-profit organization partnered with the 501(C)(3) Collaborative Arts and Culture Foundation. The CACF, an exclusive fine arts fiscal partner, was founded in 2010 in Portland, OR, and relocated to Mariposa a few years ago.
As a publicly-funded entity, MYSO requests support from those who realize the intrinsic and fiscal value to this region made by the 21-year-old orchestra; all donations to the MYSO are tax-deductible. As the orchestra creates new administrative and infrastructural fixed assets, Yosemite Hospitality, Yosemite National Park’s primary concessionaire, has stepped up with a very generous $2,500 matching grant, doubling the value of other new donations.
Organizations, particularly those in real estate, lodging, dining and hospitality services should consider how a donation partnership with the orchestra provides valuable cachet by association and will also encourage locals and visitors to support their businesses. MYSO draws audiences from throughout California and beyond and has even tipped the scales for home buyers considering Mariposa – just ask Gene Mickel. Those seeking orchestral experiences as players and/or attendees bought here.
Visit the all-new website to help meet Yosemite Hospitality’s challenge. Secure, easy online donations can be made, and directions for those preferring to send checks will be found. Donors will be recognized in MYSO concert programs and on an in-development page on the website. Major donors will additionally be acknowledged in all public communications.
The orchestra’s start-up budget of $20,000 includes a $1 million annual liability insurance policy for use of Mariposa High School for rehearsals and performances, as well as for concert coverage in Yosemite and elsewhere. Professional transportation of instruments (including four timpani, huge bass drum and percussion battery, 60 musicians’ stands, etc.) is expensive.
New equipment includes a large-output color laser printer for musicians’ parts, posters and concert programs, a dedicated computer and software, electric program folder and more office supplies. MYSO is a signatory of ASCAP, BMI, the League of American Orchestras, the Association of California Symphony Orchestras and many other professional affiliations, each costing hundreds of dollars annually. But unlike its former arrangement operating under a different organization, all profits will now be retained by the orchestra, allowing the MYSO to grow.
The orchestra was founded by CEO/Music Director/Conductor Les Marsden in 2002 in the belief that no child (or adult) should be deprived of the amazing experience of live symphonic music simply by dint of geographic location. The MYSO has become an attraction for visitors, with many expressing surprise at finding such a high-quality ensemble in the rural Yosemite region.
The MYSO consists of musicians from Mariposa, Merced, Madera, Fresno, and other counties – including sectional performers from Fort Collins, CO, who rehearse via Facetime and then fly in to play in person. Past performances include Sonora, Oakhurst, Mammoth Lake, Merced, and elsewhere in addition to its concerts in Mariposa and Yosemite.
National Park Service (NPS) and concession employees have always been active members of the orchestra; its name change was prompted in part by the fact that it now performs three concerts in Yosemite every season. All musicians including Marsden are unpaid volunteers; the orchestra has achieved international renown via noted London-based author and arts commentator Norman Lebrecht.
Mariposa is recognized as the smallest town in all America with its very own symphony orchestra: the MYSO. Marsden’s model inspired the creation of Fort Collins’ Health and Wellness Community Orchestra, comprised initially of medical professionals. Marsden was invited to conduct that orchestra, transporting the Sierra to the Rockies with a performance of his Wilderness: Our Necessary Refuge.
Visit www.MYSO.live for more information, to make a donation, for
media, or to add your email address to the always private, low-volume “Friends of the MYSO” list, which provides concert information in advance of news being released to the media.
You may also contact them via e-mail at email@example.com.
Check out MYSO performing a festive holiday concert!