History & Mission

Beloved founder of YSO, the late Gail Key.

In 1992, Gail Key, violinist and music teacher, recognized a need for area student musicians to have an opportunity to perform classical music in a group that crossed school and city boundaries. This vision was born in the founding of The Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO), an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit organization since 2004. In 2010, the first annual Summer Strings Camp began and in 2012, a second string sonly group was formed, the Philharmonic Orchestra. together with the Symphonic Orchestra, the groups maintain around on average 65 active student musicians, ranging in age mostly from junior high to high school students. Members of the YSO come from all over Wichita Falls, as well as surrounding towns in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma.

The group rehearses once a week, from 2-4pm on Sundays, during the school year and offers two or three showcase concerts a season, free of charge to the public.

The mission of the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra is to provide music educational opportunities that lead to exceptional group performances and a lifelong appreciation of music.