Project Based Learning Electives provided by the Berrien Springs Virtual Academy​​​​

Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra          Spring 2024

An educational ensemble of the Southwest Symphony Orchestra
513 Ship Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 982-4030
The groups meet on Monday evenings at Upton Middle School.

Additional online registration and audition are required for all partnership students.

After registering through the partnership, please contact for a LMYO registration packet.

All students are required to do a project for this class. Speak with your mentor for instructions.

The Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra, an educational outreach program of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, is designed to supplement private and public school band and orchestra programs and homeschoolers by providing a Youth Symphony experience consisting of four groups. 

Our semester-long season consists of 10 rehearsals, concluding with final concerts in December and May. Youth Symphony (high school students) may be expected to attend an additional runout concert, clinic, or SMSO side-by-side concert (spring only).

Students are allowed 2 excused absences and are expected to practice outside of rehearsal time.

  • Concert Strings - for middle school or younger string players with 1+ years of experience.
    • Rehearsal Monday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30pm
  • Encore Strings - for more advanced middle school string players.
    • Rehearsal Monday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30pm
  • LMYO Winds - for middle school brass, woodwind, and percussion players with 2-4 years of experience.
    • Rehearsal Monday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30pm
  • Youth Symphony - for high school and college level strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion.
    • Rehearsal Monday evenings from 6:00 – 8:30pm

All partnership students are required to audition in person or online regardless of previous participation.

We are offering both video and in-person auditions. Learn about audition requirements for your instrument. Call the SMSO office to schedule an in-person audition or submit a link to your video audition.

Find additional information at the SMSO website at Please contact Forrest Miesse if you have any questions.

LMYO ​Syllabus

*Please note: it is important to make as informed a decision as possible when choosing your student's Community Resource classes. Most locations will allow a student to drop a class after one meeting, at no charge if it wasn't a good fit for the student, but not all. Some classes plan ahead based on the number that have signed up and have purchased materials, hired teachers, etc. and there might be a fee for class time or materials given to the student if the student drops after one or two meetings. The school cannot pay for classes that students do not complete, so choose wisely; if you do not take the class off of your student's schedule by the deadline, you may be asked to pay for the class time incurred prior to dropping the class.

Teacher of Record: Mandy Jankoviak