About us

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Kansas City was founded in the Fall of 1997 by James Murray III & Paul Cooper. The purpose is to provide an educational and artistic experience in a full orchestra ensemble for young musicians. It's all about having fun while learning about and making great music. 

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra performs three concerts a season, as well as participating in special performance opportunities. Some of those opportunities have included performances at the rededication of the Liberty Memorial and the Great Kansas City Japan Festival. The orchestra has also commissioned and premiered works by local composers.

After twenty seasons, the organization decided to expand and create the Metropolitan Youth Sinfonia. The Metropolitan Youth Sinfonia provides an educational and artistic experience for younger students. It is to provide developing young players an opportunity to explore their musical ability and to grow their musical talent and leadership skills.

In 2018, MYO/MYS became part of the Northland Symphony Orchestra. We believe that in addition to providing the organization with a 50+ Year Northland staple, it will provide our young musicians with numerous additional resources and opportunities.



upcoming events

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Sinfonia performs three concerts per season. Concerts last approximately sixty minutes. All of our concerts are free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you at our next event.

MYO/MYS Concert 3


Miss a concert? download a recording!


We are pleased to announce our 2019-20 Season auditions. Sign up closes Sunday, May 5th.

Please contact us directly at or 816-716-0607 if you have any questions.


You must be enrolled in your school’s orchestra or band if offered. You must not reach your 19th birthday before September 1.


(Through 12th grade)

The MYO offers an artistic and educational experience in a full orchestra ensemble for young musicians. We rehearse from 2:00-4:00pm on Sundays at William Jewell College and present three concerts each season, September to May.


(Through 9th grade)

The MYS offers a full orchestra ensemble experience for ambitious young musicians. We rehearse from 2:30-4:00pm on Sundays at Liberty North High School and present three concerts each season, September to May.


If a household has more than one student participating, the members will receive a 20% discount. Scholarship assistance is available.

Youth Orchestra: $300
Youth Sinfonia: $200


thank you sponsors!

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Northland Symphony Orchestra are especially grateful to all of our donors and sponsors of this year's campaign. The people and companies below are what make MYO's mission possible each year. Please show your gratitude by patronizing them when possible.


Ad-Trend, Inc.
Kauffman Foundation, Muriel McBrien
Zona Rosa


Richard and Shea Henderson


Douglas Bryan
Citizens Bank & Trust
Kenneth and Marilyn Johnston
Kairos Growth Consulting
John Koster
Martha Lee Cain Tranby Trust
James and Kristin Niederberger
Park University


Kathy Burgon
James and Ruth Dodd
McCownGordon Construction
Mid-States Heavy Duty Reps


John Anderson
Susan and William Bell
By The Blade Lawn & Landscape
Brad and Christina Cutcliffe
Cassandra Meschke
Jim and Nicole Murray
In memory of Marilyn Murray
Raymond Rowe
David and Julia Wharton
Emily Williams
Kenneth and Christine Williams
Dave Wiseman


J.M. and Shirley Albritton
In honor of Brenda Allen
Larry and Hazel Anders
John and Nancy Bash
David and Deba Brant
Henry Bray
Paige Buckmaster
Nicolas and Elizabeth Couper
Charles and Pamela Cram
Lori Davis
Richard A. Decker
Blake and Mary Duren
Jean Dwyer
Margot Ferguson
Phil and Jeanne Goodin
Karen Grenawalt
John and Bini Jo Hamilton
Philip and Dawn Hatterman
Dale and Abby Helin
Lewis and Pam Henderson
Robert and Teresa Henson
Ray and Clara Hoffman

Friends cont.

Lucia and Richard Huonker
Alice Kennedy
Mary Kuehn
Terry and Dana Leeds
Dorothy Masters
Joyce McKinney
Randall Miller
Robert and Dolores Palmer
Rudy and Patt Papenfuhs
Emily M. Parris
Jeffrey and Amy Peak
Marian Poston
MIchael and Mary Ragan
Ken and Carol Reger
Brandan and Leah Ritter
In memory of Sarah Saylor
John and Fiona Schaefer
Kathryn Schaefer
Katya Soderstrom
Melissa Stan
Darrel and Linda Thomssen
Dave and Karyn Walden
Fred and Carol Wernicke

James Murray III

Music Director / Conductor


The 2017-18 season marked Maestro Murray’s 22nd season as Music Director and Conductor of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Kansas City. Jim founded the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra together with Paul Cooper and Dr. Phil Posey. The ensemble has developed a reputation for the consistent quality of their performances combined with innovative and fun programs...


gretchen phillips

co-conductor, MY0

A 2007-2008 alumni member of the MYO, Gretchen is excited to be the Assistant Director of MYO. She was about 4 years old when she heard her mom playing violin at church and started begging for an instrument and lessons of her own. She took Suzuki lessons from Beth Titterington beginning at age 5½, then studied with Goran Berg when her family briefly moved to Livermore, CA for a job relocation. Upon returning to the Kansas City area, she continued lessons with Beth until college.


parker stanley

co-conductor, MYS

Parker Stanley grew up in the Kansas City area and even played in MYO in its early years. After high school he attended Bethel College where he received his Bachelors of Arts in Music and his K-12 Teaching Certification. He then went on to get his Masters of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Iowa. He has been teaching for a better part 12 years now whether it be private lessons, college instructor, or public schools.


Jennifer rubin

Co-Conductor, MYs

Jennifer Rubin, an alumna of the MYO, is currently the Director of Bands at Winnetonka HS. She directs the Marching PRIDE Band, the Wind Symphony, the Jazz Band, and assists with the band program at Maple Park Middle School. After graduating with her Bachelors of Music Education from the Central Missouri in 2010, she was the Director of Bands at Brookfield HS for 5 years. After Brookfield, She was accepted as a graduate assistant at Truman State where she earned her Master of Arts in Wind Band Conducting. 

Board of Directors

The Northland Symphony Orchestra board of directors provide leadership, management, direction and guidance for the orchestra.

Richard Henderson, President
Paige Buckmaster, Vice President
David Wiseman, Treasurer
Katya Soderstrom, Secretary
Kathy Burgon
Rachel Huntsman
John Koster

Jim Murray
Melissa Stan
Parker Stanley
Timothy Starosta
Karianne Waterland
Emily Zahn

support Staff

The staff works tirelessly for the betterment of all of our ensembles and the proliferation of arts in the Northland.

Karianne Waterland, Exectuive Director - MYO/MYS
Courtney Ryan, Orchestra Manager - MYO/MYS
Andrew Waterland, Logistics Coordinator - MYO/MYS
Ashley Koster, Orchestra Manager - NSO


Metropolitan Youth Orchestra

P.O. Box 1244
Liberty, MO 64069


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