MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra (MNYO)

A tuition-free symphonic orchestra program in North Minneapolis

We believe in the transformational power of music, and strive to create a welcoming space that encourages musical growth and development.

Jump to Section:


Welcome to MNYO!!! We look forward to seeing old friends and hoping to meet new ones!

Our 2nd retreat to Madeline Island was incredible, we hope you will join us this year so that we can all enjoy being on Madeline Island again next summer!

Can’t wait to see you all!

Chi-Chi Lin Bestmann, Artistic Director and Conductor

Audition Requirements

  1. Two (one octave) scales of your choice or One (two octave) scale of your choice.
  2. One piece (2~3 mins) that you are currently working on or have worked on over the summer.
  3. There may be a short sight-reading piece.
  4. Percussionist(s): please discuss with your teacher and play what’s recommended by your teacher.
  5. Register!

The Pre-requisites for MNYO

  • Students must be entering grades 7-12 and have at least 1 year of previous experience playing their instrument (either in individual lessons or in a school program).
  • Students should also have access to an instrument (permission from school to bring their instrument to rehearsals and for home practice).
  • Students must audition on one of the following instruments: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Cello or Double Bass.

What to Expect

  • Students in our ensemble range from mid-beginner to late-intermediate level. We encourage mentoring friendship amongst our orchestra members.
  • Students should plan on attending rehearsals weekly and taking their music home for additional practice
  • Most rehearsals will include a full orchestra rehearsal, sectionals, bucket drumming and other enrichment activities, including guest artist visits from the Minnesota Orchestra
  • MNYO performs 3-6 times in a school year, mostly between January-May.
flute player in an orchestra setting
string section of youth orchestra performing
youth orchestra performing live

photos by Jen Bischoff (, used with permission

MNYO Calendar 2023-24

Download the MNYO Calendar for 2023 – 2024 (pdf)

Important Dates

Fall 2023

September 16 – Open Streets
October 7 – Auditions
October 21 – MEA (no rehearsal)
November 25 – Thanksgiving (no rehearsal)
December 23 to 30 – Winter Break

Spring 2024

January 13 – MLK weekend (no rehearsal)
February 7 – Performance at 7:30 at MacPhail (call time 6:30)
February 16 – Performance at MMEA
March 9 – SAM Graduation
March 10 – School Partnership Recital
May 2 – Music Matters
July 31 – August 4 – MI Retreat
August 6 – National Night Out


Email Chi-Chi Bestmann

MNYO at Madeline Island

youth orchestra members pose for a group photo outdoors at Madeline Island
Two violin players practice at the edge of a wood

MNYO Faculty

MNYO depends on the generous contributions of individuals and the following foundations:

To Top