Fox Valley Symphony Youth Symphony receives gift in honor of Joseph Hauer

January 8, 2009

A gift of $500 has been granted to the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Symphony Orchestra on behalf of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio. This gift is in recognition of Joseph Hauer’s achievement of becoming a finalist in the MSO’s Bolz Young Artist Competition and the outstanding music education that students are receiving in the FVS Youth Orchestras program.

In addition, a $500 stipend has been offered to provide transportation costs for students of the Fox Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra to attend the final round of this competition, “The Final Forte,” which will be held at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19 in Overture Hall. This free concert will be broadcast LIVE on Wisconsin Public Radio and will air on Wisconsin Public Television at a later date.

The $500 gift and $500 transportation stipend are made possible through the generous support of Stephen D. Morton, a lead sponsor of “The Final Forte.” The two winners from “The Final Forte” will also perform with the Madison Symphony Orchestra during the Spring Young People’s Concert on Feb. 20.

Hauer, a home-schooled 10th grader who lives in Appleton, started playing the piano at age six. He has studied piano with Charlene Reitz and Catherine Walby in addition to the Lawrence Academy of Music. He has also played the violin since 2000. He currently studies with Yuliya Smead, an instructor with the Lawrence Academy of Music. He is a member of the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra and has also performed with the Lawrence Academy of Music Chamber Ensembles and the Oshkosh Youth Symphony.
Hauer was the Youth Soloist winner of the 2008 Fox Valley Symphony Young Artist Festival, where he performed Totentanz – Paraphrase on Dies irae with the Fox Valley Symphony adult orchestra in the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. He was also selected to participate in a Master Class with Alexander Kobrin, the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Winner in September 2008.

Hauer was first exposed to music when his mother showed him some piano music at age three, and gave him his first lessons. His four brothers and sisters were also been an inspiration to him. The whole family plays various instruments from piano, to violin, guitar, to singing. When he’s not practicing, he enjoys studying Russian and reading, snowboarding, or waterskiing in the summer. His favorite movies are the Star Wars trilogy. When asked what advice he would give to third graders interested in music, Hauer said, “Work really hard and don’t get discouraged if you don’t win a competition or contest, keep going at it!”

The Youth Symphony, our full orchestra, was founded in 1974 and serves, on average, 100 students each year from grades 9-12. This group of young musicians performs two concerts per season - one in fall and one in spring. They often perform on tours and exchanges and have participated in clinics. While on tour, they perform in local schools, businesses and assisted living facilities. The tour gives the Youth Symphony an opportunity to give back to the Fox Valley and provides an exceptional educational experience for all students.

The Fox Valley Symphony’s mission is to enrich and nurture the human spirit through symphonic music and educational opportunities that enhance the cultural development of our community. For more information, visit

Our Proud Sponsors
View all sponsors