By February 17, 2021 Read More →

MSO Virtual Concert March 18



The Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra (MSYO), led by Music Director Ryan Murray, will stream their virtual Spring Concert on Thursday, March 18 at 7:00 pm on the Modesto Symphony YouTube channel. The virtual concert will feature both MSYO orchestras performing movements from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony as well as three MSYO student soloists.

“I am so impressed with our students and their commitment to great music,” said MSYO Music Director Ryan Murray. “After the success of our first virtual MSYO concert, we have had a great time working on the new music for our upcoming concert. We are performing some very challenging music, and our students continue to rise to the challenge. It has been great to hear the musical improvement from each student and we are going to have an amazing concert!”

This virtual concert will be the MSYO’s second of a three-concert season. The concert will stream live on the Modesto Symphony’s YouTube channel. Recordings of this concert and other past MSO events will be available to watch at All MSYO virtual concerts are free of charge to help bring music to the community.

“Our MSYO students have really shown their passion and dedication for music despite all of the changes this year,” said Caroline Nickel, President and CEO of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. “We’re so proud of what the students have achieved through virtual rehearsals and we’re happy we can continue to create a space where they can connect and learn with other young musicians from around the region.”

The MSYO program provides a full orchestral experience for young musicians from around the region and is made up of two full orchestras (strings, winds, and percussion). The MSYO Concert Orchestra (Grades 5-9) is conducted by Don Grishaw and the MSYO Symphony Orchestra (Grades 9-12) is conducted by Ryan Murray.  Both ensembles typically perform a three-concert series at the Gallo Center for the Arts. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MSYO currently meet and rehearse weekly via Zoom and each musician recorded their individual part at home to produce this concert. More information about the MSYO can be found at


Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 7:00 pm on the Modesto Symphony’s YouTube channel

 Ryan Murray, MSYO Music Director and conductor

Don Grishaw, conductor


MSYO Concert Orchestra

Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. Sandra Dackow: Dance of the Tumblers from “Snow Maiden”

Beethoven, arranged by Charles Woodhouse: “Finale” from 5th Symphony

MSYO Symphony Orchestra

Mascagni: “Intermezzo” from Cavalleria rusticana  

Dvořák: Symphony No. 9, op. 95 (“New World”), IV. Allegro con fuoco 

Student soloists performing:

Bériot: Concerto No. 9 in A Minor, Op. 104, I. Allegro maestoso 

Marcello: Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 1 No. 2, I. Adagio & II. Allegro 

Telemann: Ouverture Suite in A Minor, TWV 55:a2, V. Réjouissance 

Full concert details are available on the MSO website

This virtual performance is free to all and supported in part by Freda and Rod Motto. 


Ryan Murray‘s dynamic conducting, natural musicality and deeply held passion for the arts have allowed him to steadily build a robust career since his professional debut at the age of just 22. Ryan is currently the Associate Conductor for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra and Music Director for the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra; with whom he made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Since his appointment in 2013, Ryan has consistently worked to improve the quality, skill, and prominence of the youth orchestra, and now leads an ensemble that features over 60 students from the greater Modesto area. He is also Music Director of Opera Modesto and Artistic Director and Conductor of Music in the Mountains. Ryan is the newly appointed Director of Orchestras and Opera at California State University, Sacramento, and also directs the orchestra at CSU Stanislaus. He previously served as Music Director for Fresno Grand Opera and as a staff conductor for the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI) and The Opera Academy of California in San Francisco. Effortlessly moving between genres, Ryan currently enjoys a wide range of performance genres & platforms, including traditional orchestral and operatic repertoire, pops performances, and a notable emphasis on contemporary American operatic works.

Ryan has recently garnered national recognition for his dynamic, compelling performances of contemporary opera and is the current winner of the 2016/17 American Prize in Opera Conducting for his highly lauded production of A Streetcar Named Desire. He was a 2016 semi-finalist for the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music and received honorary mention for the American Prize in Youth Orchestra Conducting. Ryan is also a past winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s prestigious Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors and spent the summer in residence alongside the Vienna Philharmonic at the 2014 Salzburg Festival.

Driven by a lifelong passion for learning, Ryan has attended masterclasses and seminars around the world including the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s Conductors Workshop, the Musikin Aika Summer Festival Masterclass in Finland, the Aurora Chamber Festival in Sweden, the Lucerne Festival Academy’s Conducting Masterclass in Switzerland, and the Eastman School of Music’s Summer Conducting Institute featuring the Rochester Philharmonic. Ryan holds degrees, summa cum laude, in Bassoon Performance and Voice Performance from California State University, Sacramento. Widely praised for his tireless work ethic, natural poise, and impassioned, inspired performances, Ryan continues to connect deeply with orchestras and audiences alike and has proven to be a formidable presence on the podium.

Donald Grishaw began piano and violin lessons at an early age. His interest in music flourished throughout his high school years. He attended San Jose State University, graduating in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance in violin and piano and a minor in Spanish. While attending SJSU, he studied the violin with the late Dr. Lauren Jakey and also with Daniel Kobialka of the San Francisco Symphony. Upon graduation, Mr. Grishaw pursued Single Subject and Multiple Subject teaching credentials and taught in the Turlock Unified School District for 37 years. He recently retired from Pitman High School where he taught Concert Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra as well as Spanish 2 and AP Spanish Literature. With the opening of Pitman High School in 2002, Mr. Grishaw founded the Pitman High School Orchestra which now includes over 80 students, and has received accolades both locally and in Southern California where they continue to perform each year while on tour. Mr. Grishaw performs regularly throughout the surrounding communities on the violin, the viola, and the piano. He is a longstanding member of the violin section of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra and also freelances with other local orchestras and string quartets. Mr. Grishaw and his wife, Angelica, play regularly for Sunday Masses, quinceañeras, and weddings at Sacred Heart Church in Turlock. Mr. Grishaw joined the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra faculty in 2014. Under Mr. Grishaw’s direction the Concert Orchestra has continued to expand and prepare additional young string, wind, brass, and percussion musicians for the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Grishaw is an active member of A.S.T.A. (American String Teachers Association) and A.F.M. (American Federation of Musicians).

About the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra
Founded in 1976, the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra (MSYO) serves young musicians and their families from more than 40 public and private schools in the Central Valley. Led by a deeply engaged leadership team, the youth orchestra attracts a diverse group of outstanding musicians. Members are presented with the opportunity to share their gift of music in an inspiring and challenging orchestral setting alongside their peers from all social, economic, cultural, and geographical backgrounds. As a program within the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association (MSO), members also have the invaluable experience of interacting with MSO professional musicians, conductors, and visiting guest artists through workshops, side-by-side performances, and clinics.

The MSYO serves students of varying skill levels and is made up of two full-orchestra (strings, winds, and percussion) groups: Concert Orchestra for grades 5-9 and Symphony Orchestra for grades 9-12. The MSYO Concert Orchestra has toured San Francisco, Sacramento, and the Central Valley. Each spring the Concert Orchestra tours through local elementary schools, providing free performances and advocating for the importance of music education. The MSYO Symphony Orchestra has also performed throughout the United States and abroad, including performances in England, France, Japan, Eastern Europe, Canada, and China. The Symphony Orchestra has previously partnered with the Napa Valley Youth Symphony to perform in the 2012 Mahler Festival in Vienna and for the 2014 New York Phil Young Composers workshop, where they performed at Carnegie Hall and in Central Park.


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