“This activity is made possible through a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, thanks to funds provided by the McKnight Foundation.”

Welcome to the Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra! 

The program offers youth musicians four levels of string ensembles with weekly rehearsals and concerts through the school calendar year.



Sunday, April 23rd, 2023 at 4:00 pm
First United Methodist Church, Sartell, MN

Free (inkind donations are welcomed)


Eric Graf
is a teacher and performer based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Eric is a section
cellist with the Duluth Symphony, and was recently cellist of Twin Cities-based Lux String
Quartet for four seasons. During his time in Cleveland, he also held positions as assistant
principal cellist with the Wheeling Symphony, section cellist in the Lexington Philharmonic,
and principal cellist of the Mansfield Symphony. Eric has performed as soloist with regional
orchestras around the country, and has given recitals in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Having completed his long-term Suzuki teacher training with Dr. Melissa Kraut, Eric has a
deep understanding of the Suzuki method as well as more traditional methods. An avid
teacher of all levels and ages, he maintains a full private studio around the greater
Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He has been cello faculty for many summer camps across the
country, including the Colorado Chamber Music Institute and Cuyahoga Community College’s
Strings Attached camp.

Eric holds a Master’s degree in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland
Institute of Music, where he studied with renowned Suzuki pedagogue Dr. Melissa Kraut. He
also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from the University of Minnesota-Twin
Cities, having studied with Ms. Tanya Remenikova.

Eric will be performing the Trauermusik by Paul Hindemith with CMYO's Encore ensemble.

THE PAST YEAR 2021/2022

Last season was filled with concerts, guest artists, and outreach opportunities!

Our theme, CREATION focused on how composers have used the ideas from nature to portray the experiences we hear or celebrate during different parts of the year.  Everything from waves crashes, wind blowing, to sensing the celebration of an autumn festival. 

Two season concerts were performed both in the Fall:Sounds of Nature and Spring: Lands Beyond. 

Additionally, we had the Lux String Quartet come to give a performance along with an indepth masterclass with the ensembles (Fall) and Keith Secola, Native American lecturer and song writer, join us to broaden our understanding of how the Native American culture is deeply connected to music and nature (Spring).


Humankind continues to experience many forms of afflictions - not all bad.  However, some parts make us reflect on the conflictions we face throughout our lives. Next year's themes are FALL: Love & War and SPRING: Death & Transfiguration views these forms through the eyes of the composer. 

Some of the selections will include parts of the 1812 Overture by Tchaikowsky (Fall) to Trauermusik by Hindemith (Spring).

Performance during Salem Lutheran's Foundation awarding service.  Selections including Yukiko Nishimura's Falling Water, Vivaldi's Four Season "Summer" 2nd movement, Faure's Requiem Pie Jesu, Andante Festivo by Sibelius

Learn About CMYO's Story

Get to know our history a bit better! Take a moment to read how CMYO started in 2013 and where it has been going
Mark Wood: EYS
with participating schools around the region in 2017.

Overview of CMYO's Program

Here is an overview of CMYO's programs that are offered, the costs involved, and the experiences that your child will be joining.


Download the most recent schedule for rehearsals and concerts.  Please review the date of last release to see if you have the most recent schedule.  REGISTER HERE


CMYO has four ensembles determined by skill level.  Prelude, Cadenza, Intermezzo, and Encore.  Please click here for more information.  For registration, click on the registration link on the menu. 

Payments for the program are determined through the Fair Share program.  This allows any family to participate regardless of their financial situation.  No student is turned away for financial reasons.


Click here to learn more to learn about upcoming events including guest artists, performances, and field trips.
P.O. Box 671
Saint Cloud, MN 56302
Email: parents@cmyo.org
Phone: (320) 227-6847
To provide a unique orchestral experience leading to performances that shape, educate and inspire lives of developing youth musicians in the communities of Central Minnesota.
Copyright © 2021. All right reserved.