Membership in the Austin Youth Prelude Orchestra is open to sixth and seventh grade students who qualify through the audition process. Students from schools with orchestra programs must be a member in good standing in their school orchestra. Membership in the AYO program is contingent upon return of the membership acceptance form with the school orchestra director's signature verifying that the student is a member in good standing in the school orchestra program and payment of the tuition fee.
Laurie Scott is Associate Professor of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she serves as the director of The University of Texas String Project, named "String Project of the Year" in 2008 by the American String Teacher's Association and the National String Project Consortium. Previous to this appointment, Dr. Scott served as professor of violin and viola and director of music education studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Dr. Scott was co-director of the Armadillo Suzuki Organization, the Austin Metropolitan Suzuki School, and the Texas Suzuki Tour Group. She holds a master's degree in applied violin from the University of Nebraska, and a bachelor's degree in music education from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Texas. Before moving to Texas in 1981, Dr. Scott taught in rural string programs in Nebraska and performed with the Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. As a music educator in Texas, Dr. Scott has served as an officer of the Texas chapter of the American String Teacher's Association, taught for eight years for the Austin ISD at Lamar Middle School and Travis and McCallum High Schools, was co-conductor of the Austin Youth Symphony, and served as Region XVIII College Division Chair for the Texas Music Educator's Association. Professor Scott was co-editor of the public school column in the American Suzuki Journal and was named chairman of the Suzuki in the Schools division of the 1998 International Teacher's Conference. She has performed with the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin Orchestras. Dr. Scott has been the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award from the School of Music as well as the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. She is one of only two registered "Suzuki in the Schools" teacher trainers for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and is on the editorial board for the American String Teacher. She is a guest clinician and conductor at state and national conventions speaking on string pedagogy, inclusive school music programs, and character development through the arts. Her articles have appeared in The American String Teacher, The American Suzuki Journal, and The Journal of Research in Music Education.
She is co-author with William Dick of the textbooks, Mastery for Strings, Level One and Two, and Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensembles, co-authored with William Dick and Winfred Crock. Her latest publication, From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Performers become Great Teachers, is co-authored with Cornelia Watkins and was published by Oxford University Press in April of 2012.
Dana Wygmans, originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, holds a Bachelor's in Music Education from Alma College in Michigan and a Master's in Bass Performance from University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with DaXun Zhang. She has played with a variety of orchestras in both Michigan and Texas, including the Alma Symphony, Grand Valley Symphony, Round Rock Symphony, UT Symphony Orchestra, UT New Music Ensemble, and UT Wind Ensemble. Dana currently performs in a wide array of settings, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, rock, and folk groups. She currently plays with the folk band American Dreamer.
She is the Head Orchestra Director at Murchison Middle School and is also the Bass Teaching Artist for Austin Soundwaves, part of the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts. During her time at UT, she also worked as a teacher with the renowned UT String Project where she studied with Laurie Scott. She has been teaching classical double bass privately for 12 years and her students have ranged from beginners of all ages to advanced college-bound young adults.