By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Nov 12, 2015 at 9:26 AM

Today, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra announced that it is one of 12 programs that have been selected to receive an award from First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. 

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award – the nation's highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs, given to programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people – is handed out each year from a field of 350 nominations and 50 finalists. Only two Wisconsin programs have won since 1998. 

"The collective impact of these initiatives is now recognized and honored by the President's Committee on the Arts & the Humanities with its National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award as a national leader and innovator," stated Linda Edelstein, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s executive director in a press release. "We are deeply grateful for this award and the privilege of being a part of this esteemed group of honorees. This award is a testament to our success in being instrumental in changing the lives of hundreds of young people in our community."

"These outstanding programs are expanding horizons, changing lives, and helping young people fulfill their dreams—across America and around the world," said First Lady Michelle Obama, Honorary Chairman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in a press release. "Each of these programs is using achievement in the arts and humanities as a bridge to achievement in life."

The MYSO provides nine community partnership programs within the Greater Milwaukee area, including Progressions, Jazz Studies, Calypso and Soca, Prelude Orchestra, String Orchestra Central, MYSO Scholars, a community concert series, and partnerships with both the Boys & Girls Clubs and the Latino Arts Strings Program.

The ceremony will take place at The White House on Tuesday, Nov. 17.