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Our Mission & History

What does 'ethos' mean?

Ethos is most well-known as one of Aristotle’s three types of appeals – ethos, pathos, and logos – that a writer/speaker may use as a means of persuasion. However, the ancient Greeks also used this word to refer to
the power of music to influence its hearer's emotions, behaviors, and even morals. According to a belief system they held called The Doctrine of Affections, ancient Greeks believed that music could restore balance and literally heal the body. In Aristotle’s philosophical work 'Politics,' he argued that music should be a part of every student’s education because of its power to influence the soul.

ethos (n):  the effect of musical study on one's guiding beliefs and character

Mission of the Ethos Youth Ensembles

The mission of the Ethos Youth Ensemble is to promote the optimum musical development and education of young musicians through the study and performance of a diverse curriculum of challenging ensemble music.
The Ethos Youth Ensembles aspire to increase community awareness of and participation in the musical experiences of the youth in Middle Tennessee.

History of the Ethos Youth Ensembles

The Ethos Youth Ensembles were founded in 1997 as the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra with seventeen string musicians. The Orchestra rehearsed in a portable classroom at Middle Tennessee Christian School
and performed two concerts. Under the expertise of MYO Founder and Conductor Emerita Susan Mullen, the organization quickly grew in number and quality, and in only one year expanded the MYO to included
winds/percussion and established the Preparatory String Orchestra.

During the 2000-2001 season, both ensembles began rehearsing and performing at Middle Tennessee State University, beginning a long and fruitful relationship with the MTSU School of Music. The combined
membership of both ensembles grew to nearly 100 students in grades 3 through 12.

In 2008, Sara Beth Geith was named the second Music Director of the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra. The Murfreesboro Youth Jazz Orchestra was founded in 2011, expanding the artistic footprint of the organization.

In 2014, Brian Russell was named the third Music Director of the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra, further expanding the organization’s offerings to include a Wind Symphony. The organization changed its name
to the Ethos Youth Ensembles in the fall of 2015 and in 2016 the Ethos Music Academy was founded, offering beginning-level group instruction for strings.  The Ethos Children's Choirs will join the listing of youth ensembles in Fall 2024.

Over the years, the Ethos Youth Ensembles have commissioned new works, performed alongside the area’s finest performing ensembles, and achieved high levels of artistic excellence in performance and programming. Over four thousand students have gone through the organization’s ranks, establishing the Ethos Youth Ensembles as an important cultural and educational institution in Middle Tennessee. 

Ethos Youth Ensembles

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