The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony invites you to its fifth annual, fun-filled Trivia Night! Renowned Trivia Expert and Emcee Russ Friedewald will host the event again this year.
Without the generous support of our sponsors we could not continue to provide the only youth orchestral program in our area.
Gene Power was the Music Director and Conductor of the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony and Civic Orchestra during our 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. He was a doctoral student in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois during that time. Over the two seasons under his baton, our entire program made immense strides in quality and excellence, and our students, families, and musicians adored him. He was brilliant, witty, thoughtful, genuine, and had a commanding presence as a leader and conductor. Not only did he share his knowledge and talent in music with our students, but he taught them about community service through sharing music with others. Last season in particular, thanks to Gene's initiation, we brought our young musicians to perform at local retirement homes and at other community events, as well as putting on "instrument petting zoos" at different sites of the Compass after school program so that more students could be exposed to string instruments. He was a resident of Springfield during our 2014-2015 season, and was an active parishioner at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception where he sang in the choir, as well as regularly volunteering at a soup kitchen. He left at the end of the 2014-2015 season to move back to Wisconsin in order to be closer to his family, and return to his original love of teaching in a public school.
All of us at SVYS/SVCO were sorry to see him go, but wished him happiness in his future, which we knew he was on the road to attaining. It is beyond heartbreaking that he was taken from us so soon. We feel very fortunate to have known him, made music with him, and been his friend.
Purchasing logo clothing is a great way to show your support and pride in SVYS! This year there are personalized items for both the Youth Symphony and the Civic Orchestra.
On Tuesday, October 13, We will have the pleasure of a visit from the Julstrom String Quartet, from Western Illinois University. The members of the ensemble include: Julieta Mihai, associate professor, violin; Alexandru Malaimare, graduate assistant, violin; István Szábo, associate professor, violin; and Moisés Molina, School of Music assistant director, cello.
The musicians will be working with the Youth Symphony musicians during the Youth Symphony rehearsal time for sectionals, and then the quartet will give a performance and masterclass during which Youth Symphony and Civic Orchestra musicians are welcome to attend, from 7-8:30 p.m.
Read the job description at our listing on idealist.com.
We are growing! SVYS has added the Sinfonia Orchestra to accommodate the advancing skills of our members. This strings-only ensemble is for for students whose experience places them between the Youth Symphony and the Preparatory Orchestra. Students are admitted by audition to these ensembles. The Sinfonia Orchestra, conducted by Diane Turek, provides an opportunity for students perform progressively more challenging repertoire as they grow musically.
Congratulations to Malik Greco, the first recipient of the Ann Kramer Scholarship! Malik is a viola player entering 5th grade at Butler Elementary School. The Ann Kramer Scholarship was created in honor of former SVYS Office Manager Ann Kramer, and is awarded to a student completing Starter Strings who displays great potential to continue in the SVYS program, positive attitude, dedication, and passion for their music studies. Malik will be continuing in Starter Strings II this year with SVYS. Congratulations, Malik!
The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony and Civic Orchestra is pleased to welcome our new Music Director & Conductor, Matthew G. Sheppard. Mr. Sheppard will be conducting the Youth Symphony and Civic Orchestra, as well as overseeing the artistic and educational direction of the entire organization. Mr. Sheppard resides in Urbana, IL.
Known for his passion and enthusiasm for music and education, Matthew Sheppard leads an active career as both a performer and pedagogue.
In addition to his position as Music Director of SVYS, he holds appointments as Music Director of the University Chamber Orchestra at the University of Chicago, the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago, the Hyde Park Youth Symphony, and the UU Church of Urbana-Champaign, as well as Assistant Conductor of the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra. As a pedagogue, he is highly regarded for his musicianship, technical ability, and scholarship and most recently presented a series of masterclasses on orchestral playing and conducting at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Asunción, Paraguay.
From 2011-13, Sheppard studied conducting at Penn State University with Gerardo Edelstein. During that time, he held appointments as Orchestra Director at Juniata College, Music Director of the State College Summer Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra (CPYO), and Music Director of the UU Fellowship of Centre County. In 2010, he founded the State College Summer Orchestra, a community orchestra that has since offered three years of benefit concerts. In 2013, they presented four world premieres, including a commission written for the orchestra and cello soloist Kim Cook.
Sheppard holds bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts, Music Education, and Music Performance from Penn State, as well as a master's degree in orchestral conducting. As a violin student of Max Zorin, he won the Jury Recognition Award three times for outstanding performance on end-of-semester playing exams and received the William M. Forrest Chamber Music Scholarship for four consecutive years. He was also the 2010 recipient of the Penn State Creative Achievement Award.
Sheppard attended conducting festivals in the Czech Republic, Chicago, Austin, and Vermont, studying under Donald Schleicher, Kirk Trevor, Kenneth Kiesler, and Peter Bay.
Diane Turek, former Director of Orchestras at Normal Community West High school, taught all levels of orchestra for Unit 5 based in Normal, IL the past 36 years until retiring in June. Diane was the NCWHS music department building chair and was also a part of the Unit 5 "Instrument Exploration" recruitment team. This past January she and was a presenter at an ILMEA session in Peoria, “How to Showcase Your Orchestra through Educational Youth Concerts, with her colleague Melissa Siebenthal, which featured the combined NCWHS & NCHS Chamber Orchestras. Her orchestras have traveled to places like Toronto, New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.
In 2008 Diane was honored to receive the Illinois ASTA Outstanding School Teacher Award. She is an active clinician and adjudicator around the state. Diane, a violinist, has performed with the Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra and is a member of the Topaz string quartet. She is a member of ILMEA and ASTA, where she served as membership chair for several years. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Diane graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse and received her M.A. in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University in 2009. She resides in Bloomington, Illinois with her husband Jeff. Their son Alex resides in Austin, Texas.
Diane is looking forward to meeting everyone and is excited to be part of the SVYS faculty this upcoming year. She would like her future students to know that we’re going to have a lot of fun learning new skills and playing awesome music together.
Musicians are required to report rehearsal absences in advance.
The Youth Symphony, Sinfonia Orchestra and the Preparatory Orchestra are for students in grade school through high school.
Beginning string instruction for students at local schools and home-schooled children in grades 3-6.
Open to all adults who play an orchestral instrument.