STAFF & BOARD

artistic staff

  David Platt - Director of Youth Orchestras & Civic Orchestra Music Director

David Platt - Director of Youth Orchestras & Civic Orchestra Music Director

Conductor-violinist David S. Platt lives in Springfield, Illinois, where he was recently appointed Director of Orchestras for the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphonies and Music Director for the Sangamon Valley Civic Orchestra. A burgeoning, young professional, David has conducted a variety of orchestras around the world, including the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese (Italy), Fort Wayne Philharmonic (Indiana), Portland Symphony (Maine), Sofia Orchestra (Bulgaria), Aurora Music Festival (Sweden), Baltimore Chamber Orchestra (Maryland), and in conjunction with the Cleveland International Piano Competition, and Cleveland Institute of Music (Ohio). As a dedicated educator, David was Music Director for the Baldwin Wallace Youth Orchestras and has worked with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and Akron Youth Orchestras. Notably, David served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Conducting at Oberlin College & Conservatory, where he taught courses in undergraduate conducting. Prior to his appointment at Oberlin, David was Music Director of the University of Texas University Orchestra and an Adjunct Instructor at Victoria College conducting the orchestra as part of a collaboration with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (Texas). Additionally, He’s served as Assistant Conductor for the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Firelands Symphony Orchestra (Ohio). For the 2016-2017 season he was named a Semi-Finalist for the prestigious New World Symphony’s Conducting Fellowship. As a violinist, David has performed on numerous faculty, solo, and quartet recitals in addition to playing in orchestras as a concertmaster or soloist. In 2011, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, David performed Ernst Chausson’s Poéme with orchestra in Clowes Memorial Hall (Indiana). David graduated with his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and earned a quintuple Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance, Music Education, Music Theory, Music History, and Composition from Butler University. Past primary conducting teachers include Carl Topilow, Markand Thakar, and Michael Jinbo, and violin studies with Lisa Evans Brooks, Brian Lewis, and Larry Shapiro. Aside from conducting, David is interested in Italian culture and language, kayaking and hiking, traveling, and studying philosophy.

 
  Chenoa Alamu   Chenoa Alamu was born and raised in Memphis, TN. At the age of two, Chenoa attended her first classical music concert given by Japanese violin students of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. This sparked her interest in music and she was enrolled in the Suzuki Violin Program a year later.  Demonstrating her love and enthusiasm for music, Chenoa continued to develop her natural ability and trained gift in violin and vocal studies throughout her childhood and teenage years. She attended the Overton High School of Performing Arts, summer music camps such as Aspen Music Festival, Interlochen Arts Camp, Sewanee Music Center, and the Governor’s School of Performing Arts. She has achieved both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers during these earlier and formal years of study were Yuko Honda, Pak-Chung Cheng, Katherine Wolfe, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Dorothy Delay, and Dr. Won-Bin Yim.  Chenoa instructs Starter Strings.

Chenoa Alamu

Chenoa Alamu was born and raised in Memphis, TN. At the age of two, Chenoa attended her first classical music concert given by Japanese violin students of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. This sparked her interest in music and she was enrolled in the Suzuki Violin Program a year later.

Demonstrating her love and enthusiasm for music, Chenoa continued to develop her natural ability and trained gift in violin and vocal studies throughout her childhood and teenage years. She attended the Overton High School of Performing Arts, summer music camps such as Aspen Music Festival, Interlochen Arts Camp, Sewanee Music Center, and the Governor’s School of Performing Arts. She has achieved both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers during these earlier and formal years of study were Yuko Honda, Pak-Chung Cheng, Katherine Wolfe, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Dorothy Delay, and Dr. Won-Bin Yim.

Chenoa instructs Starter Strings.

  Gretchen Harrison   Gretchen Harrison was raised in Decatur, IL where she began Suzuki cello lessons at 7 years old, and now resides in Springfield with her husband and children.  Music played a huge role in Harrison’s youth: playing with the Decatur Youth Symphony and Millikin Symphony, teaching cello at summer music camps in Decatur, and performing at surrounding churches with her sister who played the violin.  Harrison obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from Western Illinois University. During that time, she studied violin, viola, and bass to expand her knowledge of strings.  In 2010 Gretchen created her studio, 4 Strings Music Studio, where she currently teaches cello, bass, violin, and viola to over 50 students. In addition to her studio, she is also the Starter Strings instructor at Farmingdale Elementary, on the Praise team at Cherry Hills Church, and teaches with the SVYS summer music program.  Gretchen instructs Starter Strings.

Gretchen Harrison

Gretchen Harrison was raised in Decatur, IL where she began Suzuki cello lessons at 7 years old, and now resides in Springfield with her husband and children.

Music played a huge role in Harrison’s youth: playing with the Decatur Youth Symphony and Millikin Symphony, teaching cello at summer music camps in Decatur, and performing at surrounding churches with her sister who played the violin.

Harrison obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from Western Illinois University. During that time, she studied violin, viola, and bass to expand her knowledge of strings.

In 2010 Gretchen created her studio, 4 Strings Music Studio, where she currently teaches cello, bass, violin, and viola to over 50 students. In addition to her studio, she is also the Starter Strings instructor at Farmingdale Elementary, on the Praise team at Cherry Hills Church, and teaches with the SVYS summer music program.

Gretchen instructs Starter Strings.

  Jean Tweet     Jean Ellen Tweet has a degree in violin performance from Northern Illinois University and has performed with numerous regional groups including Sinfonia Concertant and the Ballet Orchestra in Milwaukee, the Rockford Symphony, and others. She was a member of the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra for 14 years and currently plays chamber music around central Illinois. While in Minneapolis, she earned her Suzuki Teacher Certificate from MacPhail School of Music and took courses at Stevens Point Suzuki Camps including study with Sinichi Suzuki. Jean has studios in Elkhart and Springfield teaching violin and viola. Jean maintains a busy private lesson schedule.  Jean instructs Junior Strings and Starter Strings.

Jean Tweet

Jean Ellen Tweet has a degree in violin performance from Northern Illinois University and has performed with numerous regional groups including Sinfonia Concertant and the Ballet Orchestra in Milwaukee, the Rockford Symphony, and others. She was a member of the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra for 14 years and currently plays chamber music around central Illinois. While in Minneapolis, she earned her Suzuki Teacher Certificate from MacPhail School of Music and took courses at Stevens Point Suzuki Camps including study with Sinichi Suzuki. Jean has studios in Elkhart and Springfield teaching violin and viola. Jean maintains a busy private lesson schedule.

Jean instructs Junior Strings and Starter Strings.

 

executive director

  Shannon Mathis, Executive Director   Meet our new Executive Director Shannon Mathis. Shannon quite simply believes that a community has a core set of values and one of those core values is the need for a strong fine arts network. She is excited to be able to bring her successful experience in management, marketing, and fundraising to the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony.  Shannon's three children, Sarah, Julia, and Jake, know first hand about mom's support of the arts with her middle daughter Julia an alumni of the SVYS under Maestro Richard Haglan and youngest child Jake a member of Titan Fever Show Choir.  Shannon has helped many not-for-profits in the Springfield area through her vision in event planning, coordination and fundraising and has secured over $4 million across Central Illinois for organizations such as March of Dimes, the American Lung Association, Hope School, St. Joseph's Home, and the Family Service Center.   In addition to her new role with the SVYS, Shannon is also the Executive Director of the Ball-Chatham Education Foundation.Shannon looks forward to making orchestra music accessible for all young people in the Springfield area.  ­­­

Shannon Mathis, Executive Director

Meet our new Executive Director Shannon Mathis. Shannon quite simply believes that a community has a core set of values and one of those core values is the need for a strong fine arts network. She is excited to be able to bring her successful experience in management, marketing, and fundraising to the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony.

Shannon's three children, Sarah, Julia, and Jake, know first hand about mom's support of the arts with her middle daughter Julia an alumni of the SVYS under Maestro Richard Haglan and youngest child Jake a member of Titan Fever Show Choir.

Shannon has helped many not-for-profits in the Springfield area through her vision in event planning, coordination and fundraising and has secured over $4 million across Central Illinois for organizations such as March of Dimes, the American Lung Association, Hope School, St. Joseph's Home, and the Family Service Center.


In addition to her new role with the SVYS, Shannon is also the Executive Director of the Ball-Chatham Education Foundation.Shannon looks forward to making orchestra music accessible for all young people in the Springfield area.

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Board of Directors

Paul Sullivan • President

Vanessa Ferguson • Vice President

John Myers • Treasurer

Jamie Greenwald • Secretary

Tricia Becker

Don Daniels

Jason Helfer

 

Alan Jedlicka

Mary Gamble Lueking

Raj Mitra

Evyn Neumeister

Michael Tungett

Peter Wise

If you'd like to be involved with our Board of Directors, email svys.svco@gmail.com or call 217.753.8000.