Photo courtesy of Yawen Wu
About the RSYO
Currently under the direction of Daniel Black, the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO) has provided quality orchestral training for young people in the region for over four decades. Founded in 1965 by Donald Zimmerman, RSYO continues its affiliation with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra as its parent organization. Members of the RSO have led RSYO musicians as conductors and served as sectional coaches for the past fifteen years. Michael Beert who led RSYO from 1991-2001 plays principal cello in the RSO, and his predecessor Hsien-Liang Lien also served as a cello section musician with the RSO until his return to his native Taiwan in 2004. Most recently Alison Gaines conducted the orchestra for five seasons (2004-2009) while also serving as principal bass for the RSO.
Jack Simon, a Rockford musician active in a wide number of musical activities in the region and former RSYO conductor from 1979-1983, recently stated that the youth symphony experience gave him the special chance to work with a number of very talented students. "The Youth Symphony gave students an opportunity to learn and perform music they would possibly not have had a chance to experience,” commented Mr. Simon, “RSYO played an important role in supplementing the music experience students received in their high school band and orchestra programs.”
RSYO is comprised of students from all across Northern Illinois and Sourthern Wisconsin, including Belvidere, Rochelle, Dixon, Pecatonica, Stillman Valley, Freeport, and Rockford, who have a love of classical music and a desire to improve their skills while performing as an ensemble. Auditions are held annually in the spring for the next concert season. Rehearsals are held on Sunday afternoons from 2:00-4:30 p.m.
The program is a challenging and fun music education experience for approximately sixty high school students who make up the orchestra. RSYO rehearses weekly and performs for the public throughout the year. Tuition varies with each concert cycle. There are some scholarships available. For additional information call 815.972.2939.
of the oldest youth orchestras in Illinois, the Rockford Symphony Youth
Orchestra (RSYO) has provided quality orchestral training for young people in
the region for over four decades. Founded in 1965 by Donald Zimmerman, the RSYO
continues to operate under the auspices of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.
RSYO conductors have often had a strong connection to the RSO, and several
former conductors continue to perform as section leaders with the RSO.
Conductors of the RSYO
Daniel Black (2009-current)
Chelsea Tipton III