Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra named Youth Orchestra of the Year

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra has been named “Youth Orchestra of the Year” for 2018 by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO).

The ICO judging was based on the following criteria: Programming, community involvement/outreach, opportunities for youth, growth of audience, fiscal responsibility, and community support.

The Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO) is comprised of students from Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin who have a love of classical music and a desire to improve their skills while performing as an ensemble. Currently under the direction of Linc Smelser, the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO) has provided quality orchestral training for young people in the region for over four decades.

The 2016-17 Season was a year of growth for the RSYO, with increased community partnerships, expanded ensemble opportunities, an increase in audience attendance, and increased financial support. The profile of the RSYO was raised with the addition of the Brass Quintet, and the appearance of three professional soloists and two partnership student orchestras on concert performances.

The RSYO is made up of 60 young musicians who auditioned from 15 cities and represent 23 different schools. The orchestra gives four concerts per year, with the smaller ensembles performing additionally throughout the community.

Funding and administration for the RSYO is provided by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and is tuition based.  Additional funding is provided for The RSYO Sterling String Quartet by the Sterling Family endowment, and a new merit-based endowed individual scholarship opportunity is provided by the Isadore Olson Scholarship Fund.

The next performance of the RSYO will be April 22, 2018 at the Hononegah Performing Arts Center at 3 pm.