Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony

May brings the final shows of the season for both the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony and the Civic Orchestra. 

It also marks the end for Music Director Eugene Power, as he will be leaving the area soon.  

The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony will perform Saturday May 9 at Springfield High Auditorium.  The doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the concert is at 2 p.m. 

The Civic Orchestra performs Sunday May 17 at 4 p.m.  at the Hoogland Center for the Arts Theatre 3. 


Music Director Gene Power says he's received a positive response to his plan for a first ever Chamber Music Program. 

"We had about 27 kids who were interested in being in chamber ensembles," he said.  A coach was hired to work with the students after regular practices. 

Power says it's part of a larger effort to bring more visibility to the organization which provides music opportunities for kids at the elementary and secondary school levels. 

The ensembles could also perform at events where live music might be proper, like a holiday party.


The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony has a new Executive Director. 

Elle Pressly is a clarinetist who majored in music at the University of Illinois.  She now teaches music education in the Jacksonville School District.

Her new role will become full time when the school year ends.  It will involve marketing, fundraising and handling the day to day operations of the SVYS.  

The organization provides orchestral instruction to area youth,  as young as 3rd grade.

Eugene Power says working with young musicians allows him to see their musical journeys.  He's taught high school band and has worked with youth in other settings.  Recently, he was named the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony music director and conductor. 

"You can be involved with music in many, many ways throughout your entire life," Power said. "And that's what I like to see... students kind of catch fire with that and carry it with them."