Youth orchestra in concert at West Middle School

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO), as the parent organization of the Rockford Area Youth Symphony Orchestra (RAYSO), announces the 40th Anniversary season of the area’s premiere youth orchestra.

In addition to the celebration of 40 years of service to the community by providing full symphony orchestra training to regional youth, the RSO announces a name change for the youth orchestra. The new name officially adopted beginning this season is the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO).

RSO Music Director Steven Larsen said: “We feel there is an opportunity to bring the RSO and the youth symphony into closer alignment from a community relations perspective with the name change. We want to make certain that the patrons of both the RSO and regional high school musicians make the association that the RSO supports the RSYO.”

Two concerts are scheduled for this season. The first is at 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 at West Middle School, 1900 N. Rockton Ave. Tickets will be available at the door; adults $6, students $4. Special guests for this concert include an ensemble of players from the Music Academy at Rockford College.

The spring concert is at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 30, 2006, at the Coronado Theatre. Tickets for this concert are available through the RSO Box Office or at the door the day of the concert, adults $10, students $6. Special guest performance for this concert features the Highland Community College Chorale and the first prize winner from the Rockford Symphony Orchestra/Rock Valley College Concerto Competition.

Founded in 1965 by Don Zimmer, RSYO is led by Alison Gaines, who is completing her doctoral studies in conducting. Auditions are held annually at the Riverfront Museum Park, home of the RSO offices. Concerts are given throughout the area to highlight some of the region’s communities in which RSYO members reside. An annual spring concert in the Coronado Theatre recognizes the orchestra members who are graduating seniors and features the RSO/RVC Concerto Competition winner.

For more information about RSO or RSYO, visit or call the RSO Box Office at 815-965-0049.

From the Dec. 7-13, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!