This past season, Rockford Lutheran had 8 students in RSYO (Alberto Atzori, Madeleine Felder, Daniel Johnson, Sean Johnson, Sarah Krause, Chrystal McKiski, Andrew Willette, Martin Willette) and it looks like we will have a similar number again this upcoming season.

Rockford Lutheran is pleased to be the new home for the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra for the 2012-13 Season. Weekly, approximately 70 of the areas top high school musicians will be using our improved music facilities. The RSYO will be rehearsing in our music room on Sunday afternoons starting in September from approximately 2:00 – 5:30 pm. They will also use some additional rehearsal space from 2-3 pm for Sectionals,  Brass Choir and Percussion Ensemble.

As an exciting bonus, the RSYO and the RL Music Dept. will work together to upgrade, repair and purchase needed music equipment for both Rockford Lutheran and RSYO students to use.  Also, Rockford Lutheran will be recognized in Rockford Symphony Orchestra and RSYO printed and online materials.

The RSYO will reveal their new home with a music camp on Saturday, August 25. Please feel free to stop in anytime to hear them rehearse under the baton of Maestro Daniel Black! Maestro Black has a strong connection to the rich Russian tradition of the St. Petersburg (Russia) Conservatory. Since joining the RSYO in 2009, he has guided the youth orchestra to a Second Place finish in the American Prize Competition for Excellence in Orchestral Performance and led the orchestra in an invitational performance at the Great Lakes Music Festival 2010. He was a conducting fellow at the 2011 Aspen Music Festival. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Eastman School of Music, and the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Mr. Black is a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting as a student of Victor Yampolsky at Northwestern University.

We are pleased to Welcome Maestro Black,  RSYO Members and their Families!



“The Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, the region’s premiere full orchestra for middle and high school students, is so pleased to have a new rehearsal home at Rockford Lutheran.

As the proud parent of the RSYO, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra is committed to the mission of the RSYO – building community through excellence in music education and performance.

The commitment that RLS already has to music education and the facilities the school is sharing with us makes it possible for RSYO to utilize our weekly rehearsal time to its optimal benefit for the students.

This partnership with RLS is a tremendous opportunity for a true community collaboration for both organizations.”

-- Maestro Daniel Black


Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Psalms 150:3-6

Music Students Excel

Congratulations to the Rockford Lutheran Music Dept. on a great job at the Music in the Parks Competition held at Warren Township HS in Gurnee, IL this past Saturday. Schools from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois were represented there. Our Senior High Orchestra won Best Overall Orchestra with a Superior score and also won the Class A division. Our Junior High Orchestra also won their Class A JH Orchestra division. The JH Choir received a very high score with an Excellent rating and came in 2nd place. Our JH Band placed 3rd in the JH Band Division.

Rockford Lutheran Orchestra Excel at Illinois District Contest

19 participants selected by audition from thousands of area students for the Illinois Music Educators District Music Festivals. These students will be performing at Augustana College on Saturday, November 12 for Orchestra and on Saturday, November 19 at DeKalb High School for Band. Senior Orchestra: Kavanya Gray, violin, Sean Johnson, violin, Andrew Willette, violin, Chrystal McKiski, viola, Madeleine Felder, cello, Daniel Johnson, string bass, Elena Ewaldz, harp, Alberto Atzori, flute, Martin Willette, French horn. Senior Band: Spencer Gustafson, tenor saxophone, Martin Willette, French horn Junior Orchestra: Tyler Hurt, violin, Ashley Kerestes, violin, Paige Nordlof, violin, Micah Ohme, viola, Kelsey Page, viola, Jewlz Rotz, viola, Julian Willette, cello Junior Band: Joseph Barron, trumpet, Abigail Polizzotto, clarinet

Students Perform in Arizona at Hopi Reservation

This past summer, a group of string students from Rockford Lutheran School joined area musicians for performances in Arizona, led by RLA parent, Rachel Handlin. The students had the neat opportunity to work and perform with string students from Flagstaff. In combination, the student musicians performed in Flagstaff, at the Grand Canyon and on the Hopi Reservation, where they got the wonderful opportunity to perform original Hopi literature written for String Quartet. Representing RL were Aria Beert, Madeleine Felder, Joel Gustafson, Sean Johnson, Andrew Willette and Mrs. Felder.

RLA Music Students Excel at Solo & Ensemble Contest

Congratulations to the following RLA Orchestra students who received 1st place medals in the recent Rockford Lutheran Solo & Ensemble Contest: Kaitlyn Erboe & Anika Fischer - Harp Duet, Faith Moss & Jewel-Ann Oksnevad - Violin Duet, Marla Gravino & Elena Sanchez - Violin Duet, Miles Hutto - Violin Solo, Paige Elliot - Viola Solo, Allison Lackner - Violin Solo, Emma Elliot - Bass Solo, Leah Anderson - Violin Duet, Patience Bixby & Cameryn Eickstead - Violin Duet, Laura Niederhuefner - Violin Solo, Abbey Buchanan - Violin Solo, Sabrina Meng - Violin Solo, Sabrina Meng - Piano Solo, Izandra Graf - Viola Solo, Jordyn Kofoid & Izandra Graf - Viola Duet, Vianey Almonaci - Violin Solo, Erik Gibbons - Cello Solo, Kira Mertz - Violin Solo, Aria Beert - Violin Solo, Kate Willette & Aria Beert - Violin Duet, Kate Willette - Violin Solo, David Stim - Violin Solo

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