The Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO) has a busy fall schedule with two concerts in November. The RSYO is conducted by Linc Smelser and is made up of area students. The RSYO is a great way to introduce your family to orchestral music!

RSYO Fall Concerts

RSYO Fall Chamber Concert will be held on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church in Rockford. Tickets are $5 and the concert will include Schubert and Mendelssohn along with other great classical pieces.

RSYO Fall Orchestra Concert will be held on November 19 at 3 p.m. at Belvidere High School. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased at the door.

Isadore Olson Scholarship Winner

The Isadore Olson Scholarship Fund was created in 2015 by Gayle and Ellwyn Englof in honor and memory of Gayle’s grandfather, Isadore Olson. Gayle says of her grandfather, “Isadore Olson emigrated to Rockford from a small island off the coast of Sweden in the early 1900s.

He was a musician, played the fiddle (or violin), sang in his church choir, and performed with the Sveas Soner singing society of Rockford most of his adult life.”

This year’s winner is Max Wang, currently a senior at Hononegah Community High School in Rockton Ill.. His musical journey is marked by over a decade of dedicated piano study under David Newman.

For the last five years, Max has also been a member of the RSYO contributing as a timpani and percussion player. He continues to immerse himself in music, balancing academic pursuits with a deep and abiding passion for musical excellence and hopes to one day minor in music in college.

Concerto Competition Winner

Each year the RSYO sponsors this annual competition for area musicians who are 21 or younger. The top three winners are awarded cash prizes and the overall winner plays with the RSYO during their spring concert.

This year’s winner is pianist Selina Wen, a sophomore at Middleton High School in the Madison, Wis. area. She began piano and violin when in pre-school. Besides concertos, she enjoys playing in ensembles and has played in many chamber groups.

Outside of music, Selina swims for the Mad City Aqua Stars club, competing in synchronized swimming. During her free time she likes to bake sweet treats and try a variety of different recipes.

For more information about the RSYO, visit the Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s website:

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