509-448-4446

P.O. Box 9547  Spokane, WA  99209

info@spokaneyouthsymphony.org

Natasha Black

Violin and Piano

Years you were in SYS?
2000's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
Performing Kachaturian's Piano Concerto, 1st movement in 2011 and Gustav Holst's The Planets

What is your life about now?
I graduated from Whitworth University in Spokane WA with degrees in Accounting and Piano Pedagogy. Currently I study in Germany and at EWU for my MBA and M.A. in International Business and Economics. When I'm in Spokane I teach piano, work as an accountant, and play piano and violin at Christ Our Hope Bible Church.

Comments:
​​SYS is a phenomenal organization. It was a huge blessing for me to be a part of growing up. You meet life long friends and develop your musical abilities while having a blast! I wish every young person could participate in a symphony organization like this. 

​7/28/2016

Theresa Sievert

Bassoon

Decade you were in SYS?
​​2010's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Julián Gómez Giraldo, Ruth Boden

Most memorable event in SYS?
Retreat

What is your life about now?
I am in college and working towards my undergraduate degree in bioengineering. I still play my bassoon and love it!

​6/27/2016

Alex Choe

cello

Years you were in SYS?
2010'2

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Julián Gómez Giraldo, Ruth Boden, Philip Baldwin

Most memorable event in SYS?
Probably the performance of Wavin' Flag with the SYS in 2011, that was pretty fun..  

What is your life about now?
I am currently a sophomore attending the University of Washington. While I am still undeclared, I plan to apply to the chemical engineering department later this coming winter. When I have the time, I love exploring the city of Seattle and participate in volunteer work through UW Circle K.

Comments:

8/15/17

Scroll down the page to read the most recent responses from SYS  Alumni.

Chandler Johnson

Percussion

Years you were in SYS?
2009-2012

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham, Julian Gomez Giraldo

Most memorable event in SYS?
Sandpoint Festival

What is your life about now?
Working towards a Graphic Design degree (and still playing music, of course!)

7/15/2016

David Taylor

Bassoon

Years you were in SYS?
1950's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Harold Paul Whelan

Most memorable event in SYS?
Principal bassoon, 1958-59?

What is your life about now?
Retired from the Seattle Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2002, (joined 1968) freelance in Portland, Vancouver, Principal bassoon, Southwest Washington Symphony I have a picture of the orchestra, probably taken in 1959. (see below)

1/12/17

SYS (or "Junior Symphony) Alumni, we would love to hear from you! Please submit this form:

SYS Alumni Questionnaire

Lisa Pirkkala

Clarinet, bass clarinet

Years you were in SYS?
1980's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Dennis Leyendecker

Most memorable event in SYS?
Playing in the Masonic Temple in Spokane

What is your life about now?
Enjoy outdoors, literature, all kinds of music. Miss playing. 

​7/18/2016

Spokane Youth Symphony

SYS Alumni

Clara Mannino

Flute

Years you were in SYS?
2000's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
Playing Dvorak 8!

What is your life about now?
SYS was my first orchestral experience. Since then, I earned my Master's Degree in flute performance, and am a freelance flutist, and flute teacher at Holy Names Music Center and Spokane Falls Community College.

7/17/2016

Zac Alden

viola

Decade you were in SYS?
​​2000's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham, Dr. Baldwin

Most memorable event in SYS?
Too many to pick one: Pre-season summer camps, or the senior awards ceremony, after participating in SYS for seven years. Performing on ice for the national skating championships or the concerto competition also rank fairly high. 

What is your life about now?
I am a professional funk and hip hop bass player and artist manager in Portland, Oregon.

​Comments:
The experiences I had with the youth symphonies were invaluable to my development as a musician and as a person. I treasure those memories very highly. 

​7/17/2016

Catherine Schaefer

Violin and Piano

Years you were in SYS?
2000's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Maestro Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
So many - Saint-Saens organ symphony, Shostakovich 5, summer camps, Sandpoint concerts, and so much more. 

What is your life about now?
I'm a professional musician and work mostly in theatre (opera coaching/conducting/playing and some musical theatre). I am based in Houston but have worked a lot of different places.

7/17/2016

DG Kim

Cello

Years you were in SYS?
2010's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham, Julián Gómez Giraldo, Ruth Boden

Most memorable event in SYS?
Performance of Elgar Cello Concerto (4th Movement) with SYS in 2010.

What is your life about now?
I am currently studying Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, but also pursuing a minor in conducting. At school, I still actively play cello in our university orchestra and La Vie en Cello (a new cello ensemble), while also conducting an orchestra of my own.

​7/24/2016

Arianna Alegreto

Violin

Years you were in SYS?
​​2008-2015

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Heather Montgomery, Stephen Swanson, Julian Gomez Giraldo, Beth (JSO), Ruth Boden, Philip Baldwin

Most memorable event in SYS?
Combined orchestra concert directed by Verne Windham

What is your life about now?
Transitioning into adulthood, heading off to university, and making plans for my future

​7/15/2016

Bethany Schoeff

Oboe

Years you were in SYS?
1990's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
Winning the Concerto Competitons my Sophomore and Senior years.   

What is your life about now?
I'm the Personnel Manager of the Spokane Symohony and oboe faculty at EWU and SFCC. I was formerly Principal oboe of the Veracruz Philharmonic in Mexico and oboe professor at the Superior Institute of Music there as well. My husband is the General Manager and Clarinetist with the Spokane Symphony.  

7/20/2016

Cristopher Garza

Clarinet

Decade you were in SYS?
​​2000's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
1812 Overture in St. John's with SACC, a Russian choir, SYO, handbells, and the Cathedral's carillon. 

What is your life about now?
Flying back and forth between Washington and San Francisco to play clarinet. 

​6/24/2016

Rob Peterson

Double bass

Years you were in SYS?
1990's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Wayne Smith

Most memorable event in SYS?
Opening of the Arena

What is your life about now?
Family, work and playing bass

7/18/2016

Janet Rea

flute, piccolo

Years you were in SYS?
1960's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Robert M. Cook

Most memorable event in SYS?
A tie: Playing "The Incredible Flutist" with the ballet; and playing a woodwind quintet during a regular concert.  

What is your life about now?
Developing drugs to prevent and prevent breast cancer recurrence

Comments:
I have the record produced from the 1969 season. And some programs.​

2/18/17

Caytlin (Driggars) Reese

violin

Decade you were in SYS?
​​2000's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
Performing Beethovens 5th Symphony

What is your life about now?
I am the co-founder of Bella Noté Music Studios in Sandpoint, Idaho where I teach piano, violin and early childhood music.


​6/29/2016

Jonathan  Woodruff

Cello

Decade you were in SYS?
​​2000's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
Winning concerto competition and playing Lalo with the SYS in 2006.

What is your life about now?
I am a real estate investor in Spokane, WA and enjoy numerous hobbies and activities on the side.

Comments:

Thank you to the SYS for an amazing experience that lasted for many years! Playing in an orchestra like this is an incredible opportunity for a young person that allows them to grow both in their technical as well as social skills. Music, especially in a group setting like this, gives someone a plethora of skills that translate into all areas of later life. These include the ability to work in a group, interact with other different people, complete individual practice, and master a tangible skill. All of these tasks directly translate into a more prepared young adult that can go and take on the world. I wouldn't trade my years in SYS for anything.

6/30/2016

Erin Lally

Cello

Years you were in SYS?
1990's

Conductor(s) under whom you played?
Wayne Smith, Verne Windham

Most memorable event in SYS?
Playing The Swan in front of of a full house of grade-schoolers at the Opera House

What is your life about now?
I work in the fire business for the Forest Service and play outside with my husband and dogs.

​7/20/2016