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updated: 12/19/2010 9:31 AM

EYSO welcomes alumni back for reunion party

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Daily Herald Report

From 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra will host an Alumni Reunion Party bringing together EYSO participants from the past 35 years.

Hosted at the Elgin Public House- Pub 17, 219 E. Chicago St., Elgin, past musicians, directors, volunteers, parents and administration are welcome to join in the fun.

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The party is free. Soft drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be provided, as well as a cash bar.

All Elgin Area Youth Orchestra and Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra alums are invited to attend. Current Music Director and Conductor Randal Swiggum and other current and former conductors will be on hand.

EYSO archivist Judy Van Dusen, who also works at the Elgin Area Historical Museum, will bring part of the EAYO/EYSO Archives for alums to view. The 35th Alumni Reunion committee is comprised of alumni students, parents and board members.

The first alumni event of the 35th anniversary season was planned at a time when college students would be home for winter break. Any and all information relating to past seasons is being collected by the EYSO. Pictures, programs and personal stories are welcome. Alumni can also keep up with events and information by connecting with EYSO on Facebook or Twitter.

EYSO would also like to continue adding individuals from the past 35 years to its alumni database. Finding individuals from the early years is proving especially difficult. Anyone who has been involved in the orchestra may call the main office of EYSO at (847) 841-7700 and speak to a staff member to be added to the database and get information about upcoming Alumni events.

The 2010--11 season marks a significant milestone for the youth orchestra. Not only has the EYSO been entertaining audiences and educating students for 35 years, but the orchestra continues to grow.

Highlights of the past few years include a performance in Springfield celebrating Lincoln's 200th birthday; a Midori Residency; performances with the former Jersey Boys; and a trip to Scotland to participate in the annual Aberdeen festival. This season, EYSO has added a fifth orchestra and is planning a return performance at Ravinia in the summer of 2011.

Visit eyso.org to RSVP for the event, to e-mail information or to get added to the alumni database to receive information on upcoming events. There will also be an alumni gala in the spring celebrating this milestone.

The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, an In-Residence Ensemble in the Arts Center at Elgin Community College, is home to five orchestras and a brass choir with nearly 300 students from more than 60 communities.

Founded in 1976, the mission of the EYSO is to create a community of young musicians, enriching their lives and the lives of their families, schools, communities and beyond, through the study and performance of excellent music.

This program is partially supported by grants from the Palmer Foundation, the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, and the Illinois Arts Council. The 2010-11 EYSO season sponsor is USPlate Glass Insurance Company.

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