The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra will present Jim Stombres of St. Charles with its annual Music Educator of the Year Award at its "Blueprint" concerts at 2, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 17.
The Music Educator of the Year award recognizes a music educator who has made a significant contribution to music education and been particularly supportive of the EYSO.
"I am honored that the EYSO would recognize me. I have had the privilege of being involved in this organization as an educator and as a parent. Two of my children played for the organization. I encourage my students to participate because I know they will have a great musical experience. The EYSO enhances the lives of its students tremendously and gives them the opportunity to perform great music at a very high level," Stombres responded when asked how he felt about receiving the award.
Stombres has been the band director at St. Charles North High School since 2000 when he started the band program. Over the years, the program has grown to include over 300 student musicians. Stombres also teaches concerts and jazz bands at the high school.
Stombres' influence over the past few decades is not to be underestimated. With more than 35 years teaching experience, he has worked with thousands of student musicians. Before his work at St. Charles North High School, he worked at Naperville North High School for 12 years.
Stombres holds a diploma in sacred music from Moody Bible Institute, a bachelor of music education degree from Illinois State University, and a masters in music education from Northwestern University. He has been active in the Illinois Music Educators Association, and has served as All-State Jazz Audition Chairman for the last 20 years.
He has served as IMEA Jazz Chairman for District I, VII, and IX. He has been a guest director for many district-level IMEA Festivals, and conducted the 1999 All-State Jazz Band. He has directed jazz bands and combos at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center for the last 23 summers.
Stombres' music career is vast and it is with honor that the EYSO recognizes his contributions to music as well as the EYSO.
Performances will take place at 2, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 17, in the Blizzard Theatre at the Elgin Community College Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Concert tickets are sold in advance and at the door at the ECC box office (847) 622-0300 or online at tickets.elgin.edu. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for senior citizens, $14 for students and are for reserved seating.