EYSO Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra
Elgin, Illinois 60121-6508

EYSO Conductors

Randal Swiggum - Artistic Director and Youth Symphony Conductor

Randal Swiggum

Beginning his sixteenth season with the EYSO, Randal Swiggum has helped raise the profile of the EYSO as one of the premier regional youth orchestras in the country. Under his tenure, the EYSO has more than tripled in size, drawing students from a wide geographical range of over sixty communities in Illinois and Wisconsin, with five orchestras, a brass choir, a vibrant chamber music program and performances at Ravinia, on NPR's From the Top, and with superstars Midori and Yo-Yo Ma, as well as headlining the Aberdeen International Festival in Scotland. A frequent guest conductor of orchestral and choral festivals, he recently conducted the Scottish National Youth Symphony in Glasgow, the APAC Festival Orchestra in Seoul, Korea, the first ever Pennsylvania ACDA/PMEA All-State Junior High Choir, the New York City InterSchool Festival, the Singapore American Schools Music Festival, the MENC All-Northwest Honor Choir in Portland, and American Mennonite Schools Orchestra Festival, the Northern Arizona Honors Orchestra, and both the Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Choir and Orchestra. In recent seasons, he conducted both the Illinois and Georgia All-State Orchestras.

Swiggum also serves as Education Conductor for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. His acclaimed young people's concerts with the ESO have prompted invitations to create and conduct similar concerts in Scotland, with the Boise Philharmonic, and The Florida Orchestra where his original concerts such as "Beethoven Superhero" and "The Amazing Technicolor Orchestra" have introduced literally thousands of young people to the wonder of symphonic music. In 2007, he made his subscription concert debut with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and "The Mambo Kings." In 2008 Swiggum was recognized by the Illinois Council of Orchestras with a Conductor of the Year award.

A passionate advocate for a richer learning experience in choir, band, and orchestra, Swiggum has served as Chair of the Wisconsin CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance) Project, now in its 36th year. A frequent presenter at MENC, ASTA, and ACDA conferences, he has addressed the Pennsylvania MENC on "The Art of Rehearsing," as well as the Maryland MENC, the ACDA North Central Division in Des Moines and Eastern Division in Hartford, CT, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and national conventions of the MENC in Phoenix and Kansas City. He has conducted successful performance tours to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Scotland, and throughout the U.S. His choirs performed throughout Italy under the auspices of UNESCO, in Brazil as guests of the city of Rio de Janeiro and Intercultura Brasil, and with the Icelandic National Symphony in Reykjavik under the direction of Lukas Foss. He conducted the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Budapest, and Vienna. In 2012, he led the EYSO Youth Symphony in an innovative Civil War tour which combined performances and travel throughout the South and East with in depth study of some of the "big ideas" of this significant American historical event.

Well known to Wisconsin theatre audiences as a conductor of opera and musical theatre, he has music directed over thirty stage works including the 1991 premiere of the Theatre X opera, Liberace. He created the music for celebrated director Eric Simonsen's new production of Moby Dick for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, named by TIME magazine as one of the 10 Best Theatrical Productions of 2002.

As a writer, Swiggum has served as music critic for the Milwaukee Journal, as author of the book Strategies for Teaching, published by MENC (1998), and as a co-author of Shaping Sound Musicians (GIA, 2003). He has served on the League of American Orchestra's Board of Directors-Youth Orchestra Division. He was Artistic Director of the Madison Children's Choir from 1996-2000, and currently conducts the Madison Boychoir's top two choirs, Britten and Holst. He has taught at Whitefish Bay High School (Milwaukee), and at the University of Wisconsin and Lawrence University. His degrees are in music education (B.M.) and orchestral conducting (M.M.) and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Wisconsin and lives in Madison. Besides travel, biking, reading, and trying new foods, he likes to spend time pondering just about anything.


E-mail Randal Swiggum



Anthony Krempa - Philharmonia Orchestra

Anthony Krempa

ANTHONY KREMPA lives in Chicago, but hails from Michigan where he grew up in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit. He attended Wayne State University and taught in Birmingham until moving to Chicago several years ago. 

Described as "passionate and inspiring," Tony brings a vast experience to the EYSO, with both professional and youth orchestras. For the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, he served as conductor of both its Civic Youth Ensembles and its summer music festival, AVANTI, for high school age musicians performing alongside DSO professionals.


Tony also served for thirteen years as a conductor in the Oakland Youth Orchestras of Rochester, Michigan, a program similar to the EYSO in size and scope. At the OYO, he founded a new full orchestra, the Philharmonia, to meet the needs of a growing program.

As a freelance violinist and violist, Tony has played with several professional orchestras and he currently serves as assistant conductor of the Northwest Symphony Orchestra in Arlington Heights. He is also an amateur trombonist and a collector of musical instruments from around the globe.


A huge baseball fan, Tony has adopted the Cubs as his National League team, but admits that he still passionately follows his "hometown boys," the Detroit Tigers, as he has since childhood. His dream is to see a game in every stadium (and he only has 25 to go!). Like his predecessor David Anderson, Tony is also a runner, and is currently training for a half-marathon this fall in Chicago. His last marathon was an international 26.5 miles, from the U.S. to Canada and back again. Golf, sci-fi books and movies, and playing chamber music with friends are a few of his other interests.


E-mail Anthony Krempa



Jason Flaks - Sinfonia and Brass Choir

Jason Flaks

Jason Flaks begins his sixteenth season as Associate Conductor of the EYSO and conductor of the EYSO Brass Choir. Flaks, a native of Elgin, began playing trumpet at age ten and has been involved with youth orchestras since his high school days as a trumpet player with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the McHenry County Youth Orchestra. In high school and college, Flaks toured the U.S. and Europe with groups ranging in musical style from classical to punk rock and ska. He received his Bachelor's Degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and earned his Master's Degree in music education at Northwestern University in the summer of 2003. Flaks serves as Director of Bands at both Geneva Middle Schools and performs throughout the Chicago area as a free lance trumpet player. His previous teachers have included John Aley, Bruce Daugherty, William Scarlett, and James Thompson. Flaks recently received the 2013 Distinguished Music Educator Award from the Yale School of Music.


E-mail Jason Flaks



Andy Masters - Prelude Orchestra

Andy Masters

Andy Masters now begins his third season leading the Prelude Orchestra. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Andy has enjoyed a diverse and unique musical background. He began playing violin at age nine and trumpet at age ten and completed four European tours with the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony and Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras before finishing high school. As a chorus member, he performed in Carnegie Hall with Kinderchor and in 2000 he was selected to perform with the National Youth Honors Orchestra in Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. Andy received a BM in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a double concentration in both violin and trumpet. At CCM, he performed with the Concert Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Jazz Lab Band, and Wind Symphony. He studied violin with Dr. Phil Baldwin, James McCullough, Constantine Kiradjieff and Anna Vaiman and trumpet with James Underwood, Alan Siebert, Rolff Holly, and Brad Goode. With his unique background Andy is very dedicated to helping young musicians make the most of their musical journey. Since 2004, he has served as orchestra director at Bell-Graham and Wasco Schools in the St. Charles Community Unit School District. He earned his Masters Degree in music education from Northwestern University in 2010. Besides teaching and making music, Andy is very passionate about cooking and gardening. He lives in North Aurora with his wife Jenny, also a violinist and orchestra director in Orland Park, and son Charlie.


E-mail Andy Masters



Daryl Silberman - Primo Orchestra

BDaryl Silberman

Daryl Silberman is also the new orchestra director at Waubonsie Valley High School in District 204 in Aurora, IL. Daryl studied viola at the University of Colorado at Boulder, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and University of Southern California. She formerly was orchestra director at West Salem High School in Salem, OR (2007-2013), Summer Strings orchestra director (elementary and middle school string students), and Salem Chamber Orchestra core member (violin and viola). She was a private studio teacher and freelance violist and violinist in Oregon, Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area performing with regional orchestras, movie studio orchestras, chamber groups, and baroque ensembles.

Daryl plays many contemporary styles on both her traditional instruments and a 5-stringed electric violin. She co-founded the acoustic folk rock band "Naked to the World" and the instrumental group "littlworld." She also has played with husband Danny Seidenberg in a group he founded called UnBande featuring 2 electric violas. She has played and/or recorded with Guns and Roses, Depeche Mode, Al Stewart, Michael Sherwood, Larisa Stow, Darryl Purpose, Robert Morgan Fisher, E.B. Fraley, and many other singer-songwriters and bands.

In the summer, Daryl participates in many national teacher and student music workshops. She has directed her own "Alternative Styles String Camp" at the Crowden School in Berkeley, CA and has been a guest artist at many summer workshops, including Vandercook's MECA program in Chicago. She has been a guest clinician at the Alan DeVeritch Viola Institute in Malibu, Indiana University at Bloomington, the SUNY Fredonia NSOA-ASTA summer camp, Birch Bay summer workshop, New World Symphony outreach program, Robert Billespie's Teacher Workshop at OSU, Chamber Music Connections in Columbus, OH, and many other state ASTA summer teacher workshops. Additionally, Daryl has presented at numerous state and national MENC (Music Educator National Conference) and ASTA (American String Teacher Association) conventions. She has served as the chair of the 2006 ASTA Alternative Styles Committee. She was invited to present clinics at the Australian String Teachers Convention in Brisbane in July 2006. In 2012 she was name one of the Top 50 National Directors by School Band and Orchestra magazine.

When not performing or teaching, Daryl enjoys yoga, good wine and gluten-free food explorations, and spending time enjoying all the activities of her very musical, theatrical and sporty two children.


E-mail Daryl Silberman



JACQUELINE FISHER - Chamber Music Institute Director

Jackie Fisher

Jacqueline Fisher is excited to begin her second season as the Director of the EYSO Chamber Music Institute (CMI). Jackie's violin studies began at the age of 5 with Betty Haag-Kuhnke, and as a member of the Performing Group at The Betty Haag Academy participated in five tours to Europe, played in Carnegie Hall, and performed for many world dignitaries such as Pope John Paul II, Princess Margaret, and Oprah Winfrey. Mrs. Fisher continued her studies with Catherine Tait and Peter Schaffer at the University of Illinois, where she received her Bachelors and Masters of Music Performance. At the University of Illinois, she was one of only three undergraduate women in Fine and Applied Arts to receive the Smith Scholarship, and she also won the school's concerto competition, performing the Wieniawski concerto with the Illini Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduation, Mrs. Fisher began teaching at the Betty Haag Academy and has been a member of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra since 1998. She has taught at numerous workshops in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and many of her students have gone on to become music educators and performers. Mrs. Fisher has been recognized twice by Who's Who Among American Teachers by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. She currently resides in Cary, Illinois with her husband and two daughters.


E-mail Jacqueline Fisher