Randal Swiggum - Artistic Director and Youth Symphony Conductor
Celebrating his fifteenth 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 35th 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
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
E-mail Randal Swiggum
David Anderson - Philharmonia Orchestra
June 2012 marked the end of a successful five-year tenure as the director of the EYSO Chamber Music Institute. In
addition, he is the music director for the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra and conductor-in-residence at Beloit
A native of Clovis, New Mexico, David received his initial musical instruction on piano He attended Baylor
University where he earned two degrees in piano performance (BM summa cum laude and MM with distinction).
During his residence at Baylor, David performed extensively, receiving numerous awards. At the same time, he
began conducting studies under the guidance of Stephen Heyde.
At the University of Illinois, David earned an MM in orchestral conducting with Donald Schleicher. He served as ensemble manager for
the University of Illinois orchestra program and Assistant Conductor for the Quad City Symphony. He was awarded the Kate Neal
Kinley Memorial Fellowship for the 2006-07 academic year, which funded travel throughout the country to study with master
conducting teachers. In 2006, he was a finalist for the Conductors Guild's prestigious Thelma A. Robinson award.
David has collaborated with soloists Midori, Rachel Barton Pine, Brant Taylor, Matthew Treviño, Timothy Ehlen, Rick Rowley, and the
Chicago cast of The Jersey Boys. He has worked with the Quad City Symphony, the Fox River International Orchestra, the orchestras,
opera, and new music ensemble of the University of Illinois, Baylor Symphony Orchestra, and the East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra.
He has given clinics for the orchestras of Olivet Nazarene University, District I Jr. High IMEA, NCJC (a Northern Illinois junior high
honors orchestra), and numerous schools throughout the Chicago suburbs. David received additional instruction at workshops under
the guidance of Larry Rachleff, Gustav Meier, Leonard Slatkin, Giancarlo Guerrero, Kenneth Kiesler, Victor Yampolsky, David Hoose,
Christopher Zimmerman, Kenneth Woods, Emily Freeman Brown, and Peter Bay.
E-mail David Anderson
Jason Flaks - Brass Choir
Jason Flaks begins his fifteenth 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.
E-mail Jason Flaks
Daniel Beder - Sinfonia
Daniel Beder joined the EYSO conducting staff in 2009 as the Prelude Orchestra conductor and then as founding
conductor of Sinfonia. Originally from the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood, he played cello in the Milwaukee Youth
Symphony Orchestra, the largest youth orchestra program in the country. Daniel is a graduate of Oberlin College,
where he earned degrees in music history and theory, as well as mathematics, and studied cello with Catharina
Meints and conducting with Steven Smith. Later, as a graduate student at New York University, he served as
Assistant Conductor for the NYU Symphony Orchestra. Daniel received his music education certification at UWMilwaukee,
where he also studied conducting with Margery Deutsch. After teaching middle school orchestra in
Naperville for four years, Daniel is returning to graduate school to pursue Masters degrees in conducting and music
education at the University of Illinois.
E-mail Daniel Beder
Andy Masters - Prelude Orchestra
Andy Masters now begins his second 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.
E-mail Andy Masters
Beth Mazur Wood - Primo Orchestra
Beth Mazur Wood was welcomed as the conductor of the Prelude Orchestra in 2004. She has worked with the Prelude
or Primo Orchestras since that time and will continue as director of the Primo Orchestra for the 2012-2013 season.
Beth is well known in the Elgin area -- indeed, she herself is an alumna of the EYSO, having played under previous
conductors Elizabeth Prielozny, Colin Holman, and Robert Hanson. Beth studied violin with Betty Haag and later
studied with Desiree Ruhstrat and Cyrus Forough. In addition to playing with the EYSO, she also sang with the Elgin
Children's Chorus and was selected for the Elgin Community College Apprentice Program with the Elgin Symphony
Orchestra. She went on to receive degrees from ECC and Roosevelt University, where she was awarded the B.M. in
Music Education. She has also completed a Master of Arts Degree in School Leadership from Concordia University.
Beth's passion is working with young string players and she is especially gifted at assessing student playing from
physical set-up and posture and translating it into good musicianship. She has served as Orchestra Director at
Carpentersville Middle School since 2001. Beth resides Crystal Lake with her husband Brian, daughter Madeline and two dogs, where
she is enjoying learning to garden and working on home improvement projects.
E-mail Beth Mazur Wood
JACQUELINE FISHER - Chamber Music Institute Director
Jacqueline Fisher is thrilled to begin her first season as Director of the Chamber Music Institute (CMI). Jackie began
her violin studies at the age of 5 with Betty Haag-Kuhnke, and as member of the Performing Group at The Betty
Haag Academy was able to participate in five tours to Europe, a concert at Carnegie Hall, and performed for many
world dignitaries such as Pope John Paul 11, Princess Margaret and Oprah Winfrey.
Mrs. Fisher then continued her studies at the University of Illinois with Catherine Tait and Peter Schaffer. She
received her Bachelors and Masters of Music Performance from the University of Illinois, where she was one of only
three undergraduate women in Fine and Applied Arts to receive the Smith Scholarship, and she won the concerto
competition to perform 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 as well. Mrs. Fisher has been recognized twice by Who's Who Among American Teachers by
the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts.
E-mail Jacqueline Fisher