Young Performers Concerto Competition

The IVSO Young Performers Competition provides the opportunity for outstanding young instrumentalists, grades 6-12, to compete for performing with the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Auditions: January 06, 2018.

The winners of both divisions will perform with the IVSO at the School Concerts on February 23, 2018 and at the March 11, 2018 Subscription Concert.


Click here to download the application for the 2018 Young Performers Competition


School Concerts

The IVSO annually presents two educational concerts for approximately two thousand 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students.

Elementary schools receive a resource kit including information about the orchestra, conductor and soloists, and valuable information about the composer and the works to be performed. Music Teachers and/or classroom teachers are able to use this material to help prepare the students for the concert in order to optimize their musical experience with the orchestra.

2017 IVSO Young Performers Competition Winners


Faith Sommer, the daughter of Bill and Amy Sommer, is 17 years old and has studied violin for 9 years under the direction of Katherine Roy.  She has previously played in the Illinois Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Bloomington Normal Youth Symphony Orchestra, the JFK Band and JFK Jazz Band as well as the Wheaton Pops Orchestra, where she held the Assistant Principal 2nd Violin seat at age 13 and continued to play in the 1st violin section in 2014 & 2015. She has had solo performances with the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, after winning the Junior Division of the Concerto Competition in January 2013, and the Spring Valley Municipal Band, playing the Theme to Schindler’s List. Over the years, she has enjoyed providing accompaniments, performing in duets, string trios, chamber groups as well as performing for many other special events, such as the Maud Powell Festival, recitals, Maestro & Mi Holiday Glee, holiday concerts and weddings. She had the honor of playing with an Army Jazz Band when they visited her school and has played at local nursing homes and retirement communities. In late 2012, she created a YouTube channel and Facebook page, both under the name Faithfulviolin, to share her love of playing the violin. In 2014, Faith completed a video project in which she played the music in the first 3 Suzuki books to assist beginning and young violin students by using the videos as a guide and reference for posture, technique and tone and posted them on her YouTube channel. Currently, she plays in her church worship band, her church youth group band and is employed as a violin instructor at Maestro & Mi Music Academy, where she has been teaching for a little over a year. She loves sharing her music with audiences and she plans to major in violin performance.


Noah Johnson is a homeschooled freshman from Utica, IL.  He is the son of Ron and Mandi Johnson.  Noah has studied violin with Katherine Roy for seven years.  He participated in the Junior String Ensemble and currently plays in the Illinois Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra.  Noah has taken part in chamber music and has performed at the Maud Powell Music Festival.  He also shares his music at various retirement communities, nursing homes, and church.  He studies piano and plays the drums.  Noah is looking forward to various performances this semester including studio recitals.  This performance of Haydn violin concerto in G Major will be his orchestra debut.