Stories Behind the Music


The information below refers to the 2020-21 Stories Behind the Music. We will be updating this page for 2022-21 Season when the details are available.





Host Committee
Matt Sheppard*
Eric Larson*
Sarosh Saher*
Ed Snoble*
Ellen Sheppard
Kari Christensen
Diane Stredde* §
Bill Nicholson*
Thomas (Tee) Duncan*
Susanna Graham
Lorie Estanislao
Corry Fitch
Allison Winsor* §

*Member of the Board of Directors
§ Host Committee Co-Chairs

What is Stories Behind the Music?

Stories Behind the Music is an “up close and personal” view of EYSO, told in the words of students, teachers, and volunteers –– and your invitation to become part of the life-changing experiences you will hear in these stories.


Why is it important?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on arts organizations, both economically and psychologically. Many have “paused” their programs, others have shuttered their doors, but some – like EYSO – have found ways to persevere, remain true to their missions, and enrich the lives of their members and supporters in the face of great odds. Despite unprecedented challenges, EYSO found a way for its students to safely rehearse and perform in person; to continue their collaborative learning and life exploration through the study and performance of excellent music.

But this dedication to mission has come at significant financial cost. Revenues from ticket sales and performance fees are down, and operating safely in a COVID-19 environment has added extraordinary expense.


How can you help?

Your gift – in whatever amount you can afford – directly supports EYSO students on their journey of inquiry, creativity, and personal growth through the study of music.

• Your gift provides need-based tuition assistance for aspiring student musicians from families with demonstrated financial need.
• Your gift underwrites production costs such as music stands, sheet music, and sound equipment.
• Your gift sponsors coaching sessions, group discussions, and “School-Day Tours” for Elgin-area middle and high school students.
• In short, your gift becomes a life-changing investment, ensuring that these Stories Behind the Music continue uninterrupted.


Please become part of these Stories Behind the Music - make a gift to EYSO today!

P. S. Have you heard? EYSO was recently named the Illinois Council of Orchestra’s 2021 Youth Orchestra of the Year, a competitively awarded honor distinguishing EYSO among youth orchestras in the state. Another wonderful Story Behind the Music – and another great reason for donating to EYSO today…thank you!


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Thank you for caring and becoming

a member of the EYSO family!