Taking Note – Issue 19

Since Our Last Note


In keeping with the EYSO’s mission of a comprehensive learning environment—one that promotes critical thinking, curiosity, speculation, and collaboration—each season we focus on a larger curricular theme. Using music as a lens to understand the human experience as expressed in masterworks of sound, students are challenged not only to perform great pieces of symphonic music at the highest possible level of excellence, but also to become “expert noticers” through intentional questioning of big ideas.

Our 2020-21 season theme is MYTHS & LEGENDS—and we can’t wait to explore it together. Through our study of incredible orchestral music, we’ll be building and examining connections between music and our wider world, exploring preconceived notions and societal and cultural constructs, and examining our own values and beliefs. We’ll ask the question, how do our myths and legends, both cultural and personal, influence our worldview?

Performance Schedule
Origins—Sunday, November 15, 2020
Wanderers—Sunday, March 14, 2021
Heroes—Sunday, May 9, 2021

There's Still Time for a Grand Finale...

Our 2019-20 season has ended, and our fiscal year comes to a close on June 30th. There's still time to help EYSO end the 2019-20 year and help assure a great 45th season. Normally, in-person fundraising events, raise approximately $25,000. Given added losses resulting from the events of COVID-19, we increased our goal to $30,000. We have already raised nearly $4,000, but it's imperative we raise the balance by June 30th.

To give supporters a deeper connection during a time when we are not able to gather in person, we created the Stories Behind the Music campaign. Your gift gives our students the chance to create new, life-impacting, stories. Please give today.

Mission Moment

The Turtle Dove Project

Fare you well, my dear, I must be gone and leave you for a while.
Though I go away, I’ll come back again, though I roam ten thousand miles, my dear…

An organization over 40 years old naturally has some time-honored traditions. The playing of The Turtle Dove as the season farewell is one of the most beloved of those traditions, which began on a concert tour through Wisconsin and Minnesota in 2000. The Youth Symphony had learned the piece in preparation for a visit to St. Olaf College, to hear the St. Olaf Symphony Orchestra and be coached by their renowned conductor, Steve Amundson. The piece itself had been originally written for the St. Olaf Orchestra by a music professor at the college. The Youth Symphony learned to sing the old folk song upon which it is based and on that tour grew to love the piece as “the best way to say goodbye.” Thus, an EYSO tradition was born.

The song has taken on layers of meaning over the years and is the traditional ending for Fall Camp every August, where many new Youth Symphony members learn it for the first time. During the 2012 Civil War Tour, students spent a time of solitary reflection wandering in the stillness of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg. It was this song—quietly and spontaneously—that came forth in a circle of singing, gently giving voice to a swirl of emotions that had seemed impossible to express.

Traditionally, The Turtle Dove is performed by graduating seniors at the end of the May season finale. Not being able to gather in person, EYSO re-imagined the season finale virtually. When community matters more than ever, the Turtle Dove Museum was born. The Turtle Dove Museum includes works by graduating seniors as well as alumni. We encourage you to visit the museum.

Excerpts regarding The Turtle Dove are from the May 2019 season finale program.

The Turtle Dove Museum May 10th Season Finale

Thank You

Two words that mean SO much! We are grateful to ALL EYSO supporters. On that note, we'd like to highlight this month's special supporters...

Elgin Township

Thank you to Elgin Township for supporting EYSO's Summer Chamber Music Camp. It's taken extra work to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, but well worth it for the safety of our campers. COVID-19 has been tough on Elgin families, but support from Elgin Township helped make camp tuition assistance possible. Thank you!

Important Dates

Danny's Gives Back on June 25th!

This beautiful patio (socially safe) is at Danny's on Douglas at 231 Douglas Avenue, Elgin. On June 25th, Danny's will donate 20% to EYSO for all orders mentioning EYSO. Applies to patio dining, carryout, and deliver orders. Thank you!


A Note from Development

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Taking Note is one way we keep in touch with our supporters. COVID-19 has changed all of our lives dramatically. Not being able to host events has created challenges in how we engage with our supporters. But with every new challenge comes opportunity. Since the beginning of June, we've been making efforts to reach each supporter individually. Email blasts are great for monthly updates, but to really stay connected, nothing beats engaging with you as an individual.

Recently, you may have been contacted by a board member, Executive Director K. Eric Larson, or me. This outreach will continue from all of us. I have been with EYSO since February 2018, admittedly, I've relied heavily on in-person events to get to know our supporters. I love events and talking to people, but one sliver lining this spring is a new opportunity to really get know those who mean so much to us. I've had some wonderful conversations and have learned a lot--I look forward to more!

If you haven't heard from me yet, feel free to reach out. Otherwise, I will be reaching out to you very soon. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening and warmer weather arriving, I'd love to schedule lunch or coffee with interested supporters (safely socially distanced, of course). If you're not ready for an in-person meeting, let's schedule a Zoom or phone chat. Of course, this doesn't only apply to me, the invitation is extended by all of our board and staff. I hope to learn how I can better serve and engage our supporters.

Thank you so much for being a part of EYSO! YOU are genuinely appreciated!

--Kari Christensen, Dir., Development & Community Engagement (KLChristensen@eyso.org, Call or text: 847-558-2246)

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