Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra (IYSO) is comprised of talented and inspired young musicians and performs a full range of complete orchestral works. In 2020, the orchestra will perform selections to include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 “The Little Russian,” Gershwin’s American in Paris, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, as well as other major works to be selected from the repertoire of Beethoven, Brahms, Dukas, and Puccini.

Each of the groups in the Blue Lake International Exchange Program will visit five to seven towns (hosting communities) in Europe. Tentative countries for the 2020 orchestra are Germany, France, and The Netherlands.

Students interested in joining the IYSO woodwind, brass, and percussion sections should contact Rebecca Chambers at rchambers@bluelake.org or 231-894-1966 ext. 206 for audition information.

2020 International Youth Symphony Orchestra
Matthew Sheppard, Musical Director

Matthew SheppardWith his passionate enthusiasm for both music and education, Matthew Sheppard conducts and teaches across the Chicago area and abroad. He serves as Artistic Director of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) and the Hyde Park Youth Symphony, as well as Music Director of the University Chamber Orchestra at the University of Chicago and the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago. In the past year, Sheppard has guest conducted orchestras in North and South America, including the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Paraguay, the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. As a teacher, he inspires students to nurture a deeper love and understanding of music and performing through his own passion, musicianship, and conducting. Sheppard studied with Donald Schleicher as a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois, and before that with Gerardo Edelstein at Penn State University. During that time, he held appointments as Orchestra Director at Juniata College, Music Director of the State College Summer Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra. In 2010, he founded the State College Summer Orchestra, a community orchestra that has since offered three years of benefit concerts. In 2013, they presented four world premieres, including a commission by Efraín Amaya for the orchestra and cello soloist Kim Cook. Sheppard holds bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts, Music Education, and Violin Performance from Penn State where he studied with Max Zorin. Sheppard studied with Donald Schleicher as a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois, and before that earned his master’s degree in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Gerardo Edelstein at Penn State University. He has been at Blue Lake since 2017 in various capacities, and this will be his first tour with the IYSO.