Retiring youth orchestra manager looks back at growth of organization

Posted on: October 26, 2016

In Tuesday’s (10/25) Kane County Chronicle (Illinois), Violet Marquardt interviews Kathy Matthews, who will retire at the end of October as executive director of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra. She began as a volunteer when her daughter was playing flute in the orchestra, and in 1999 Artistic Director Randal Swiggum “offered her the position of managing the organization.” Says Matthews, “I was in charge of all the operations, fundraising, marketing…. Now those have grown into separate positions, but in the beginning, I was doing it all…. Together with Randal, the orchestra really grew both artistically and numerically. When I first started, we had two orchestras with 70 students. Now we have five orchestras with almost 400 students…. Back 10 years ago, we took our orchestra to Scotland. I had never been overseas before…. I thought, ‘If I can get a whole orchestra overseas with instruments and everything, I can get myself overseas.’ So I’ve been overseas several times to England and Scotland.’ ” Her four-year-old granddaughter, who plays violin, “has a recital in the spring, which I will have the time to attend now.’ ”

Posted October 26, 2016