Rockford Symphony Names New Conductor For Youth Orchestra

Jul 25, 2014

Linc Smelser
Credit Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has chosen Linc Smelser to be the next conductor of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO). The RSO announced the selection Friday.

In the announcement, RSO Music Director Steven Larsen said he was delighted to have Smelser as the RSYO's new conductor.

“Linc is not just a talented and experienced conductor, with years of experience leading both youth and adult orchestras, he is a top-notch cellist and pianist who plays regularly under some of the world’s greatest conductors, and a respected teacher.”

Smelser currently resides in DeKalb, IL where he is conductor/music director of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and is on faculty with Northern Illinois University Music Department, where he is also conductor of the NIU Youth Sinfonia and Symphonette.  He is also professor of cello at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.  Mr. Smelser was awarded Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Arts Council in 2009.

In addition to teaching and conducting, Mr. Smelser plays cello as a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and is an active substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was principal cellist of the RSO from 1990 to 1998. A native of Arizona, he is earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Arizona.  He later earned a Master of Music in Performance and Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University.

Smelser replaces Daniel Black, who left the RSYO this spring after a a five-year tenure as its conductor to become Assistant Conductor of the Fort Worth (Texas) Symphony Orchestra.