Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra Conductor
A native of Arizona, Linc Smelser began his cello studies at the age of 10 with Marguerite Rork. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Arizona where he studied with Dr. Gordon Epperson and received his Master’s Degree and Performer’s Certificate in Cello Performance and Pedagogy at Northern Illinois University having studied with renowned cellist and pedagogue Raya Garbousova. Advanced study included work with cellists Marc Johnson, Heinrich Schiff, the Vermeer Quartet, and pianists Richard Faith and Jerome Lowenthal.
Mr. Smelser has appeared as a soloist with the Kishwaukee Symphony, the Fox River Valley Symphony and the Rockford Symphony and has twice appeared in recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series in Chicago, which is broadcast live on over 44 stations across the United States. He has won several awards including first prize of the National Society of Arts and Letters Chapter Competition, top prize of the National Federation of Music Clubs Regional Competition and most recently first prize of the International Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Competition.
Mr. Smelser has been a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra Cello section for fourteen years and has been an active substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 10 years.
Mr. Smelser has most recently been appointed professor of cello at the Wheaton Conservatory of Music. He is currently a faculty member of the Northern Illinois University School of Music and has been teaching private cello lessons through the NIU Community School of the Arts for seventeen years. Mr. Smelser has been on the faculty of the Colorado Suzuki Institute for three years.
In 2003, Mr. Smelser was appointed conductor/music director of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra in DeKalb. He is also conductor/founder of the NIU Sinfonia and Youth Symphonette, two youth symphonies that attract students from the entire Northern Illinois area. He is also pianist/accompanist for the Northern Illinois University Suzuki program.
Brass Choir Coach
Vicki Hastings received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from California State University, Chico, in trumpet performance. She completed three years of doctoral studies at Indiana University School of Music while teaching as an Associate Instructor of Trumpet, and performed as principal trumpet of the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, and as lead trumpet of David Baker’s Jazz Ensemble. Her performance experience also includes positions in the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Philharmonic, the California Brass Choir, and the Embassy Brass Quintet. She currently performs with the Rockford Wind Ensemble, the Rockford Jazz Ensemble, and is a freelance trumpet player throughout the Stateline area. Ms. Hastings is also Director of Bands at Rockford Christian Schools.
Sterling String Quartet Coach
Originally from Korea, Young-Shin Yi holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in violin performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music. Young studied the violin with Kwang-Ho Lee and Charles Castleman, and music education with Richard Grunow, Louis Bergonzi and Christopher Azzara. Ms. Yi previously served as a faculty member of the David Hochstein Memorial Music School and at the Community Education Division of Eastman School of Music. She was also a tenured orchestra director of the Webster Central School District and the Pittsford School District prior to her move to Rockford in 2008. Ms. Yi currently teaches at the Beloit College and the Rock Valley Community College. She also coaches the Sterling String Quartet of Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra and has a private studio. In addition to being a music lover and a teacher, Ms. Yi enjoys being a mother of three very active children and is thankful for her supportive husband, Andy.
Woodwind Quartet Coach
Darleen Carl-Beck serves as principal clarinet for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the RSO since 1990. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Stan Hasty and Northwestern University studying with Russ Dagon and Judith Booth Fischer.
In addition to her work with the RSO, Ms. Carl-Beck is an experienced soloist and a chamber ensemble player. She also performs with RSO Woodwind Quintet in the Symphony Saturdays program, and has conducted school outreach programs for the RSO in programs such as Symphony Goes to School and the Rockford Arts Revival. Additionally she has performed as a soloist with the orchestra and as a featured guest musician in the RSO’s Brahms-Schumann Festival in 2009. Ms. Carl-Beck also maintains an active teaching studio. She is an avid bicyclist, skier, and runs a busy household with her husband and three children.
Education and Community Engagement Director
Ms. Langan joined the RSO staff in 2003. She has held positions with the Rockford Art Museum (Education Director 1998-2003), Rockford Area Arts Council (Arts Integration Team 1996), Regional Office of Education (Arts Integration workshop leader), and Spectrum School (1989-1998). Her experience working with schools and arts specialists includes administrative and professional development in the areas of interdisciplinary cirriculum and cross-disciplinary arts collaborations. Durring 2006/07 she administered the Rockford Arts Link Learning for Youth (RALLY) project funded by the NEA. In the 2003/04 school year, she was co-administrator for thr Rockford Arts Revival Grant funded by the US Dept. of Education. Ms. Langan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and Masters of Education from the University of North Carolina and holds current teacher certification with the Illinois State Board of Education.