Founded in 1931, The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest is one of the nation's oldest community orchestras. The Illinois Council of Orchestras recognized its continued excellence in 2011 with the Community Orchestra of the Year Award in addition to naming Music Director Jay Friedman its Conductor of the Year.

Read the History of this Orchestra. [pdf]

Mission statement

The mission of the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest is three-fold:


Jay Friedman, Music director
Maurice Boyer, Assistant conductor
William Chin, Chorus director
John Gerson, Concertmaster
Beth Hoover, General manager
Larry Leonard, Music librarian

First Violin

John Gerson, Concertmaster
Elizabeth Alvarez
Donna Byrne
Katie Crouch
Fritz Gross
Stephanie Harris
Alice Martin
Suzanne McBride
Lisa Minish
Elizabeth Rexford, Section Organizer
Donald Schmalz, Concert Master Emeritus
Liaht Slobodkin
Melody Turner
Marylou Witz
Michelle Wynton

Second Violin

Carol Janossy, Principal
Tom Bell
Irina Calin-Jageman
Gina Fiore
Cheryl Flinn
Joey Frost
Yi-Chen Huang
Ada Ignatov
Ashley Kerner, Intern
Staci Mahaffey
Judy Meredith
Elisa A. Orozco
Luke Shalla
Julie Tumma

Viola

Ben Poshily, Principal
Jerry Brown
Ellen Callahan
Charity Anne Caldwell
Lili Casillas
Mitchell Cooper
Amanda Kellman, Intern
Sandy Korelc, Section Organizer
Robert Spitz

Cello

Mara Leonard, Principal
Eva Maria Barbado
Jennifer Barron
David Cooper, Intern
Rhea Davis
Petr Hustak
Jane Malina
Lenore Mass
Valerie Meineke
Chris Springthorpe
Allison Strickland
Anna Tyberg
Evan White
Jeff Wirtz

Bass

Kristina Lee, Principal
Thea Christou
Ceazar DePaoli, intern
James Janossy, Jr.
Ilya Karpasov
David Malatesta
Michael Sinclair
Jolie Quick

Harp

Jennifer Ruggieri
Janelle Lake

Flute

Laurel Tempas, Principal
Carrie Torgerson
Julie Siarny, Piccolo
Barbara Saks
Marcia Hustad

Oboes

Debbie Barford, Principal
Linda Johnson
Beth Hoover-Gavriel, English Horn
Jaren Hillard

Clarinet

Diane Doll, Principal
Bruce Currie
Kumiko Nowlan
Jim Robinson
Scott Thomas, Bass
Walter Grabner, Bass

Bassoon

Heather McCowen, Principal
Carol Hopwood
Lisa Rathje
Chad Taylor, Contrabassoon

French Horn

David Barford, Principal
Abby Black
Johanna Johnson
Mike Papierniak
Melinda Robinson
Adrienne Schroeder

Trumpets

Dale Kerner, Principal
Edward Kerner
Chris Jackson
Tim Newitt
Charles Roberts

Trombone

Christopher Wood, Principal
Patrick Zielinski
Lance Malina, Bass

Tuba

Luke Hollis

Percussion

Mike Charbonneau, Timpani, Principal
Suzy Beck
Michael Daniel
Matthew Hart
Mike Mayer
John Staunton

Keyboard

David Leehey, Piano, Celesta & Rehearsal Accompanist
Steven Wente, Organ
Mio Nakamura, Organ

 

Board of directors

David Leehey, President
Cheryl Flinn, Treasurer
Julie Tumma, Secretary
Carole Benson
Jerry Brown
Diane Doll
Kristina Lee
Judy Meredith
Sil Pesavento
James Walter

Advisory board

Anan Abu-Taleb
Catherine Adduci
Anthony Calderone
Donna Carroll
Susan Cartland-Bode
Henry Fogel
Carl Grapentine
Terry McIlroy
Melbourne A. Noel, Jr.
Chatka Ruggiero
Eugene Wedoff
Peggy Wedoff
Jack Zimmerman


This award winning community orchestra, which includes both amateur and professional members, is always looking for more passionate musicians. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings from 7:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. and are held at Concordia University in River Forest. If you are interested in joining the symphony, please email Beth Hoover. You will be contacted with further information.