Randal Swiggum

Randy is well-known to many WYSO students already, whether through Summer Music Clinic, the recent Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Orchestra, or Suzuki Strings of Madison.  He prepared the WYSO Youth Orchestra for its 2012 Overture Center performance of “To Be Certain of the Dawn,” and has subbed in with Philharmonia and Chamber music rehearsals.

Randy is in his 19th season as Artistic Director of the award-winning Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, a large program similar to WYSO which draws students from 70 different communities in suburban Chicago.  Under his direction, the EYSO has collaborated with renowned artists like Midori, Yo Yo Ma, and Rachel Barton Pine, as well as GRAMMY-winning chamber ensemble eighth blackbird.  The EYSO has appeared on NPR’s From the Top and at the Ravinia Festival, where they will return to perform again in 2018.  The Illinois Council of Orchestras has twice named him Conductor of the Year and awarded its prestigious Programming of the Year Award to the EYSO.

A frequent guest conductor of orchestral and choral festivals, Randy recently conducted the Scottish National Youth Symphony in Glasgow, and All-State Orchestras in Georgia and Illinois, the American Mennonite Schools Orchestra Festival, Northern Arizona Honors Orchestra, the APAC Orchestra Festival in Seoul, and both the Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Choir and Orchestra, among many others.

Randy also works with a number of professional orchestras, designing and conducting concerts for young people.  Last season, he led the Madison Symphony in his original Symphony Safari: What Nature Teaches Us About the Orchestra, attended by several thousand middle school students in Overture Hall.  Next February, he returns for a fourth season with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in its acclaimed Teen Partner series, conducting the Poulenc Gloria.  He also appears next spring with the Chippewa Valley Symphony, conducting his Beethoven Superhero concert, which has been popular with teachers, students, and parents alike, with the Elgin Symphony and The Florida Orchestra (Tampa).

As an author and lecturer, Randy works with teachers around world, most recently with international school teachers in Hong Kong, and also at Carnegie Hall, where last summer he returned for a fourth season teaching its Music Educator Workshops, and leading members of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA.

Randy is a proud UW graduate and lives in Madison, where you can find him on Monday nights working with the Madison Boychoir (MYC) alongside colleagues Margaret Jenks and Mike Ross.  He loves to read, be outdoors, try new foods, and ponder just about anything.

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