Appleton Blog Logo by Jeff Lindsay
The Appleton Blog features one of America's
best communities: Appleton, Wisconsin.

Jeff Lindsay is an author of Conquering Innovation Fatigue. See for more info.
Also follow me on Twitter.


Appleton Resources

Other Suggested Links

Other Blogs from Fox Cities Folks

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Celebrating 35 Years of the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestras

One of the surprising things about Appleton is its rich musical heritage. It is a wonderful town to raise a family if musical education means anything to you. It's also a great place to enjoy numerous musical and theatrical productions.

One of the many gems in the Fox Valley is the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestras, which include the Fox Valley Youth Symphony and the Philharmonia Strings. The Youth Symphony is a dazzling orchestra with over 100 members from grades 9-12 conducted for 25 years now by veteran musician Gary Wolfman. The Philharmonia Strings is a large chamber ensemble for grades 7-10 directed by Greg Austin for over a decade (I think it's been 12 years).

They had their Spring Concert on Sunday, March 21 at Lawrence Chapel. I was so impressed! Greg Austin's own arrangement of the theme music from the Chronicles of Narnia was beautifully performed by the Philharmonia Strings, with a couple other great pieces. The Youth Symphony approached a professional level, with just about as fine a rendition of the Mars and Jupiter segments of Gustav Holst's The Planets that you'll ever hear. Dramatic, awe-inspiring sound. Wow! Very strong horn section, terrific strings, beautiful woodwinds, and powerful, precise percussion. Sweet!

In addition to strong support from the Fox Valley Symphony, Lawrence University, and numerous parents, significant credit for the strong musical education culture in the Fox Valley goes to the visionary musician, Austin Boncher, who had the vision over 35 years ago of a youth symphony in the Valley. His talent, vision, and persistence created opportunities and traditions that continue to enrich the lives of thousands of us in the Fox Valley. The rich musical heritage of Appleton and the surrounding communities is just one of many reasons why this is such a great place to live.

Here are a few photos from the March 21st event, including a shot of Gary Wolfman receiving an award celebrating his 25 years of service, and student Becky Johnson receiving a special conductor's award from Mr. Wolfman. My son Mark Lindsay, a bassoonist, is standing in one also.