Friday, August 26, 2022

Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra Welcomes Rachel Richards

Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestras (FVSYO) is delighted to announce Rachel Richards will be joining their team as Youth Orchestras Executive Director. Effective immediately, Richards will help lead three groups in the Youth program of Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra: Philharmonia, Concert, and Youth Orchestra. Their season is set to begin in September, and they are looking forward to another season of increasing education opportunities for music students in the Fox Valley region.

“I have witnessed the importance of creating memorable music experiences that promote lifelong learning and music-making,” says Richards, who has been a music educator in the Appleton Area School District since 2005. “The Fox Valley Youth Orchestra program serves as a powerful resource for the young musicians that currently participate and the generations that will follow.”

Richards is also a well-established fan of FVSO. “The Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra has remained near and dear to my heart since my youngest years,” says Richards. “Attending concerts served as my first exposure to live orchestral music and demonstrated what could be accomplished when a community comes together with a shared purpose.”

For more information on Youth Orchestra auditions, visit

About Rachel Richards:

Rachel Richards has a Bachelor of Music from St. Norbert College and a Master of Arts in Education from Marian University. She is currently the Orchestra teacher in Appleton Area School District and teaches at Wilson Middle School, Highlands Elementary, and Odyssey/Magellan Magnet School. 

Her conducting experience also includes New Horizons Music Fox Valley Orchestra and Oshkosh Youth Symphony’s Philharmonia program. Richards is the volunteer coordinator for All City Strings Festival, an annual event in Appleton.

Richards is a bass and bassoon player and performs regularly with Green Bay Civic Symphony and the Appleton City Band. She has also performed with the Weidner Philharmonic, Sheboygan Symphony, Kimberly Theatre Program, UW Fox Valley Theater Program, St. Norbert College Community Band, VENTO Winds, Wisconsin Symphonic Winds, and UW Fox Valley Band.

Richards’ awards include a Marshall Moss Endowed Scholarship and a Tony Winters Instrumental Music Award from St. Norbert College.

About the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra: 

The Symphony's mission is to build bridges of accessibility to orchestra music and to make a positive impact on the lives of everyone in our community. Founded in 1966, the non-profit provides the community with orchestra concerts, community outreach programming, and three Youth Orchestra programs. Music Director Dr. Kevin Sütterlin leads the adult orchestra, with Dr. Mark Dupere conducting Youth Orchestra, Greg Austin conducting Concert Orchestra, and Adam Brown conducting Philharmonia. Youth Orchestras serve students from middle school through high school and accept students from all regions of the Fox Valley. There are full scholarships available for all three youth groups.