Youth Music Illinois

Youth Music Illinois

Youth Music Illinois mentors area youth to develop a repertoire of skills for both music and life, through the power of live performance.

Youth Music Illinois enriches and unites our community by fostering a lifelong appreciation of the arts.

Youth Music Illinois is one of many organizations devoted to the long-term success of our community. Since 1965, we have served over 2,500 student musicians, with a focus on music education and performance experience for primary through high school students from all over the region.

Our student musicians perform instrumental music through numerous concerts and ensemble performances at theaters, churches and community events throughout the year. Orchestras and ensembles are available for your business, social or special events.

Benefits of Music Education
Studying and performing music at a high level increases critical thinking, builds confidence and leadership abilities, teaches conflict management techniques, and reinforces the idea that the only real way to success is through focused, dedicated, hard work.

Our curriculum is guided by Music Director, David Commanday, who strives for excellence and challenges students to be their very best in every aspect. Conductor Commanday’s career has brought him renown on three continents, spanning the fields of concert hall, stage, university and youth orchestra. His leadership is praised for engaging and inspiring musicians, with depth in the classics and sparkle in pops; he is known for connecting with both musicians and audiences.

Empowering Student Musicians
Students come to understand they have the power within themselves to become anything they want to be. Currently, we work with 140 students in numerous orchestras and ensembles, including Youth Symphony led by David Commanday, the Jazz Orchestra led by Dan Burke, Concert Orchestra led by David Getz, Prep Orchestra led by Rosemary Ardner, Percussion Ensemble led by Peggy Bonner, and Winds Ensemble led by David Cyzak. Through these programs, young people become stronger, better musicians. More importantly, our student musicians develop skills to master any professional field they choose.

Youth Symphony Alumni
Youth Symphony alumni have succeeded in careers including music performance, education, engineering and business, amongst others—with many commenting on the inspirational foundation provided by the organization. It is our hope these students will make central Illinois their home, becoming highly-qualified prospective employees to benefit our business environment.

Our programming is an integral component for music education, performance experience and the future of young people. We are committed to engaging students from all socio-economic backgrounds in our current and future opportunities to ensure central Illinois is an attractive place to live.

How to Help
Supporters may donate through the “Support” tab at, by email at, or by phone at (309) 370-6424.

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to support the Musical Masquerade and Treble in River City Trivia Night fundraisers to benefit YMI programming for students.

Volunteers are welcome to join us in advancing education and performance opportunities for our student musicians. Please reach out to to learn more.

Youth Music Illinois
3601 N. Sheridan Road
Peoria, IL 61604
(309) 370-6424

Facebook: @YouthMusicIllinois

Lidia Riley, Executive Director
Brea Fearon, Program Manager
David Commanday, Music Director