As Mrs. Geri Grine retired, and Ms. Yukiko Grine was asked to move into the OYS Music Director and Symphony Orchestra Conductor roles, we began the process of finding a new conductor for our Philharmonia Orchestra.  The Oshkosh Youth Symphony, Inc. Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Mrs. Rachel Richards to this position.  (You can find her bio and photo in the Conductor Section!)

She has written the letter below to introduce herself to everyone.


Dear OYS, Inc. Families,

I am incredibly excited to be teaching and making music with you this year as conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra!

My name is Rachel Richards and I have been teaching orchestra since earning my B.A. in Music Education from St. Norbert College in 2004. I teach elementary and middle school orchestra in the Appleton Area School District and also conduct a community orchestra for adult beginning musicians called New Horizons Orchestra of the Fox Valley.

I greatly enjoy meeting new people and getting to know them through musical opportunities. I am actively involved in several ensembles as a bass player and bassoonist. Currently, I am the principal bassoonist for the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, and bassist for Forte and the Pianissimos (a ukulele band!) During the summer, I perform regularly with the Appleton City Band and Wisconsin Symphonic Winds.

We know that music has a way of bringing people together, no matter where they are at in their lives. My expectations for Philharmonia members include learning and growing not only as individuals, but also as an ensemble family. There will be opportunities for students to challenge themselves and develop leadership skills while enjoying a variety of repertoire in a supportive environment. I believe that each of us has the capacity to learn new things and continue to build on skills previously learned. I love witnessing students achieve their goals when they put forth their best effort and will do my best to help them reach those goals.

I am honored to be part of the Oshkosh Youth Symphony, Inc. organization.

This is going to be a wonderful year and I can’t wait to meet you!


Mrs. Richards


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