Ensemble Directors

Fox Valley Youth ORCHESTRA

Using music to enrich the lives of our youth

Andrew Ladendorf has been a Music Educator in northern Illinois for fourteen years. Currently, he is on staff at Glen Crest Middle School in Glen Ellyn as one of two Orchestra Directors.  In addition to his responsibilities at Glen Crest, Mr. Ladendorf co-teaches elementary strings at each of the four elementary schools in the school district.  Mr. Ladendorf received his Bachelor's of Music Education Degree from Illinois Wesleyan University where he studied Viola with Vadim Mazo and Michael Hining. He also holds Master's Degrees​ in Music-Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and in Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago.


Holding memberships in organizations such as ASTA, IL​MEA (NAfME), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Kappa Delta Pi, he currently serves as ​an ​adjudicator​ for string auditions at the IL​MEA District level and also serves as a judge for local solo and ensemble contests. Mr. Ladendorf also holds the position as the ILMEA All-State Orchestra Audition Chairperson.


Mr. Ladendorf maintains a performance schedule outside of school as an orchestral and chamber violist. Currently, he performs viola with the Titan String Quartet, a group he co-founded; and as a substitute violist with the Fox Valley Orchestra.  He resides in Elgin with his wife, Karen; his two daughters, Laura and Emily; and his two rambunctious Siberian Huskies, Clara and Daisy.

Alison Gaines is from Pasadena, CA and is the conductor of the Chamber Orchestra at the College of DuPage, is Assistant Conductor for the Elmhurst Symphony as well as teaching college classes in music theory and music history and maintaining an active schedule as a bassist throughout the Chicago area. She has held conducting and music director positions with the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, Iowa State University, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Kansas City at Park University and the Atchison Symphony. Guest conducting engagements have included rehearsal work with the Chicago Youth Symphony and the Italian Pop/opera group Il Volo as well as performance engagements throughout the Midwest with groups such as the Rockford Symphony, Central Iowa Symphony, Lawrence (KS) Chamber Orchestra and Arkansas District/All-State Festival and has conducted eight Brass Night performances and various chamber performances with the Breckenridge (CO) Music Festival. She holds a masterís in Bass performance from U.S.C. and a DMA in conducting from the University of Kansas, Lawrence where she held assistantships from both the orchestra and jazz departments.

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