Grace Greenwood (Violin) is the daughter of Robin and Donna Greenwood and will graduate from home school. Prior to beginning violin at the age of 9 at UTC’s String Project, Grace’s musical experience began with piano and choir/hand-bells at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. She has been a member of the CSOYO for seven seasons. Her summers were spent attending choir camp with the Royal School of Church Music in America at Queen’s College or performing in musicals with the Ringgold Community Players. Her favorite CSOYO memories are playing in The Singing Christmas Tree Orchestra. Grace plans to major in psychology and minor in music.
GRANT SCUTT (TRUMPET) Grant is the son of Susan and Sheldon Scutt. He is graduating from Chattanooga Central High School. He has been a member of the CSOYO for one season. Since joining, Grant was selected to participate in the MTSU Honor Orchestra, All East Honor Band and the Leo Honor Band. He plans to attend East Tennessee State University to major in computing with a concentration in cyber securities and networks, and minor in Finance.
“Grant has proven himself to be a skilled trumpeter this year, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him and appreciated his good work!” – Ms. Sandy Morris
See more Seniors here: 2020 SENIOR GALLERY (updated daily)
John Pavelchik (Trombone) John is the son of Sandra and Paul Tallant and will graduate from Ooltewah High School. He has played with the YO for just one season. At OHS, he marched in the band for 5 years and played in the OHS Brass Quintet. He is also a member of the CSOYO Brass Quintet. John plans to attend UTC and major in Music Education. He would also like to study Music Composition and be a band director one day. “My favorite memory from CSOYO was my first and last time playing in the Tivoli for the Side by Side Concert. “
“John, why didn’t you come to us sooner? I have enjoyed getting to know you and hear you play. I look very forward to seeing you on your next journey.” – Mr. Wilkes
ADAM TISDALE (Violin) Adam is the son of Michael and Kim Tisdale. He will graduate in May after having been home-schooled his whole life. He’s been a member of the CSOYO for 6 seasons. During this time, he has played in the Fiddle Fest at UTC and in the Singing Christmas Tree orchestra. He has also participated in the Lee University Honor Choir for four years, and competed in the J.B. Lyle competition twice with the choir from Hilger Higher Learning, qualifying for the 2020 state festival.
“I wish you much success in your future endeavors. I want to thank you for playing with us, and I hope your collegiate career is rewarding and fulfilling to you.” – Mr. Gary Wilkes
NOAH PENNINGTON (Tuba) Noah is the son of Scott and Gail Pennington and will graduate from Heritage High School. He has been a YO member for 4 years, a principal, and member of the CSOYO Brass Quintet. He has also been in numerous honor bands and various other ensembles, including the Atlanta CV, a marching drum and bugle corps in Atlanta, where he played contra. Noah will attend Jacksonville State University to pursue a general music degree. “The best CSOYO memories I have are Mr. Wilkes’ quips throughout the years, as well as playing the pieces you only thought the pros would play. It was an honor and a privilege to play pieces such as Stravinsky’s Firebird, Mussorgsky’s Pictures, Williams’ Star Wars pieces, and so many more. But most of all, the biggest honor was to be able to play in such a talented group with some of the most talented musicians in the area. Thank you to Mr. Wilkes for everything he and this organization have done to pave the way for my future!”
“I hope you have a blast at Jack State next year. What a fantastic tuba player you are. I know you’re going to be successful. I have enjoyed knowing you the last few years. “ – Mr. Wilkes
SASHA HITACHI (Flute) Sasha is the daughter of Terue and Chris Hitachi. She will graduate early from Collegiate High in December of 2020. She’s been a member of the CSOYO for 6 seasons. Sasha studies with CSO Principal Kristin Holritz. During her time in the CSOYO, she has played in chamber ensembles for 5 years. She won the CSOYO Concerto Competition, the Blount-Slawson Yong Artist Competition, US Navy Band Young Artist Competition, UNCSA Wind Competition, and attended the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and NYO2 2019. This summer she will be conducting literary research while also being a part of Carnegie Hall’s NYO-USA. Following graduation, she plans to travel abroad to visit family. “The CSOYO has given me many of my first experiences; one of my favorite memories is from 7th grade when I got to perform my very first concerto alongside Mr. Wilkes.”
“You are the most mature and polished high school flutist I have ever taught. Congratulations on your career thus far. I look forward to hearing big things from you.” – Mr. Gary Wilkes
LYDIA MITCHELL (Violin) Lydia is the daughter of Kim and Brian Mitchell. She is a graduate of Walker Valley High School. Lydia has been a CSOYO member for 5 seasons. During that time she has also participated in All East and All State. She plans to attend the University of Alabama Huntsville to study science and minor in music. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the wonderful members and staff of the CSOYO.”
“Lydia, I’ve enjoyed watching and listening to your progress. You have grown so much and achieved a high level of playing. I am thankful for your and wish you much success in the coming days!” – Mr. Gary Wilkes
SUEZANNA RUSSELL (Violin) Suezanna is the daughter of Angie and Joseph Russell. She will graduate from the Center for Creative Arts. She’s been a member of the CSOYO for 9 seasons. Accomplishments during this time include the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, TN Governors School for the Arts, and All State for four years of high school. She plans to study music education at Lee University this fall.
“I have enjoyed watching your growth as a musician. I know you will have a blast at Lee next year. I am so thankful that you have played with us all these years. I wish you much success. “ – Mr. Gary Wilkes
JOHN LAZENBY (Violin) John is the son of Susan and John Lazenby. He will graduate from the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) and has been a member of the CSOYO for 8 seasons! He joined the CSOYO when he was in 5th grade. He has also served at the CSOYO Librarian. Next year, he will attend UTC as a Chemical Engineering major and plans to play in the UTC Orchestra. “While in the CSOYO, I completely changed as a musician. Most of my fondest memories are of normal rehearsals and practicing music with my peers. “
“What a great young man you are. I have enjoyed your leadership on many different levels, not only in the Youth Symphony, but also at school. There simply aren’t enough good words I can say about you. I know you will be successful at UT, and I hope you keep on playing. You owe it to yourself!” – Mr. Gary Wilkes
MATTHEW PRUS (Violin) Matthew is the son of Craig and Missee Prus and will graduate from Emmanuel Home School. Matthew has been a YO member for 6 seasons, a member of the YO String Chamber Ensemble, and served as Principal Second Violin. He also served on the YO Student Panel. Matthew will attend Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he will study music while on the pre-medicine track. He plans to attend medical school and specialize as an orthopedic surgeon. His favorite YO memories have been performing under the amazing conductors, and with his fellow musicians, connecting more closely with friends through the string quartet, and being on the student panel, sharing his senior perspective.
“Matthew, thank you for your leadership this year. What a great young man you are, and a very fine violinist as well. You have set the bar very high with your leadership in the section and in your organizational skills. I wish you much success!” – Mr. Wilkes
ISABELLA WILSON (French Horn) Isabella is the daughter of Tommy and Elisa Wilson. She will graduate from Ooltewah High School and has been a member of the YO for 2 seasons. During that time she participated in TN All East, played in the OHS Horn Quartet, and was a member of the CSOYO Brass Quintet. At OHS, one of her fondest memories was marching in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. She plans to attend East Tennessee State University and major in Human Resources. “Being a part of the CSOYO has allowed me to get more experience playing my instrument with an orchestra, which I didn’t have before. I have learned so much and have met some awesome people in this program. The CSOYO is something I am glad to have been a part of, and I hope more people get to be a part of it for years to come.”
“Isabella, I wish you much success in your future education and your musical career. You are a fantastic young lady and horn player. I only wish you had been with us longer!” – Mr. Wilkes
LOGAN HENSON (French Horn) Logan is the son of Sarah and Matt Henson and will graduate from Ooltewah High School. He’s been a YO member for 2 seasons. During his first season, he made the All State Orchestra for the first time, and went to Tennessee’s Governors School for the Arts. During his second season, he participated in the Wind Quintet Chamber Ensemble, and made All-State again. Logan plans to attend Lee University as a Music Education major. “My favorite memory was my first year, performing Pictures at an Exhibition – my first orchestra performance.”
“Logan, what a fantastic person and horn player you are. I only wish I had known you longer. I wish you much success in your collegiate career and I look forward to following your education!” – Mr. Wilkes
JACKS POLLARD (Oboe) Jacks is the son of Heather Landreth and Matt Pollard. He will graduate early from the McCallie School. He has played with the CSOYO for 4 seasons. Accolades include winning the CSOYO Concerto Competition, the Southern Adventist University Concerto Competition, attending the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, serving as principal oboe of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, playing with the CSOYO Wind Quintet for 3 years, and playing with the Interlochen Chamber Players. He has also been a member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Atlanta Youth Chamber Players. Jacks will be attending the Julliard School where he will study with Elaine Douvas, principal oboist of the Metropolitan Opera. He also hopes to play in Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States this summer.
“Jacks, you are an incredible young man and incredible musician. You have a rare innate ability on oboe that many advanced players rarely achieve. I am so proud that you are going to Julliard. My words of wisdom – stay focused and stay who you are.” – Mr. Wilkes
ZOE DIEHL (F Horn) Zoe is the daughter of Rosanne and Thomas Diehl. She will graduate from Ringgold High School. She has been a member of the CSOYO for 4 seasons. Zoe plans to attend Shorter University to study both Environmental Science and Music Performance. “My biggest accomplishments are being Principal Horn and being a member of the Symphony for 4 consecutive years.”
“You are an incredible person, Zoe! From your exquisite horn playing to your singing and acting, what a great and talented young woman you are. I only wish you good things in your life.” – Mr. Wilkes
SAM HOOD (Trumpet) Sam is the son of John and Karen Hood. He will graduate from Walker Valley High School and has been a member of the YO for 1 season. In the fall, Sam will attend Tennessee Tech University and will major in Music Education. He was also accepted into MTSU and Lee University’s music programs. “One significant memory I have from my time in the youth orchestra is getting to play my first solo in a concert.”
“Sam has played very well for us this year, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him and appreciated his good work!” – Mrs. Morris
LILIANA HATCH (Violin) Liliana is the daughter of Rob and Marialice Hatch, and will graduate from the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. She has been a YO member for 7 years, and has participated in TN All State East, All State, and Governor’s School. She plans to study Physical Therapy in college and stay involved in music as much as possible. Liliana says she’s been lucky to have Mr. Wilkes as a conductor, not only in YO but at school as well. “Some of my favorite memories are playing the Passacaglia, Mussorgsky’s Pictures, and all the stories Mr. Wilkes would tell us during rehearsal. I will miss youth orchestra greatly next year, and I know that all of us will miss Mr. Wilkes!”
“Lili, I have enjoyed knowing you and watching your growth over the past few years. You are an incredibly talented young woman and I hope you continue to keep on playing.” – Mr. Wilkes
SADIE GOULD: (Violin) Sadie is the daughter of Aaron and Jenny Gould and has been a member of the YO for 3 seasons. She will graduate from high school this spring after being homeschooled since kindergarten. She will miss playing with the many talented musicians in the CSOYO and is thankful for all of the teachers, staff, volunteers and conductors who have encouraged her to pursue musical excellence.
“Sadie, I wish you much success and many great days ahead of you! And I hope you keep on playing – you are a very fine violinist!” – Mr. Wilkes
JONAH MADARIS (Bass Trombone) Jonah is the son of Scott and Julia Madaris and will be graduating from Heritage High school. He has been a member of the YO for 4 years. During this time, he has played in many ensembles and received numerous awards throughout Georgia and Tennessee. He plans to attend Jacksonville State University to pursue a degree in Music Education. “I’ve really enjoyed playing big name pieces such as Firebird, Star Wars and Danzon No. 2 (twice)”.
“What an incredible trombonist you are! I wish you much success in your next chapter. I know you are destined for great things. Looking forward to following your career!” – Mr. Wilkes
SPENCER MOORE (Trombone) Spencer is the son of Teresa and Keith Moore and will graduate from CSAS. He has been a member of the CSOYO for 4 seasons, starting in Philharmonic and working up to Principal in the Symphony. Spencer plans to attend Tennessee Technological University and study Music Composition. “My fondest memory of the CSOYO was when we performed Symphonic Metamorphosis earlier this season. I will always remember playing the end of the last movement while standing up.”
“Spence, I know you’re going to set the world on fire at Tennessee Tech. I have enjoyed listening to your progress and growth over the past few years. You have matured into a great young man. Can’t wait to see this next chapter!” – Mr. Wilkes
BRYCE NEELY (Clarinet) Bryce is the son of Jeff and Valerie Neely and will graduate from Ooltewah High School. He has been a YO member for 2 years and has been principal and played in the CSOYO Wind Ensemble. He plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and major in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Music. He will march in the Pride of the Southland Band and be involved in music as much as he can. His experience in the YO has helped him to grow as a musician and has exposed him to a completely different atmosphere, which he has loved so much. “I loved getting to know the friends I made here, and playing alongside them at the chamber concerts and at the Tivoli both for our concerts and for the Singing Christmas Tree.”
“Bryce, you are a consummate clarinetist. You are talented and gifted, and I hope that you can find a way to continue your music education.” – Mr. Wilkes
MCKAYLIN WALKER (Oboe) McKaylin is the daughter of Anthony and Misty Walker. She will graduate from Heritage High School and has been a YO member for 4 seasons. She has been a member of GMEA District Honor Band, All-State Honor Band, participated at the University of Georgia’s JanFest, and has been a member of the Legion of Generals Marching Band in the mellophone section for 4 years. In the fall, McKaylin plans to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham to major in Biomedical Science and minor in Music and Chemistry. “The CSOYO Symphony has helped mold me into the musician I am today. I’ve grown not only as a musician, but I’ve also been blessed by the relationships formed with so many talented musicians. Those memories are ones I will look back on fondly.”
“McKaylin, I will miss you beyond belief, and I have enjoyed our all too brief time together. You are an incredible oboist. Please, please continue to play!” – Mr. Wilkes
SAM WHITE (Trumpet) Sam is the son of Marina and Alan White and will be graduating from Ooltewah High School. He has been a member of the YO for 2 seasons. He has attended the 2019 Interlochen Arts Camp, been a member of the CSOYO Brass Quintet, the OHS Brass Quintet, and Central HS Brass Quintet. Sam plans to attend the Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University to major in Classical Trumpet Performance. He hopes to participate this summer in the Interharmony International Music Festival in either Italy or Germany. “The staff and students that are part of the CSOYO have always made my day, and being able to play music with many of them has been a blast!”
“Sam, when Molly left, I was worried about the principal trumpet position. You have more than answered the challenge! You have an incredible future and I am looking forward to following it.” – Mr. Wilkes
APRIL RICHMOND: (Trumpet) April is the daughter of Tyrone and Gloria Richmond. She will graduate from Walker Valley High School and has been a member of the CSOYO for 2 seasons. She was principal Trumpet her first year, in Philharmonic, and 2nd chair this season in Symphony. She plans to attend either Berklee College of Music or Lee University and major in Music Education and Music Theory and Composition. “Being a part of this organization allowed me to grow in numerous areas as a musician. I will never forget playing on the Tivoli stage with such an amazing group of people.”
“April, I have enjoyed getting to know you. I only wish you had played with us longer. You are a great young woman and trumpet player. I know there are big things in your future.“ – Mr. Wilkes