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At the end of the 2018 – 2019 season, Dortha DeWit will retire from the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) program as Prelude Strings Conductor. As the founder of Prelude Strings and Youth String Ensemble, DeWit has served as conductor for over 30 years.

“It’s been one of my greatest professional joys to introduce young string players to the orchestral playing that I’ve loved so long,” said DeWit. “I love the age group, I love the literature, and I love watching the progress – from an initial sight-reading of a piece to the point where it is ready to perform and the students suddenly realize how well they can play as a group. What a joy it is to experience the music together.”

DeWit’s contribution to the QCSYE has expanded beyond her role as Prelude Strings conductor. She is a member of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, teaches adjunctly at Augustana College, and maintains a robust private lesson studio. She has truly invested in all aspects of the Quad Cities musical community – from the moment students begin an instrument to their graduation into other musical communities.

“This seems like the right time to pass the baton, to let someone new have the joy of working with these wonderful colleagues and students and continue to help Prelude Strings become the best it can be. I believe in the mission of our ensembles and will of course continue to support them in any and every way possible,” said DeWit.

DeWit will remain a member of the QCSO as well as devote herself to solo and chamber performance opportunities. Her dedication to her private studio will continue to thrive. She hopes to spend more time with her grandchildren, travel, and work on home projects.

“It is a bittersweet moment for us as Dortha has been a pillar of our Youth Ensembles Program for 30 years. We are excited to celebrate her many years of dedicated service and leadership as we look forward to the next chapter,” said Brian Baxter, QCSO Executive Director.

The QCSO will be releasing details about the position of Prelude Strings conductor as soon as they are finalized.

About the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles

The Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) program consists of five performance groups (four youth orchestras and a youth choir) for students in grades two through twelve. Under the direction of the outstanding QCSYE conducting staff, members have the opportunity to perform great orchestral and choral repertoire with the most talented young musicians in the area and learn from the mentorship of professional musicians from throughout the region. Ensemble members come from the greater Quad Cities, as well as other communities in southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois.

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Article by
Chelsea Schwarzkopf
QCSYE General Manager
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