Maitreyi Shrikhande, member of the Quad City Symphony Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, has been sharing her time and talents with the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) for over four years, but what she didn’t know is how much her volunteerism would impact her as an individual.

On January 16, at the Putnam Museum, Shrikhande shared her experiences volunteering around the Quad Cities in a TedxYouth@Davenport Talk. Her speech, “The Unexpected Outcomes of Volunteering,” empowered her audience to seek opportunities to grow in their community.

Shrikhande discussed her experiences volunteering at Genesis Health System, reading to preschool students, assisting art classes at the Figge Art Museum, and helping with auditions for the QCSYE program. She emphasized that these unique opportunities have increased her happiness and taught her skills that could not have been learned if she had not challenged herself to seek activities outside of her comfort zone.

In her speech, she recalled her first time volunteering for the QCSYE as an audition “runner.” She remembered how awkward she felt leading nervous students to their auditions but noticed how at ease the older members conversed with them.

She concluded that with helpful mentors, repetition, and confidence, she was able to make students feel relaxed and comfortable before their auditions. To her, this exemplified a generous benefit to volunteering.

And her passion for volunteering has not gone unnoticed.

“I met Maitreyi when she was volunteering for the QCSYE spring auditions,” said Chelsea Schwarzkopf, QCSYE General Manager. “Even as a young middle school student, she had a confidence that has only grown as she continues to volunteer for the program.”

Now a freshman at Davenport Central High School, Shrikhande is always looking for new ways to challenge herself, and the TedxYouth@Davenport event was the challenge she was seeking.

“TEDxYouth was an amazing experience for me! I’d never done public speaking before, it taught be the importance persistence and was one more lesson in how practice and rehearsals form a performance,” said Shrikhande.

Shrikhande continues to be a vital volunteer in the QCSYE program, helping with auditions throughout the year and being a significant role model in the program.

“Maitreyi is a leader in more way than one, and the QCSYE is proud to have students who take their musical development and extend it into other areas of their life,” said Schwarzkopf.

Shrikhande exemplifies a student who generously and gracefully shares her gifts with the Quad Cities, creating a community that is shaped by its citizens’ dedication to serve others.

Watch Maitreyi’s TedxYouth@Davenport Talk Below


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

Funding for the QCSO website provided by the Scott County Regional Authority