History

1934     First organizational meeting of the Eugene Symphony Association. Founders included Mrs. C. A. Horton, President of the Eugene Federation of Women’s Organizations, and Genevieve Tugman.
1935     First orchestra concert, presented by the Eugene Symphony.
1946     Douglas Orme was appointed conductor and private lesson scholarships were provided for the musicians.
1959     The name of the organization was changed to the Eugene Junior Symphony Association and the first Symphonic Safari, an original concert concept developed by Byron Miller, was presented.
1971     The Junior Strings became the second orchestra sponsored by the EJSA. Intended as a feeder ensemble for the Junior Symphony, the Junior Strings, conducted by Nathan Cammack, met on Monday afternoons at Roosevelt Middle School.
1987     The EJSA was renamed the Eugene Youth Symphony Association and Richard Long became its first Music Director. Rick Wolfgang added woodwinds, brass and percussion to the Junior Strings and renamed it the Eugene Junior Orchestra.
1992     EYSA Board members and staff created the Community Performing Arts School (CPAS) where non-instrumental music classes were taught for the first time. Pat Knaus taught the first musical theater classes as a part of CPAS. The first String Academy classes for first and second year string students were held on Saturday mornings at South Eugene High School.
1994     The EYSA changed its name to Arts Umbrella and broadened its offerings to meet the needs of the community. The organization now offered dance and drama classes in addition to an augmented music curriculum that included private lessons, voice and music theory classes, in addition to three levels of orchestra instruction.
1995     A third orchestra, the Cadet Orchestra (now the Little Symphony) lead by Forrest Moyer, was created and summer classes, including musical theater, string academies and summer bands were initiated.
1996     Encore String (now String Academy 2), was created, adding a fourth orchestra to the existing programs. String Academy classes were taught in selected elementary schools in Eugene School District 4J. The Arts Umbrella office was moved to its current location at Dunn School. David Chinburg was appointed conductor of the Junior Orchestra and the JO began to expand its coaching and outreach offerings.
2002     Three String Academy classes were taught to 5th graders in Eugene Public School buildings.
2004     Arts Umbrella is awarded the prestigious Fentress Award for contributions made by an arts organization to the city of Eugene.
2007    String Academy classes were offered in four Eugene elementary schools and the combined SA classes performed with the Youth Symphony at the Symphonic Safari.
2008     Arts Umbrella celebrates its 75th Anniversary season with several special events scheduled throughout the year.
2009    Myra Tam was named Executive Director.
2010    Jason Duckles was appointed conductor of the Youth Symphony and David Chinburg was named conductor of the Little Symphony.
2011    Michele Pound was named Executive Director and Dana Demant was appointed conductor of the Junior Orchestra. Arts Umbrella’s Summer Musical Theater Camp program celebrates its 20th anniversary. These two camps are the longest running musical theater camps in Eugene.
2012    Long and short term goals are defined, including a revised mission, goals and rebranding of the organization.
2013    The 80th Anniversary season is celebrated under the new name – Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras.
2013    Karen Doerfert is named conductor of the Little Symphony
2014    Holly Spencer takes over as ESYO’s Executive Director.
2017    Dr. David Jacobs is appointed conductor of the Eugene-Springfield Youth Symphony.

Today ESYO continues to address the music education needs of the community and work collaboratively with other agencies to guarantee that high quality orchestra instruction continues to be accessible to all students.