Youth Programs

Mr. Raymond J. Biederman, Director of the KSYO, began his violin studies in Orland Park, Illinois at the age of ten. After five years, Ray was selected to tour Europe with the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra. Studying with Ed Kreitman and Thomas Wermuth at the Western Springs School of Talent Education, Ray became a member of the Chicago Consort performance ensemble, playing concerts in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and in several cities in Italy. Ray began college at Butler University studying under the direction of Dr. Davis Brooks. His interest in conducting began in 2004 when he was named conductor of one of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras in Indianapolis. Since then, Ray has studied under Dr. Robert Grechesky and Richard Auldon Clark. During his tenure at Butler, Ray was a charter member of the men’s music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Ray received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with honors and a Math Minor from Butler University in 2006. He completed law school at IUPUI and is now an attorney working at the law offices of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, located in Indianapolis.

Mr. Moo Il Rhee, Beginning and Intermediate Strings Instructor, has been associated with the Kokomo Youth Orchestra's Beginning and Intermediate Strings program for several years. He earned a BM from Indiana University and received his Masters at Butler University's Jordan College of Fine Arts in Indianapolis. Moo Il's significant instructors include Paul Biss, Yural Yaron, Vartan Manogian and Laurence Shapiro. He has a wealth of symphony as well as philharmonic experience and is eager to use this experience to help young, aspiring musicians.

Cellist Ruth Marshall, is active as both a performer and a teacher around the country. Recent performances include string quartet concerts inside the Grand Canyon in Arizona, appearances on the Music Northwest Chamber Music Series in Seattle WA, and two seasons of concerts with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, where she held the title of Assistant Principal Cello. She was also involved with MusiCorps, the music educational arm of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and has performed and participated in pre-concert activities for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in the Aldeburgh Music Festival, the New York University String Quartet Seminar, The Banff Centre Summer Master Classes, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Festival-Institute at Round Top. Ruth holds Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Washington in Comparative History of Ideas and Music Theory, and a Master of Music and Certificate in Performance in Cello from DePaul University. She is currently on faculty at the Butler University Community Arts School in Indianapolis IN, and the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago IL.

Laura Deaton, is an active teacher and performer of violin, viola and piano in and around the Indianapolis area. She holds her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Indianapolis where she studied under violinist Dean Franke and pianist Rebecca Sorley. While at the University of Indianapolis she was able to further her violin and piano studies at their sister campus in Athens, Greece. Laura currently enjoys performing with many area orchestras and chamber ensembles. As a pianist, she regularly performs with fellow teachers and also in accompanying their student recitals and events. In addition to performing Laura is a passionate music education advocate. Her love for music education grew when she was asked to become the Music Education Coordinator for WICR, 88.7FM. Here she was able to incorporate group music classes into I.P.S. and private school curriculum. She is looking forward to be able to work with the Kokomo Youth Symphony Orchestra program and highlighting music education in Kokomo.

Classes typically begin on the first Wednesday in September. The cost for Beginning and Intermediate class is $50 per semester. This program is for group violin and viola where students learn to play and read music. The Beginning program is tailored for students as young as 5.

Beginning and Intermediate Strings

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Family Discounts are available

Meet the Teaching Staff

The KSYO is the top youth performing group and consists of mostly high school students playing up to four concerts per season at various locations.

Classes typically begin the second Sunday in September and the cost is $100 per semester.

Kokomo Symphony Youth Orchestra

Family discounts are available for both programs. Additionally, the Kokomo Symphonic Society is pleased to offer private violin, viola and cello instruction from professional musicians. For more information, or to register for classes, please call 765-236-0251 or email The Youth Programs are partially funded by a grant from the Kokomo Community Arts Commission.