Wanna Bea Conductor Competition

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2017 Wanna Be a Conductor Competition

WBC candidates are supportive community people who have a dream of conducting a full symphony orchestra and a desire to support the symphony. It is up to our audience to decide who will get that chance while helping the Symphony with your monetary donations.

WBC candidates seek support by encouraging donations to the Elkhart County Symphony on their behalf. Each dollar translates to a vote for the candidate. The candidate bringing in the largest amount of donations will determine the winning candidate. Donations will receive receipts for tax purposes as the Symphony is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization and all donations will go to the Symphony.

Every $1 counts for a vote!

Donate $10 for 10 votes, $20 for 20 votes and so on. Click the button below to cast your vote.

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Tom Myers

Tom Myers has choreographed, directed and performed for many local dance and theatre groups including Elkhart Civic Theatre and the Aurinko Ballet.  Three of his productions have earned Outstanding Production and Direction at the state and regional level.  He currently teaches jazz at the Conservatory of Dance and Co-directs the Conservatory’s Studio Company.  He served on several not-for-profit boards, most recently being on Elkhart County Symphony BOD. By day, he is a Care Center Supervisor for MSC Industrial Supply in Elkhart. He fully believes in the Elkhart Symphony and its contribution to Elkhart’s arts community.  He is looking forward to raising a lot of money for the Symphony and earning the opportunity to conduct this fine group!

Clyde Riley

I was born February 13, 1951 in East St. Louis, Illinois, to Clyde Senior and Juanita Riley. I was born the youngest of four children with three older sisters: Elsie, Shirley and Doris. We moved to Elkhart from East St. Louis in 1953. I attended the Elkhart Community Schools: Ulery Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, Pierre Moran Junior High School and Elkhart High School. I participated in football, basketball, track, Choir, and a host of other activities. In my senior year of high school, we won the State Championship in football, and in Track received All American and All Conference Honorable Mention honors. I earned a scholarship to play football at Ball State University and majored in Education. I played three sports at Ball State University and was selected team Captain during my senior year of football. I was drafted by the World Football Team the Memphis Southman in 1974. After that summer, I began teaching and coaching at Marion High School in Marion, Indiana.

In 1979, I signed with the Elkhart Community Schools as an Assistant Principal at Elkhart Memorial High School. After five years, I move up to Vice Principal and later became Principal at the Elkhart Area Career Center. From there, I became principal of the alternative school offering called LIFE Program. I stay there until I retired as an educator in 2012, after 38 years in education and 33 years as a principal. I accepted a position in 2013 as Director of the Tolson Center under Mayor Dick Moore. In 2016, I was appointed Park  Superintendent under Mayor Tim Neese where I am serving today.

I am married to Carla Riley and we have eight children, one of whom was adopted eight years ago. We also have 11 grandchildren. All of our children attended college — the youngest is now attending the University of Indianapolis. I am a member of the Lions Club, support the United Way and a member of the Urban League. I was a member of the Human Services Planning Division Board of Directors. I was a member of the YMCA Board of Directors, served on Church Community Services Board of Directors as well as CAPS Board of Directors. I love serving the community of Elkhart and I would love to have an opportunity to be the conductor and help earn money for the Elkhart Symphony.

Steve Gruber

Steve Gruber is a 4th generation Elkhart native with a lifelong love of art and music.  He plays piano and (during school years) played the bass violin.  He is producer of the monthly ArtWalk series, proprietor of Arts on Main gallery and takes great joy in promoting downtown arts and entertainment.  He lives with his cat Gerald in his first renovation project, the Neo-Classical Cherokee Rose Lodge apartment building, and has since renovated two other downtown properties.


Since 1948, the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra has been providing musical education, enjoyment, and opportunities for our local community.

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Online: www.thelerner.com
Call: 574.293.4469
(Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-1pm)

410 S Main Street
Elkhart, IN 46516

All concerts are held at The Lerner Theatre.

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