Mailing Address
Youth Music Illinois
3601 North Sheridan Road
Peoria, Illinois 61604

Physical Location
3625 North Sheridan Road
Peoria, Illinois 61604

Laura Jean (L.J.) Alexandre-Strong
Executive Director
c 309.370.6424

L.J. joined Youth Music Illinois as Executive Director in June of 2018. Having graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in violin performance and business with an emphasis in music production and arts enterprise in May 2018, L.J. is the youngest executive director in YMI history.  Originally from Peoria, IL, L.J. was also in the Central Illinois Youth Symphony program (now Youth Music Illinois) for nine years as a violinist, and two years as a student conductor under Philip Rudd. Throughout her college career L.J. worked in many positions, including co-founding Brandon Rice Events and Entertainment, LLC, an events and promotion company based in central Illinois. Personally, L.J. enjoys her time outside in warm weather, cooking, performing music, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

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David Commanday
Music Director

Music Director of Youth Music Illinois, and Conductor of Youth Symphony, has conducted young musicians throughout his professional career. He is currently Artistic Director and Conductor of the Heartland Festival Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music at Eureka College.  Previous posts include Music Director of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and Boston Ballet, Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony, and Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted both professional and youth orchestras on four continents, the National and American Symphonies, the Israel Philharmonic, the Belgian Radio Orchestra, and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra among them.  He has taught at Harvard University, Boston University, MIT, the Longy School of Music, Tanglewood, Virginia Commonwealth University, Montclair State, and Webster University.

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Brea Fearon
Program Manager