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EIU Department of Music

Symphonic Honors Initiative Program


The Symphonic Honors Initiative Program (SHIP) is an outreach program designed to provide orchestral experience for the exceptionally talented high school and middle school string players primarily in Coles County in addition to the surrounding counties. I invite these students to perform in concert performances with the Eastern Symphony Orchestra. I see this as an occasion to provide your child professional orchestral experience as a way of preparing them for future orchestral opportunities and the over-all college orchestral experience.

SHIP and now SHIP Jr. participate in the ESO orchestral rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-4:50pm. SHIP also meets at 6PM on Wednesday Evenings right before ESO rehearses. At 7 PM they combine in a full rehearsal with the Eastern Symphony Orchestra. The Symphonic Honors Students will be finished with rehearsals no later then 9 PM (with the exception of dress rehearsals which will be from 7-10PM).  After which, The Eastern Symphony Chamber Orchestra will continue to rehearsal until 10 PM. SHIP Jr. will be excused around 8:00/8:15.

If you feel that you would like your child to participate and would like to be considered for the program please feel free to contact me. Thank you for supporting and having such an invested interest in the artistic growth of your child!


Richard Robert Rossi
Director of Orchestral & Choral Activities


SHIP Faculty

Sharilyn Spicknall, Violin

SpicknallSharilyn Spicknall (Sharry) is a freelance musician. A violinist, violist, pianist, she enjoys and sustains a longtime and active career as a soloist, chamber musician, recording studio artist, collaborative pianist, orchestral musician, adjudicator, and teacher/coach/clinician.

Sharry is first violinist of the Downstate (IL) and Indiana State University string quartets, section first violinist of the Evansville Philharmonic (IN) and the Danville Symphony (IL), as well as a substitute in many other orchestras in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky.

Mrs. Spicknall's academic affiliations have included teaching positions at Indiana State University, Purdue and DePauw Universities, as well as Saint Mary of the Woods College, after teaching for over a decade in Indiana public schools. Sharry has been a member of the Indiana University Summer Music Clinic (Bloomington, IN) string faculty since 1990. She is honored to be part of the SHIP faculty and concertmaster of the Eastern Symphony Orchestra.



Terry Coulton, Violin

CoultonViolinist Terry Coulton is a native of Seattle Washington. She received a bachelor's degree in violin performance from Fort Wright College in Spokane Washington, where she was a student of Sr. Xavier Courvoisier. She holds a Master of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Notre Dame, having studied with Adrian Bryttan, and chamber music with Karen Buranskas and William Cerny. She has performed as a member of the Spokane Symphony, Elkhart Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Prairie Ensemble, and Eastern Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Coulton is a member of Downstate Strings chamber ensemble, and was the second violinist in the LeVeck String quartet. She maintains a private violin studio at her home in Charleston, Illinois.




Megan Goff, Viola

GoffViolist Megan Goff was raised on a farm along with her 7 brothers and sisters in East Central Illinois. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend the University of Illinois, where she earned a bachelor's degree in viola performance. She has studied viola with Mr. Rudolf Haken, Mr. Thomas LeVeck, and Dr. Kathreen Ryan. Chamber music coaches include Dr. Peter Schafer and members of Pacifica String Quartet. She has studied piano with Dr. Meg Gray and Dr. David Hobbs. She has played in the University of Illinois Symphony, as well as Sinfonia da Camera. She currently performs and has traveled with Eden String Quartet, a group formed with her sisters in 2001. In addition to performing, Megan has kept up a growing studio of piano, violin, and viola students for the past 13 years. She resides in Oakland, Illinois, with her husband and three young children.



Andrew Emata, Cello

EmataAndrew Emata is a cellist from Indianapolis, Indiana, and is a graduate of Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He has participated in various music events including the Interlochen Center for the Arts orchestra program, Blue Lake Fine Arts summer camp, and ISSMA solo and ensemble competitions. Mr. Emata continues to live in Indianapolis, working retail part-time, and performing with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

While attending Indiana State, Mr. Emata has performed with the University Symphony, Masterworks Chorale, and the Terre Haute Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra. He has studied cello with Dr. Kurt Fowler at Indiana State and orchestral music with Dr. William Davis. During summer months Mr. Emata has worked at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and performed in the pit orchestra under the direction of Rick Church. Mr. Emata has also performed with the Eastern Symphony Orchestra from 2013-2015 and the Shimonoseki Civic Orchestra of Shimonoseki, Japan.



Todd Gallagher, Double Bass

GallagherTodd Gallagher holds B.M. and M.M degrees in Double Bass Performance from Indiana State University.  An active musician and educator, Mr Gallagher holds chairs in the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Danville Symphony, and Lafayette (IN) Symphony. His teaching duties include applied Applied Double Bass and Jazz Combos at Indiana State University, History of Music at Danville Area Community College, and Applied Double Bass/Cello at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. He is also active with Danville Light Opera, Beef House Dinner Theatre, as a freelance jazz and electric bassist, as well as various other commercial music settings.  Prominent teachers have included Donovan Stokes (Shenandoah Conservatory) and David Murray (Butler University). Mr. Gallagher is also a Registered Nurse in Geriatrics for the Department of Veterans Affairs. 


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