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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!


Dr. Richard Rossi
Director of Orchestral Activities and Applied Cello

SHIP Faculty

Sharilyn Spicknall, Violin


Sharilyn Spicknall has been the concertmaster for the Eastern Symphony Orchestra since the 2011-2012 Concert Season.  She 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 a violinist of the Downstate (IL) and Indiana State University string quartets, section first violinist of the Evansville Philharmonic (IN)  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.



Rebecca Saul, Viola

Elizabeth Trower

Rebecca Saul was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona where she started her musical journey on the violin and joined a six-level chamber orchestra called Tucson Junior Strings in the fourth grade. As she worked her way up, Rebecca switched over to viola and was motivated to join the Tucson Philharmonic Youth Orchestra as acting assistant principal. She also participated in the Regional Orchestra and after three years, sat in the principal chair. She graduated Tucson Magnet High School in 2010 when she was awarded with the Performing Arts Endorsement award. The FAA Talented Student award led her to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue a degree in viola performance and graduated in 2014. She currently performs with various orchestras and has been freelancing around the area since 2011. She has been fortunate to study with many well-respected viola professors such as Dennis Bourret, Dick Holland, Karen Dreyfus, Bruce Whitson for six months as she studied aboard in Siegen, Germany and Rudolf Haken.



Martha Lhamon, Cello

Cellist Martha Lhamon is an active freelance musician in the south-central Illinois and Indiana area. She received her BA from Middlebury College in Vermont, and studied at the Mannes Conservatory of Music in New York City with Claus Adam of the Julliard String Quartet, and with David Finckel of the Emerson String Quartet. She has freelanced in the New York Metropolitan area, and was a member of the National Symphony of Ecuador for 2 years. She taught cello at the National Conservatory in Quito, Ecuador, and coached lower strings at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. Martha has been a member of many south-central Indiana and Illinois ensembles, including Illinois Symphony, Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Danville Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Eastern Symphony Orchestra, and Bloomington (IN) Chamber Singers.

Martha also holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced law in Philadelphia for a number of years before moving to the midwest. 


Todd Gallagher, Double Bass

Todd GallagherTodd Gallagher received B.M. and M.M. degrees in double bass performance from Indiana State University.  An active musician and educator, Mr. Gallagher holds chairs in Danville, Champaign-Urbana, and Lafayette (IN) Symphonies.  His teaching duties include applied double bass and jazz combos at Indiana State and Music Appreciation at Danville Area Community College.  Equally at home on electric bass, he is an active freelance jazz/commercial bassist and has been mentoring young bassists in his home studio for 25 years.  Mr. Gallagher is also an RN with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and is board certified in geriatrics and mental health.


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