The Grande Ronde Student Symphony tuned up with a new musical director Tuesday, Sept. 29.

That director is just one of a list of new directors that has grown this year. The Grande Ronde Symphony Association got a new president, Patty Sandoz; the varsity orchestra got a new musical director, assistant conductor of the Oregon Music Festival, Zeke Fetrow; and now the Student Symphony has welcomed well-known Eastern Oregon University instructor and concert master Rosanne Skinner.

The Grande Ronde Symphony is the longest continuously operating orchestra east of the Cascade Mountains. The new additions constitute a restructuring program intended to “enhance the quality of life in our region,” Sandoz said.

Student Symphony director Skinner, a graduate of Willamette University with a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance, performed as part of Willamette University’s Waller Quartet. She has taught privately, played with the Oregon East Symphony in Pendleton and Grande Ronde Symphony under Leandro Espinosa and was concert master when Lisa Robertson left. She collaborated with Espinosa to teach advanced violin at EOU and is now the official faculty there.

“We are initiating a rebuilding of our youth programs to bring the joy of playing music on stringed instruments to more students,” said Sandoz.

Wallowa County residents have regularly supported the symphony. Past and present players from Wallowa County include Elizabeth Powers, Michael Maslach, Emma Survis, Heather Tyreman, Lauren Guthridge, Patricia Cason, Stuart McAlister, Christopher Stauffer, Anne Taylor, Wendy Stauffer and Anna Stipe.

The annual fundraiser dinner for the symphony “An Evening with Jane Austen” will be held Oct. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. in La Grande at Presbyterian Friendship Center. For more information or tickets call Sandoz at 541-963-7595 or email

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