Homepage & Schedules
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Music Director 
Ariel Loveland, Assistant Conductor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., IFYS Manager

Click Here for Complete Concert Details:


Thursday, April 20th, 2017, 7:30pm
Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium, Free Admission

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017, 7:30pm
Barrus Concert Hall, BYU-Idaho, Rexburg

News and Useful Links:

Youth Symphony Auditions -- Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017, 6:00pm
2016-17 Calendar -- Revised Jaunary 2017
Download the IFYS Membership Handbook
Download the IFYS Practice Guide
"Like" Us on Facebook for Concert Information!

Nielsen2015-w300About our Music Director, Kendell Nielsen: A faculty member at Brigham Young University-Idaho for 23 years, Kendell Nielsen enters his second year as Music Director of the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony. Currently he teachers music in the public schools in Southeast Idaho. He recently relocated to Rexburg from Boise, where he had been serving as the Headmaster of Fresco Arts Academy, a private performing arts school originally founded by his son, Justin. During his tenure at BYU-Idaho, Mr. Nielsen served as Director of Bands, associate conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, director of Music Theory studies, and a private instructor of French Horn. Mr. Nielsen is a recipient of both the Distinguished Faculty and Honorary Faculty awards from BYU-Idaho. He has authored The Apolleric Approach to Teaching Music Literacy, a practical manual for teaching the skill of musical literacy to classrooms or individuals. He has been frequently listed as “my most influential teacher.” Before his tenure at BYU-Idaho, Mr. Nielsen was a well-respected teacher in the Utah public schools, where he received Utah Holiday magazine’s “Best Junior High School Music Educator” award in 1984.

Kendell has served as associate conductor of both the Meridian Symphony (Boise) and the New American Philharmonic (Ogden).  He has guest conducted the Magic Valley Symphony (Twin Falls) and the Idaho Falls Symphony. He has conducted pit orchestras for the Triad Center, Murray Community Theatre, and Promised Valley Playhouse in Utah, as well as assisting the Granite Youth Symphony and coaching the brass section of the Mormon Youth Symphony.

As a free-lance professional horn player, Kendell has performed frequently with the Utah Symphony and as a pit orchestra player for the Utah Opera, Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Triad Center Theatre, and Promised Valley Playhouse in Utah. While living in Idaho, he was a founding member of the Targhee Brass Quintet, and he served as principal horn for the Idaho Falls and Pocatello Symphonies.

Most importantly (at least to Mr. Nielsen), he is the father of five children and the grandfather of 15 grandchildren. His oldest son, Justin, is very active in the musical communities of Boise and Twin Falls. Justin and his wife are the founders of Arts West in Eagle, Idaho. His second son, Dr. Ryan Nielsen, is presently on faculty at Brigham Young University-Idaho, having received his doctoral degree from New England Conservatory of Music. His daughter, Nicole, is a freelance vocalist in Iowa, and his third son, Alex, is a fine bass player.  His youngest son, Eric, plays drums and lives in Iceland where he is finishing his degree in computer engineering. Mr. Nielsen’s sweetheart is Elaine (Larsen), born in Shelley, Idaho, who is an accomplished pianist. Over the years Kendell and Elaine have worked with several community choirs throughout the area.


Past Music Directors  

Darrell Brown

Darrell Brown (IFYS Music Director 2012-15) is an active conductor, clinician, music educator, and composer. He is currently enrolled in Doctoral Studies in Conducting at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  Previous positions have included conducting and composition work as a faculty member at BYU-Idaho; conducting the Corpus Christi Municipal Band and working at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas; associate conductor of the Utah Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra in Orem, Utah and teaching at Provo High School in Provo, Utah; teaching adjunct at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and teaching music at the Camelot Schools in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe.


Additional opportunities include guest conducting with the Corpus Christi Chamber Orchestra and the Corpus Christi Wind Symphony, stage managing for the instrumental ensembles for the Texas Music Educators Association’s annual convention held in San Antonio, Texas, and serving as clinician for many high school ensembles throughout the Coastal Bend area of Texas and for the High Plains Festival in Nebraska.


An active composer and avid supporter of new music, Brown has commissioned and premiered over 18 works for large ensemble and co-hosted an annual “Composition Symposium” featuring guest composers in residencies, focusing on their music in recitals, concerts, interviews, Q&A sessions, and masterclasses.  As a composer, Brown’s music has been heard regularly in concert with premieres as recent as the summer of 2012.


David BurgerRest in Peace, David A. Burger, conductor (1953-2012) 

David Burger (IFYS music director 2002-12) grew up in southern Wisconsin and graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. While at BYU he played clarinet, tuba and double bass in a variety of ensembles. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a Master of Music degree. David was the Director of Bands we well as Music Coordinator for District #91 and was the Idaho All-State Band Chairman for five different All-State Bands. During his 23 years with the Idaho Falls Symphony, David has played double bass (serving as principal for 13 years), tuba, principal clarinet, bass clarinet, and timpani. He served on the Symphony's Board of Directors for three years and was appointed conductor of the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony in May of 2002. In May of 2004 David was selected as Artist of the Year by the Idaho Falls Arts Council, he was the Symphony's Volunteer of the Year on more than one occasion, and he passed away unexpectedly in his home on Friday, September 21st, 2012.


About the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony

The Idaho Falls Youth Symphony was founded in 1989 by conductor Eric Wenstrom as the Eastern Idaho Youth Symphony and was later incorporated into the Idaho Falls Symphony Society. The purpose of the Youth Symphony is to provide young musicians a positive, educational, and fulfilling experience as members of a full orchestra. The Youth Symphony also seeks to enhance area school music programs by providing an experience that will challenge the students’ developing musical skills. The Youth Symphony holds an annual concerto competition for student soloists, has commissioned new works for full orchestra, and has featured noted guest artists over the years.


Thank you for visiting the Idaho Falls Symphony

440 N. Capital Ave., Suite B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 529-1080, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are proud and honored to have been part of the Idaho Falls community since 1949. Our mission to perform the world’s great music continues thanks to our dedicated team of musicians, our generous sponsors, and the tireless volunteers that make up the Symphony family. 

In consideration of our patrons and artists, children must be age six to attend performances of the Idaho Falls Symphony.

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