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Diane Soelberg, Music Director


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About Our Music Director

Diane Soelberg headshot h500Diane Soelberg (IFYS Music Director 2017-19) is currently the Chair of the Department of Music, Director of Bands, and conductor of the Symphony Band at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Other teaching assignments have included applied oboe instruction, music theory and ear training, instrumental conducting, chamber ensemble coaching and music education courses. Under her direction, the BYU-Idaho Symphony Band has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The band has performed at the Idaho Music Educators Association (IMEA) State Conference in Pocatello, ID, National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Northwest Conference in Spokane, WA and at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Western/Northwestern Division Conference in Reno, NV.  

Miss Soelberg received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Utah.  She also received a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Utah State University, and a Master of Music Education with an Emphasis in Conducting from Brigham Young University. Prior to her appointment at BYU-Idaho in 2003, she taught high school band and orchestra for fourteen years in the Weber County and Alpine School Districts in Utah. She received the “Rookie of the Year” award from the Utah Music Educators Association, the “Accent on Excellence” award from the Alpine School District, and the “Distinguished Faculty” award from BYU-Idaho. 

Miss Soelberg served on the board of the Utah Music Educators Association as Band Vice-President, and as the Utah All-State Band Chair. She was a staff member of, and traveled on European concert tours with the Utah Ambassadors of Music from 1997 through 2005, and is the former conductor of the American Fork Symphony. She currently serves as the Northwestern Division President-Elect of CBDNA, and is also a member of the National Band Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and NAfME/IMEA.  Miss Soelberg maintains a busy schedule as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor.  She enjoys traveling, running, biking, and golfing.

Past Music Directors

Nielsen2015-w300Kendell Nielsen (IFYS Music Director 2015-17): 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.

Mr. Nielsen 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.  

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 Burger

Rest 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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