There is something for everyone at the Richmond Symphony School of Music! In addition to our in-person Youth Orchestra Program, virtual offerings range from pre-college music theory to adult courses for all abilities and interests, like lessons in listening with For Your Ears Only, or taking a deeper dive into classical music along with larger topics in society - such as nationalism, identity, and BLM - with a new edition of Black Music Discovery.
Whether you are a new or returning student, we are excited to have you as part of the RSSoM community. Thanks for joining us - see you in class!
Violinist Daisuke Yamamoto, known for exhibiting “immense virtuosity and probing musicianship,” is originally from Marietta, GA. Concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony since 2013, he has been featured as a soloist on several occasions since his arrival, including a performance of the Theme from Schindler’s List for the Holocaust Remembrance Concert, which was broadcast statewide. Other performances include Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Ravel’s Tzigane and Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from The Four Seasons. Before coming to Richmond he was a member of the New World Symphony. While at New World, he soloed with the orchestra, performing Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. He has also collaborated with Jaime Laredo in a performance of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins. He was also hand-picked by Michael Tilson Thomas to participate in the Thomashefsky Project, an homage to Tilson Thomas’s grandparents who were pioneers of the American Yiddish Theater. The project was recorded for DVD and was aired on PBS Great Performances. He was also invited to Medellín, Colombia, where he led sectionals and masterclasses as well as performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín.
An avid orchestral performer, he has performed with many orchestras across the US, including The Cleveland Orchestra on numerous occasions both on tour and in Cleveland, New World Symphony, and the Spokane Symphony. As a concertmaster, he has led the New World Symphony on several occasions both at the New World Center and the Adrienne Arsht Center, Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and the Blossom Festival Orchestra. His performances have taken him to many great concerts halls in America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, Benaroya Hall, Suntory Hall, Festspielhaus and the KKL Luzern Concert Hall. He has worked with such notable conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst, Fabio Luisi, Osmo Vänskä, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, Jeffrey Tate and David Zinman. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with Robert McDuffie, Ida Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Steven Tenenbom, Jasper String Quartet, members of The Cleveland Orchestra, Tokyo String Quartet, Duo Patterson and Jerry Wong.
Yamamoto currently resides in Richmond with his wife, who is a math teacher at Atlee High School, and their 2 cats.
Musician and writer Walter Bitner is the Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Richmond Symphony. He has led a multi-faceted career as a teacher and performer; Walter is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, teacher, arranger/composer, and conductor. He has performed and studied a wide variety of music from nearly all periods of the Western art music tradition, rock, and jazz on piano, harpsichord, lute, recorder, and as a singer.
His teaching career from 1991 – 2014 spanned public and private schools in New York, Florida, and Nashville — from Kindergarten through 12th grade — and included a broad array of music education formats including general music, choir, strings, piano, and music theory. He taught at alternative and progressive schools, traditional college preparatory schools, and a public arts magnet high school. He is Conductor Emeritus of Music City Youth Orchestra, which he founded and directed from 2007 – 2012.
From 2014 to 2019, he served as Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Nashville Symphony, where he established the award-winning Accelerando program designed to prepare gifted young students of diverse backgrounds for pursuing music at the collegiate level and beyond.
Walter holds a B.A. from Charter Oak State College, CT, and he completed his teacher certification training in both vocal and instrumental music at Belmont University in Nashville. Walter speaks regularly about music, education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion at regional and national conferences, and he writes extensively on these topics for national magazines, professional associations, and on his website Off The Podium at walterbitner.com.
Music History, Music Listening
Join Richmond Symphony Concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto and Director of Education & Community Engagement Walter Bitner for this deep dive into the music of our 2021-22 Masterworks Concert Season. Each class in this unique companion course will focus on the repertoire of the Symphony’s next Masterworks concert performances and feature a special guest with a critical role in the performance. Through recordings, images, scholarship, biographies, backstage stories, and discussion we will listen and engage more deeply with the music and the artists who bring it to life.
Age Group: Adult Days: Monday Semester: Fall, Winter, Spring, (Full Year) Tuition:
Start Date: September 13, 2021 End Date: May 9, 2022
Prerequisites: None Start Time:
Number of Classes: 8 Duration: Required Materials/Technology: Computer, tablet, or smartphone with microphone/camera + internet access.
Canadian-born cellist Dana McComb has performed as a chamber musician, recitalist, and orchestral musician in venues across North America.
An avid teacher, Dana has held faculty positions at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and the Eckhardt-Gramatté Conservatory, and is currently on faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and teaches privately in Richmond. She is the creator of the online theory program, “Theory is Fun RVA.” Her students have represented the state of Virginia in the MTNA Competitions at the regional level for both the Junior and Senior String divisions, and at the Nationals Finals for the Junior level. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, performed as soloists with the Richmond Symphony and the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, and have attended universities and music festivals around the world. Her students participate in all levels of the YOP program. Dana works regularly with the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program and the Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia, is sought after as a clinician in schools around Virginia, and has been a jury member of the state and regional level MTNA Competitions.
Dana holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Irene Sharp and Bonnie Hampton, and an Associate Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music where she studied with David Hetherington.
Ready for the next level of Music Theory? Harmony I continues to build on previous knowledge while adding cadences, four-part writing, more complex rhythmic dictation and musical dictation. This class is open to anyone who has previously completed Theory I with RSSoM, as well as anyone who passes an at-home, no stress placement test.
Interested in registering for this course, but haven’t taken theory with RSSoM before? Email email@example.com for a proficiency test.
Class meets on Saturdays; there is no class on Saturday, February 19, 2022.
Age Group: Precollege Days: Saturday Semester: Spring Tuition:
Start Date: January 22, 2022 End Date: April 2, 2022
Prerequisites: Completion of Theory I or placement exam Start Time:
Number of Classes: 10 Duration: 50 minutes Required Materials/Technology: Computer, tablet, or smartphone with microphone/camera + internet access. Access to a printer or make other arrangements so that materials can be delivered to them.
Registration for this class is closed.
Five Day Immersive Masterclass - Conducting Seminar
With Music Director Valentina Peleggi and an opportunity to conduct the Richmond Symphony in performance.