The Quad City Symphony Orchestra promoted from within for its new Director of Education and Community Engagement.

Chelsea Sammons has served as the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) General Manager since 2018 and is an oboe teacher in the QCSO Private Lesson Program. A native of Geneseo, Sammons was a member of the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra and holds degrees in communication and oboe performance from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, according to a QCSO release this week.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Chelsea Sammons to her new role as our next Director of Education and Community Engagement,” said QCSO executive director Brian Baxter. “She brings a wealth of experience and ideas given her background as a musician, teacher, and from her time as our Youth Ensembles General Manager. I’m excited to see what she will bring leading the diverse array of music education and community programming that QCSO offers across our Quad Cities community.”

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is led by music director and conductor Mark Russell Smith.

“I’m excited to continue to serve the Quad Cities community as Director of Education and Community Engagement,” Sammons said in the release. “My passion for orchestral music began when I joined the Youth Symphony Orchestra in 8th grade. After joining, I attended Sunday Masterworks concerts with my family and the rest is history! I look forward to supporting music educators in their classrooms and creating exciting opportunities for students to engage with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.”

She is succeeding Marc Zyla in the role. Principal horn for QCSO, Zyla was in the staff position for six years before starting as the new director of community engagement at WVIK, Quad Cities NPR, on May 2.

With Sammons moving to her new role, the QCSO is accepting applications for the position of QCSYE Coordinator. It is a part-time, 18-hour/week job. The QC Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) consist of four school-year orchestras for musicians of all ability levels, ages 7 to 18. The program provides a rigorous and inspiring learning environment founded on musical excellence for string, woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians.

Additional information on the QCSYE Coordinator position and how to apply can be found online at