Janet Kuester became involved with Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra as a parent, when her daughter auditioned for the violin section in the 1980’s. Mrs. Kuester served on the board for several years while her daughter played in SYSO.
In 2009, alarmed by the lack of public school string programs, Mrs. Kuester approached the Suburban Youth Symphony and the SYSO board voted to help manifest her vision of The Incredible Opportunity Program, which gives 10-20 children each year in the south/southwest suburbs an opportunity to receive low cost weekly group instruction and rental instrument. Children are selected by writing an essay “Why I want to play the violin/viola/cello.”
Mrs. Kuester has served as the violin instructor/mentor of the Incredible Opportunity program since 2010 and as Music Director from 2011-12, and is currently serving her 3rd year as Executive Director. This year she has helped develop the high school mentor program to encourage high school string students to mentor and teach younger students and receive community service hours.
Janet Kuester is the founder and director (2004) of The Music Connection of Orland Park and Frankfort. The Music Connection serves over 400 students each week offering private and group music instruction with a staff of 30 at 2 studios, area park districts, library programs, and on site high school programs.
Mrs. Kuester has taught violin and piano for more than 40 years and is a member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Suzuki Association of the Americas and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Mrs. Kuester received her music degree from De Paul University and is a certified Suzuki piano and violin teacher. She has performed with the Lake Forest Symphony, Schubert Woods String Quartet, and the Waukegan, DePaul, Chicago Civic, Chicago Heights, Kankakee and Illinois Philharmonic Orchestras.
David Forsman has been a freelance cellist in Chicago's south suburbs for almost 40 years. His teachers include Karl Fruh, Richard Kapuscinski, Leonard Chausow, and Kim Scholes. He has been a member of the Illinois Philharmonic, the Northwest Indiana Symphony, the Rockford Symphony, and others. He has been a founding member of two chamber music groups, and currently partners with pianist Melinda Sondag in the Forsman Sondag Duo. David also played cello in everyone's favorite band, Time Bomb Taxi. He has been teaching since the mid 80s, and was the strings coach of the Kankakee Valley Youth Symphony for more than 15 years.
David is an avid bicycle rider, a walker in the winter - it's all about being under the sky - and a serious classical record collector. David also loves books. Homer is a favorite. And a low key trip to the Art Institute is the way he treats himself when he needs to get happy.