Our Staff


Matthew Sheppard

Artistic Director,  Youth Symphony

With his passionate enthusiasm for both music and education, Matthew Sheppard conducts and teaches across the Chicago area and abroad. He serves as Artistic Director of HPYS and the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as Music Director of the University Chamber Orchestra at the University of Chicago and the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago.

In the past year, Sheppard has guest conducted orchestras in North and South America, including the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Paraguay, the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. As a teacher, he inspires students to nurture a deeper love and understanding of music and performing through his own passion, musicianship, and conducting. Sheppard serves as a committee member for the Illinois Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (IL CMP) project as they encourage “teaching with intention, and performing with understanding.”

Sheppard studied with Donald Schleicher as a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois, and before that earned his master’s degree in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Gerardo Edelstein at Penn State University. During that time, he held appointments as Orchestra Director at Juniata College, Music Director of the State College Summer Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra (CPYO). In 2010, he founded the State College Summer Orchestra, a community orchestra that has since offered three years of benefit concerts. In 2013, they presented four world premieres, including a commission by Efraín Amaya for the orchestra and cello soloist Kim Cook.

Sheppard holds bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts, Music Education, and Violin Performance from Penn State where he studied with Max Zorin.


Andrea Ferguson

Conductor, String Orchestra, Preparatory Strings

Andrea Ferguson is currently the Orchestra Director for Hauser Junior High School in Riverside, Illinois, a position she has held since 2018, and is a member of the Illinois American String Teachers Association executive board. Andrea received her musical training at DePaul University where she studied violin with Ilya Kaler and received her Bachelor of Music Education degree.


A Chicago-area native, Andrea began studying violin at the age of nine. She was an active participant in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras for five years and a student in the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy program for advanced young musicians.


Andrea is a certified yoga teacher. She shares her home in Chicago with her German shepherd Brahms and two cats, Kiwi and Mango. She is also an enthusiastic cook, gardener and novice beekeeper.

Tim Corpus

Executive Director

Raised in Chicagoland, Tim Corpus has been active in the Chicago arts scene since 2006. As an internationally performed composer, his compositions have been performed across five continents. Highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, RHA Gallery in Ireland, Federal Justice Cultural Center of Brazil, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Chicago Cultural Center. In addition to concerts, he has been featured on CNN Money, the Sound of Silent Film Festival, 98.7 WFMT, the Connecticut Historical Society and Classical King FM: Second Inversion.


In addition to his work as a composer for film, live performance, and video games, Tim is a leading arts administrator/consultant and educator. He has worked with the Lake Forest Symphony, Axiom Brass, Hyde Park Youth Symphony, Charlotte New Music, Illinois Council of Orchestras and the Opera Festival of Chicago among others. A supporter of arts education, Tim taught at Loyola University Chicago and Chicago City Colleges.


A recipient of awards and commissions, Tim was selected for a 3Arts Project Award (2014) and has received numerous awards from ASCAP, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council. He has also received funding for his research on Filipino composer Lucio D. San Pedro and presented at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Hartford.


Learn more at www.timcorpus.net