Millikin University - Decatur, IL
DYSO Personnel


Neal Smith, Artistic Director, Conductor Senior Orchestra

Dr. Neal Smith teaches instrumental music education courses, supervises teaching internships, and directs the University Concert Band.  He received both a PhD and a Master of Music Education at The Hartt School of Music and previously taught music in schools in Illinois and Connecticut.  Dr. Smith has guest conducted numerous regional, county, and district music festivals as well as the Hartford Chamber Players, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Manchester (CT) Symphony. He is well known as a presenter on issues related to the use of technology in music education, developing aural musicianship in instrumental music classes, and in the application of assessment in music.


Tom Miller, Conductor Junior Orchestra (Brass and Winds)

Tom Miller is in his tenth year of teaching in the Decatur Public Schools, where he teaches grades 4-8 band and orchestra, as well as 7th and 8th grade general music. Mr. Miller also is the junior orchestra chairperson for IMEA district 5, as well as an assistant conductor for the Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has presented several times at district and state teacher meetings, and completed his MME from the University of Illinois.

   Jason Zimmerman, Conductor Junior Orchestra (Strings)

Jason Zimmerman has served as aSuzuki strings teacher and director of orchestra in Decatur Public Schools since 1998, currently at Macarthur High School, Garfield Montessori Magnet School, and Enterprise School. He also teaches the string ensemble at St. Teresa High School, and serves as a senior orchestra representative with the Illinois Music Educators Association. Mr. Zimmerman is also conductor of Greater Decatur Summer Strings, a summer orchestra program that serves area students. He currently performs on cello with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, and teaches strings privately in the Decatur area. Mr. Zimmerman is a registered Suzuki instructor and has completed training with Pamela Devenport and Jean Dexter.


Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL