Jeskey Celebrates Twenty Years with SYVWE
Sharon Jeskey, the conductor of the Santa Ynez Valley Wind Ensemble (SYVWE), is celebrating her twentieth season in the position. Jeskey joined the VWE as conductor in 1996.
“I had just come in as director of the music program at Santa Ynez High School and, at that time, what was then called the Solvang Danish Guard Band was looking for a director,” she says. “The assistant principal of the high school asked if I was interested. I was really happy to be able to use my conducting skills for a new group.”
According to Jeskey, the only difficulty in transitioning into the new position was getting over the initial awkwardness with the band members.
“I was a lot younger than the previous conductor, and they didn't know me. I had to get to know them and prove to them that I had the skills necessary to lead the ensemble. The members, however, were sympathetic and I quickly became a good match for the ensemble.”
Looking back over the past twenty years, there are a few accomplishments that Jeskey remembers fondly.
“Being able to take the group on tour was a highlight,” she says, referring to the Wind Ensemble’s invitation to participate in the Dr. Lawrence R. Sutherland Wind Festival in Fresno, California, in 2014 and 2015.
Other notable moments in Jeskey’s career with the Wind Ensemble include performing for Danish Prince Consort Henrik, who visited Solvang in 2011 for the city’s centennial celebration.
“Also, it's a highlight to still be doing this after twenty years,” Jeskey joked.
In her plans for the Wind Ensemble, Jeskey is focused on growth for both the Wind Ensemble’s reach and numbers.
“My hopes are that we can continue to offer the VWE to the community and that we can grow the band and expand our ranks. I'd love to also stretch out and do more concerts in other local cities around us, like Lompoc or Santa Maria.”
Click here to read more about Sharon Jeskey's background.