About Us


The goals of the JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY SOCIETY are: "To provide symphonic and choral music for the cultural enhancement and education of the general public, to provide opportunities for the local musicians to improve their skills and to promote the appreciation of symphonic and choral music."

Contact Us

Jacksonville Symphony Society
PO Box 32
Jacksonville, IL 62651-0032

Executive Director
John C. Bury


Musicians wishing to perform with the orchestra are invited to contact the JSO to be considered for future performances. The JSO is very fortunate to have a core group of volunteer musicians who generously give of their time while performing at the highest caliber. In order to complete the instrumentation of the ensemble, we regularly hire competent musicians in certain sections as needed for each particular program. (Players of stringed instruments are especially often needed.) Musicians may also be reimbursed for certain travel expenses. In order to be considered for future openings, please email jaxsym@jaxsym.com and provide a resume and/or description of your credentials as well as your contact information.


This year we celebrate our fifty-first season! Read about our history and let us know what you remember. Also, here's a brief history of JSS compiled during our thirty-fifth season in 1998.


Dr. Garrett Allman 

Music Director and Conductor, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

In 2013-2014, Dr. Garrett Allman is celebrating his thirty-third season as Music Director and Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Allman is an Associate Professor of Music at Illinois College, where he is director of piano studies and accompanying, as well as a teacher of music appreciation and conducting methods courses. Dr. Allman is a recipient of the Illinois College Ambassador Award and the McGaw Citation in the Arts.

Dr. Allman continues to build on a distinguished career as a guest conductor and clinician for orchestras and festivals in the United States and Europe. He has guest-conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Pottstown (PA) Symphony Orchestra, and the Spokane Symphony Orchestra at the Festival at Sandpoint, where he worked with the eminent conductor and composer Gunther Schuller. In 2009 Dr. Allman made his European conducting debut with the St. Petersburg Camerata, The Orchestra of the Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also been the guest conductor at the Western Illinois Valley Conference Choral Festival, as well as participated in the American Symphony Orchestra League Summer Workshops, the Dartmouth Conducting Institute, the Conductors Guild Summer Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has also served as the conductor of the Opera Theater of Springfield. 

Active as a pianist, Dr. Allman appears regularly as accompanist and soloist and has performed several times with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in the dual role of pianist and conductor. Prior to IC, he has taught on the music faculties of Pacific Lutheran University and Dordt College. Dr. Allman holds degrees from the University of Iowa, the New England Conservatory of Music, and Pacific Lutheran University. 

Dr. Abby Musgrove

Conductor, Jacksonville Symphony Chorale

Dr. Abby Musgrove is the Director of Choral Activities at Illinois College, where she teaches various music classes, conducts choirs and ensembles, and oversees the Music Education Program. Prior to conducting the IC Choirs and the Jacksonville Symphony Chorale, Abby taught on the faculty of Aurora University and received degrees from the University of Kansas, University of North Texas, and Millikin University. A native of central Illinois, Abby has taught all ages and levels of music, including choirs and bands, and is an avid church musician. Her musical interests are eclectic, from Renaissance polyphony and Baroque chamber to experimental and avant-garde, with plenty of classic rock thrown in. Abby's research often focuses on connections between the arts and the science behind aesthetics. She also enjoys working with international students, helping them transition to American university life and navigate the local culture. She is a fan of science fiction, Shakespeare, steampunk, archeology, and tea.