May 12, 2018 2:00 p.m.

First Baptist Church Fairview Heights

10401 Lincoln Trail, Fairview Hts, IL

Musician Call at Noon

Born in St. Louis, Leon Burke III attended the Oberlin Conservatory and received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas. He studied with Sir Georg Solti, Leonard Slatkin, Edo de Waart, and Jorge Mester. Dr. Burke has served as Conductor/Music Director of the Lawrence Chamber Players, the Hutchinson Symphony, and the McPherson Symphony. He has also been on the faculties of Baker University, Sterling College, Hutchinson Community College, and Webster University.

 Dr. Burke is currently the Music Director of the Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Choir Director for Eliot Chapel in Kirkwood, the Music Director of the University City Symphony, Assistant Director of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, and is one of the cover conductors for the St. Louis Symphony. Additionally, he is on the faculties of St. Louis University and East Central College in Union, Missouri teaching voice. Outside of St. Louis, he is the Principal Guest Conductor of the AsunciĆ³n Symphony in Paraguay and the Resident Conductor of the Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka. A multifaceted musician, Dr. Burke has directed choruses and conducted orchestras in the US and abroad and makes guest appearances as bass soloist. He is one of the conductors on the roster of the prestigious arts management firm, Price Rubin & Partners.


Dr. Leon Burke III

Musicians who have at least two years instrumental experience are welcome to audition any time during the year.  For more information on performing with the Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, contact Julie Herr at or call (618) 222-9218. To schedule your audition for the 2018-2019 season go to:   

All instruments are needed, especially strings, but every section needs more people to make a full orchestra. Musicians must have a 2-3 year solid music education in the instrument of their choice.  The Youth Orchestra performs three concerts throughout the year. 

Audition Guidelines:

  1. All musicians will play a short excerpt highlighting technique and musicality provided by the musician. Selection need not be memorized.
  2. If possible, non-percussionists should be able to play 2-octave major scales up to and including 4 sharps and 4 flats.
  3. Percussionists will play a piece from their repertoire on as many instruments as possible.
  4. All seating will be at the discretion of the conductor, Dr. Leon Burke.

Becoming a member


The Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Leon Burke III, is a dynamic ensemble providing orchestral experience for young musicians from across the Metro-East area. Special events include the George N. Tuerck Memorial Concert featuring competition winners and the annual Inter-Generational Orchestra program held each summer.  The Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was founded in 1962, under the direction of George Tuerck.

The purpose of the Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is to:

  • Provide an opportunity for young musicians to achieve musical competence by studying and performing quality orchestral literature before audiences.
  • Provide musical opportunities for all young people in the Metro-East area and to inspire them with a love of music.  
  • Encourage and challenge their talent to promote a desire to go beyond what is comfortable and achieve what is possible.
  • Provide musical educational opportunities available to the Metro-East community for all.