Maestra Susan J. Schirmer has been conducting the West Chester Symphony for 13 years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Theory, Composition, and Music Education from Indiana State University and a Masters of Music in Music Theory and Composition from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Maestra Schirmer is an established conductor, performer, teacher, and composer in the Cincinnati area. She has debuted several of fellow composer Phil Koplow's works and has conducted over 25 musicals. Susan is also a published composer and arranger, often writing and arranging for the WCSO. An employee of the Lakota School District for 25 years, she also teaches beginning band at several area elementary schools. Susan is a long-time resident of Fairfield where she lives with her husband, Bill, and son.
The West Chester Symphony Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by West Chester community members in June of 1997. The WCSO is a non-union, unpaid volunteer orchestra comprised of musicians and staff who donate their talents to provide free entertainment to the community and enrich the arts in Northern Cincinnati. The mission of the West Chester Symphony is to educate, enrich, and expose the local community and students of the Lakota School District to the arts while providing an artistic musical opportunity for orchestral musicians in the Cincinnati area. The WCSO performs at various community events annually including the Fine Arts Fund Weekend Sampler and an outdoor summer concert series at Keehner Park. The orchestra has had the honor to work with Composer Phil Koplow, Instrument Maker Dr. Craig Woodson, internationally-acclaimed Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, and legendary Radio Announcer Gary Burbank. The WCSO has also collaborated with many Cincinnati ensembles such as the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, the Lakota High School Choirs, CPAL Children's Choir, The Circle Singers, Cincinnati Scots Bagpipe Band, and local band BlueStone Ivory.