Daniella Valdez

Director of String Ensembles

Daniella Valdez is the conductor of CYSO’s Preparatory Strings and Accelerando Strings ensembles. She received her musical training at Texas Tech University and Northwestern University School of Music, where she received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees respectively.

In 2011 she joined the faculty staff at Maine West High School, in Des Plaines, Illinois, as the Director of Orchestras. In this capacity she conducts one full orchestra, two string ensembles and teaches piano classes. Prior to her appointment at Maine West High School, she was an orchestra director at Elm Place Middle School in Highland Park, IL. Her career as a music educator and conductor has led to developing strong and successful orchestra programs. Ms. Valdez is an active judge and clinician working with community schools, festivals and workshops. She is an active member of the Illinois Educators Association and she sits on the board for the Illinois American String Teachers Association Chapter. She has given clinics at state and national conferences and has written several publications for music education journals.

Ms. Valdez has performed with several ensembles in Texas and in surrounding areas of Chicago including the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Abilene Symphony Orchestra, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra. Also an accomplished commercial player, she has performed on stage with Chuck Mangione, Marvin Hamlish, Toni Tennille, and John Pizzarelli. Daniella lives in Chicago and enjoys traveling, cooking and being with family and friends.

What is the first album/CD/cassette you ever bought?

The first album I ever purchased was Michael Jackson’s, Thriller. The first CD I ever purchased was “The Best of Vivaldi”! Hahaha!!

What is your favorite musical memory from when you were young?

One of my favorite musical memories from when I was younger is the music we would listen to on road trips with my family. We listened to mostly Spanish music and we all knew every word of every song.

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