This organization was founded by Robert Raymond to assist young artists to develop their competitive and performance skills in the instrumental or vocal areas of study. 


For more than 15 years, SIYAO has provided the opportunity for young artists to compete in annual vocal and instrumental competitions with regional judges with knowledge and background in many musical genres who provide professional written critique to each contestant, with the intention to further enhance their performance skills and a deeper understanding of the music. 

Board of Directors

Ramon Daniels, Jeanne Hangsleben, Kim McCausland, 

Suzanne Nevins, Amy Waller Prince, Robert Raymond, Joseph Welch

Past participants represented the following colleges and universities:

  • Eastern Illinois University - Charleston

  • Illinois College - Jacksonville

  • Illinois State University - Bloomington/Normal

  • Illinois Wesleyan University - Bloomington

  • Indiana University - Bloomington

  • Iowa State University - Ames

  • Lewis & Clark Community College - Godfrey

  • Lindenwood University - St. Charles

  • McKendree College - Lebanon

  • Millikin University - Decatur

  • Northwestern University - Chicago

  • Principia College - Elsah

  • Roosevelt University - Chicago

  • Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

  • Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville

  • Southeast Missouri State University - Cape Girardeau

  • Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville

  • St. Louis University - St. Louis

  • University of Illinois - Champaign/Urbana

  • University of Missouri - Columbia

  • University of Missouri - Kansas City

  • University of Missouri - St. Louis

  • Washington University - St. Louis

  • Webster University - St. Louis