Music Director and Conductors

Dr. Mark Liu

Music Director
Conductor, Concert and Symphony Orchestras

Dr. Mark Liu began teaching in 2002 as a member of the Indian Prairie School District music staff. During his tenure in the district, the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation has numerously recognized him as a Most Influential Educator. Additionally, he has been recognized as Outstanding Educator by Boston College (2009), Illinois Institute of Technology (2007), Western Illinois University (2008), and MIT (2017). Dr. Liu received the Music Inspiration Award from Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (2018) and the Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award from Northwestern University (2018). Dr. Liu received Bachelor of Arts in Music education from Wheaton College (2001), Master of Music with orchestral conducting emphasis from Northwestern University (2006), Master of Arts in educational leadership from Aurora University (2008), and Doctor of Musical Arts in music education from Boston University (2016), with a quantitative research that focused on the impact of psychological needs fulfillment and music motivation.Dr. Liu was the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition winner, and he performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the conservatory’s symphony orchestra in 2001. His conducting mentors include Dan Sommerville (Wheaton College), Victor Yampolsky (Northwestern University), Donald Schleicher (University of Illinois), and Ho Chung Yeh (former assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra).Prior to his current position as the orchestra director at Metea Valley High School, Dr. Liu has served as the symphony orchestra director at Chicago Merit School of Music, Maine East High School, and Waubonsie Valley High School. He is also currently the music director of Youth Symphony of DuPage, which has collaborated with noted artists such as Mr. Robert Chen (Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and world-renowned violin soloist, Rachel Barton Pine. He has presented at ILMEA state conferences on string pedagogy and rehearsal methods, and served frequently as honors festival clinician and conductor. He is a member of NAfME (National Association for Music Education), ASTA (American String Teachers Association), and the Conductors Guild. He has served as the ILMEA (Illinois Music Educators Association) District IX Orchestra Chair, and is currently serving as the ILMEA All-State Orchestra chairperson. He was recently elected to be the ILMEA Orchestra Division President, starting 2019.

David Petersons

Conductor, Sinfonietta Strings

David Petersons currently directs the Orchestra Program at Wheaton Christian Grammar School. He received a Bachelors of Music Education from Wheaton College in 2012. His conducting mentors and violin teachers have included Dan Sommerville, Paul Wiens, Lee Joiner, Paul Vanderwerf, and Cornelius Chiu of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Petersons has performed with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, the Chicagoland Educator Orchestra, and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, and soloed with the ESO in 2017. In addition to performing and conducting, he holds a Master’s Degree of Music Education through the VanderCook College of Music.

Following a visit to Prince Edward Island in 2015, Mr. Petersons has pursued learning and arranging Canadian fiddle music for orchestra and string quartet. He is a member of NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and ASTA (American String Teachers Association). Mr. Petersons lives in Wheaton, IL with his wife, Carmen, and their daughter, Lydia. When not involved in music, he enjoys woodworking and being active outside.