Richard W. Wesp Assistant Director
Liyao Yu is currently a first-year Master’s student at the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music in Choral Conducting, where she was awarded a Full-Tuition Scholarship and Graduate Assistantship.
Previously, she completed a double major in voice and choral conducting at Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China. During her studies she won the National Merit Scholarship, University First Class Scholarship, Department’s Most Excellent Talent Award, and other honors; She was also selected into the Outstanding Talent Training program of the college. Liyao started her professional music training at eight, singing in childrens choirs. She was part of the Shenzhen Lily Girls Choir, one of the most prestigious Choirs in China. During her college career, she appeared in various performances, concerts, and operas as a soprano. Before she came to Cincinnati, she was the associate director of Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra Choir, Xinghai Conservatory of Music Chamber Choir, and Dongguan Yulan Grand Theater Children’s Choir.
About the Richard W. Wesp Assistant Director
Richard W. Wesp was a prominent music educator in the Cincinnati area. He received his education at CCM and taught in the Forest Hills School District for 57 years, and became well known for his excellence in choral music education. Dick mentored numerous students and student teachers, including CYC’s Founder & Artistic Director, Robyn Lana. Since CCC’s inception, Dick had been an avid supporter and watched with an inquisitive eye as the organization grew. After his retirement in 2011, he accepted an invitation to join the CYC Board of Directors, a position he filled with joy and eagerness. He tragically passed away in September 2012 due to complications resulting from West Nile Virus, and CYC wished to memorialize him through the endowment of the CYC Assistant Director position. Thus, the Richard W. Wesp Assistant Director position was born. Serendipitously, the first person to hold this position is Alex Gartner, one of Dick’s former students and close friends, who served as the director from 2012-2016. Now with great pride CYC welcomes Jillian to the role and knows she will fill the position with fantastic enthusiasm!