Rockford Symphony Orchestra Hosts Virtual Education Concert for Area Schools

Rockford, IL – The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce it will record The Orchestra Sings, a lively and interactive concert for Rockford area students, on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 2 pm at Northern Illinois University.  In previous years the concert was held live at the Coronado Performing Arts Center with more than 2,000 students attending.  Because of the pandemic the experience will be made available to area music educators via a video link free of charge for in person and virtual classroom participation.

NIU’s Philharmonic conductor Dr. Benjamin Firer will lead the NIU Philharmonic and RSO Principal musicians through the program. RSO Education Director Margo Stedman will serve as host, with NIU student Abria Shaw joining as a vocalist. This partnership provides the added educational layer of NIU students having the opportunity to play beside RSO musicians.

The Orchestra Sings is a special invitation-only partnership with Carnegie Hall’s prestigious Link Up program. Through the Link Up repertoire, classroom activities, and a culminating interactive performance with a professional orchestra, students explore the elements that contribute to that magical moment when the orchestra starts to sing.

“Though we are all missing the live performance aspect, we are thrilled to partner with NIU to provide this experience virtually for our area students this year,” said Education Director Margo Stedman. This performance often serves as students’ first concert experience and provides them with the opportunity to apply the musical concepts they have studied.

This program is generously sponsored by the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation and the William M. Miller Charitable Trust, with additional support from the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, Dick and Grace Leighton, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For more information call the RSO office at 815.965.0049.


Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra Presents Final Virtual Program of the Season: Wonderful Winds

Musicians of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra are back together once again making music! You are invited to join ESO members, friends and musicians for the Symphony’s last virtual musical program of the season, Wonderful Winds, available for viewing mid-May through mid-June.  Ticketing begins Sunday, April 25 at 3:00 p.m. and ends May 31. This Video on Demand program will be available for two weeks after you click on the email link to view the program, until the end date.

Under the baton of Music Director and Conductor Stephen Alltop, the wind musicians of the Elmhurst Symphony will bring you an exciting variety of musical selections, including Scott Joplin’s jaunty Pineapple Rag; Antonín Dvo?ák’s Serenade for Winds, which resonates with heartfelt Czech spirit; and Carl Maria von Weber’s lyrical Romance for Trombone and Strings, showcasing the remarkable talents of ESO Principal Trombone Thomas Stark, who will share musical insights with viewers. 

In addition to his position with the ESO, Stark is also Principal Trombone of several other Chicago-area orchestras and is a member of a number of small brass groups, including the Chicago Trombone Quartet and Lincoln Park Brass.  He has performed with prominent US orchestras, among them the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kansas City Orchestra and Ballet, and the Colorado Symphony (Denver). He was recently the featured soloist with the Festival Orchestra at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center.

Stark has also toured the US with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and with the Alliance Brass Quintet. He can be heard on recordings ranging from classical music to jazz, swing, and big band offerings.  He has also performed with artists such as Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, country music singer Vince Gill, Josh Groban, Quincy Jones, ABBA, Maureen McGovern, and many more. 

In demand as a clinician, recitalist, chamber musician and freelancer in the Chicagoland area, Stark is the Adjunct Professor of Trombone at Elmhurst University and other area colleges.

Commentary by Maestro Alltop will add to your enjoyment of Wonderful Winds. Hear and see this exciting program at a time convenient for you from the comfort of your home—a great way to celebrate spring!

Tickets for the program are $25 and can be purchased on the ESO website, www.elmhurstsymphony.org, or by sending a check to Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, P.O Box 345, Elmhurst, IL 60126.  For more information email elmhurstsymphonytix@gmail.com.