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Kishwaukee Symphony announces season

September 3, 2010
Linc Smelser conducts the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Linc Smelser conducts the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra has announced its 34th annual concert season.

The KSO is a non-profit community orchestra which provides a place for area musicians to use their talents in an orchestral setting. The orchestra consists of professional, student and dedicated amateur musicians.

It began informally in 1976 and engages in weekly rehearsals and an annual series of concerts. At times, its programs are enhanced by including guest conductors and soloists from the region and beyond.

The orchestra’s plans and policies are established by the music director and a board of directors composed of citizens from the community. The Illinois Council of Orchestras named the KSO the 2009 Community Orchestra of the Year, and has named the KSO Music Director Linc Smelser the 2009 Conductor of the Year (Small Orchestra).

All concerts, except for the Summer Concert in the Park and the Children’s Concert, are held in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building. WNIU and WNIJ are station sponsors of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

The KSO’s first performance of the season is its fall concert, “Scandinavian Splendor,” scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2.

This concert will feature Jean Sibelius’ “The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22, No. 3,” Edvard Grieg’s “Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16” and Sibelius’ “Piano Symphony No. 2 in D Major Op. 43,” performed by guest artist Karin Reddekopp Edwards. This performance is supported in part by WNIU/WNIJ.

To the delight of children and parents, the KSO will present two free Halloween concerts at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. There will be trick-or-treating in NIU’s Music Building for a half-hour before the 5:30 p.m. concert; children are encouraged to wear their costumes. These performances are supported in part by Prairie View Dental of Sycamore.

Each year, the KSO presents a special concert, not open to the general public, specifically for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students and their teachers from elementary schools in the region. The concert will be held in mid-November at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb. This program is partially supported by local businesses and by a grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council, which receives support from the City of Rockford, the Illinois Arts Council and its members.

Let the KSO warm your heart with the music of the holiday season at its Holiday Pops Concert, “Winter Wonderland,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

Many holiday favorites will be performed in this traditional family concert, including Joseph Haydn’s “Toy Symphony,” that also will feature a seasonal sing-a-long. Perhaps the “Big Guy in Red” also will make an appearance! This performance is supported in part by the George and Betty Dutton Foundation.
Be spellbound by the amazing talent found among Illinois young musicians. The winners of the KSO’s annual Arthur D. Montzka Young Artists Concerto Competition will perform with the orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5. This concert is supported in part by the Mary E. Stevens Concert Trust.

Enjoy the KSO’s Spring Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, with a performance of the “Titan” and “Jupiter” symphonies, the first and last of two legendary composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Gustav Mahler.

The KSO will perform Mozart’s “Symphony No. 41, K. 551–Jupiter” and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1 in D Major–Titan.” This concert is sponsored in part by the Ideal Industries Foundation with a generous gift from Jean Juday.

Tickets go on sale 30 minutes prior to each concert. All seats are general admission (no reserved seating). Individual ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older, $10 for students and $5 for children younger than 12. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the concert or ordered online (with a processing fee).

Season tickets can be purchased at special prices for the four regular concerts of the season. Season ticket prices are $50 for adults, $35 for seniors, $35 for students and $18 for children younger than 12.

For more information about the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra or season ticket ordering information, call (815) 756-3728 or visit