2019-2020 Season: A Notable History, An Exciting Future!

Dr. Daniel Sommerville - Music Director and Conductor

The 70th Season

The IVSO begins their 70th season with a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch upon the 75th anniversary of his birth. Join the symphony on Saturday, September 28th at 7 PM in the Illinois Valley Community College’s Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre for a musical testament to the great songwriters of the “golden age” of Broadway; George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, and Cole Porter are historically framed by the music of Scott Joplin and Leonard Bernstein. Leonard Bernstein composed two musicals, West Side Story and Candide. Our soprano soloist Jennie Judd performs “Glitter and Be Gay” from the lighthearted Candide as well as other songs from this “golden age”.

Jennie Judd enjoys a versatile musical career where she frequently performs repertoire ranging from the 17th to the 21st centuries. She received her Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and frequently collaborated with the Contemporary Directions Ensemble premiering new works, including George Lewis’ P. Multitudinis, featuring members of the International Contemporary Ensemble.

On the operatic stage, her favorite and most recent credit was in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide where she portrayed the role of Cunegonde with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre. Judd is an alumna of the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, where she was the recipient of the Linda Chandler Award for Outstanding Opera Student.

Ms. Judd received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Illinois, and is thrilled to be back “home” teaching young singers at Timothy Christian School and performing in the Chicago area.


Daniel Sommerville.jpg


  Since their first season in 1949-50, the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra has been striving to fulfill its mission "to entertain and inspire the community by performing live orchestral music." Music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary Periods has been prepared under the direction of seventeen conductors from the first, Russell Harvey (1949-60) to the Brazilian-born Lucia Matos (2009-2018) and beginning with the 2019-2020 season, Dr. Daniel Sommerville. Local and international soloists have appeared with the IVSO and traditions - including the annual Pops Concert and the bi-annual Nutcracker ballet - have developed over the years. The business and development of the orchestra are overseen by a Board of Directors made up of community members throughout the Illinois Valley.

     The vision of the IVSO involves engaging and educating the community. To meet this vision the annual Young Performers Competition and Concert was begun in 1968 encouraging Illinois Valley youth to audition as soloists and, if selected, perform with the orchestra. The first performance of Tchaikovsky's, The Nutcracker, in 1969, has lead to a performance of the ballet every other year with local dance academies supplying the dancers and choreographers. Community singers have also been engaged for periodic performances of Handel's, The Messiah, and other choral/symphonic works. Another ongoing educational program of the IVSO has the orchestra performing every year at area schools.

     The most ongoing vision of the IVSO, however, is to entertain "a growing audience by performing quality music." Symphonic works from the great masters to new composers provide the finest music from throughout music history and a variety of genres. Guest performances by local soloists and nationally and internationally acclaimed instrumentalists and vocalists provide the Illinois Valley audiences with the finest quality performers. Notes in the programs and comments from the conductor are designed to educate the IVSO audiences about the music they are hearing and the composers who wrote.

     Through a long and successful history the IVSO has "entertained and inspired the community by performing live orchestral music." As we look to the future the orchestra is constantly looking for the best musicians, the finest soloists and Board Members who continue the highest quality performances and work to inspire an ever growing audience.