2018-2019 Season

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A big thank you to all of the orchestra players, board members, Symphony Guild (see About Us page), conductors and especially to our patrons who supported the IVSO at our 70th Anniversary Gala held on Friday April 5th.

Daniel Sommerville, director of orchestral activities at Wheaton College, will be the IVSO guest conductor for our fifth and final concert of the 2018-2019 season. The concert ends with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and features Sun Chang performing Maurice Ravel’s jazzy Piano Concerto in G Major. The musicians look forward to your presence on May 4th, 7:00 pm, in the Illinois Valley Community College’s M.M. Weeg Cultural Centre.

Sun Chang graduated from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in 2017 as a student of Mr. Alan Chow. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Between degrees she traveled and performed on the Holland American Line as part of Lincoln Center Stage Piano Quintet.

While earning her Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern, she was an active member of Chicago’s music scene: presenting a recital at the Chicago Cultural Centre, a two-hour recital on Live from WFMT, and collaborating frequently with the area’s leading chamber orchestra, Camerata Chicago. Her long term goal is to found and direct a female-centered ensemble that performs music composed by women from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Ms Chang is thrilled to be back in Chicago to collaborate with Maestro Sommerville for the second time and also to be in the presence of so many amazing musicians. Stay connected <sunchangmusic.com>


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  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.