2018-2019 Season

Join the IVSO and Maestro Danko Drusko, with Los Angeles-based mezzo soprano soloist Ameena Maria Khawaja, September 22nd for a Concert of Disney songs and movie themes. Students in grades K-12 are admitted free.

Ms. Khawaja has collaborated with Paul Anka, Sia, Mary J. Blige, Mandy Moore, Spacehog, Marc Anthony, Linda Perry, Switchfoot, Delta Goodrem, Rain Phoenix, Marco Antonio Solis, and Paul O'Neill's Trans- Siberian Orchestra in addition to collaborating with Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra in New York and Los Angeles. Ameena has performed live at the Grammy Awards as well as on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, NBC's The Voice, American Idol, and The Jimmy Kimmel Show. She has studied and performed musical theatre in San Francisco, improve comedy in Los Angeles, and opera throughout the United States and Europe. Ameena is a Teaching Artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and cello instructor for Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at EXPO, whom she coached for their recent performance with Coldplay at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.




  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 sixteen different conductors from the first, Russell Harvey (1949-60) to the Brazilian-born Lucia Matos (2009-2018). 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 from communities 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.