June 11, 2007

Four music festival concerts planned for Herrin

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois Music Festival, sponsored by Southern Illinois University Carbondale, brings four concerts to Herrin this summer, including a headlining guest-star and the last show of the three-week summer festival.

First up is Klassics for Kids on June 19, a free, interactive program intended as an introduction to classical music for audiences ages 0 to 8 years old. Edward Benyas, SIUC music professor, conductor of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the festival's founder and artistic director, said musical education is a major component of the festival. Bringing the festival into the communities surrounding SIUC makes it easier for more families to enjoy music without traveling far.

Later that evening, the Herrin Civic Center hosts a string orchestra featuring the music of Festival Composer-in-Residence James Stephenson III. Stephenson's music has been performed by dozens of orchestras around the country. He has composed for orchestras, brass, strings, woodwinds, percussion and voice, including commissions from Branford Marsalis and Rodney Mack, the Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The concert also will feature compositions from Bach, Sibelius and Dvorak with soloists during the Bach and Stephenson sections of the concert.

On July 3, the Southern Illinois Music Festival partners with the Herrin Civic Center to bring Marvin Hamlisch to Southern Illinois. Hamlisch is the winner of three Oscars, four Grammies, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globes. He has composed more than 40 motion picture scores, including two of his Oscar-winners – the score and title song for "The Way We Were," and his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for the movie "The Sting," famous for the hit song "The Entertainer." His Broadway credits include "A Chorus Line," for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. He was the musical director for his friend, Barbara Streisand, on her 1994 tour. He is currently principal conductor of the Pittsburgh Pops, part of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The Hamlisch concert includes dinner, catered by Mary's Restaurant of Herrin. For more information about the Hamlisch concert, see www.herrinciviccenter.com.

The music festival's final concert is a brass quintet patriotic music concert set for July 4 at Herrin City Park. There is no charge for the Independence Day show.

More information and a complete schedule of events and venues are available at www.SIFest.com or by calling 618-53-MUSIC or 618/453-2776.

In addition to SIUC, major sponsors include the Illinois Arts Council, the City of Carbondale, The Southern Illinoisan, WSIL-TV, WSIU Public Broadcasting, Carbondale Community Arts, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Southern Illinois Miners, Mélange, Boundless Gallery.com, Dr. Samuel Goldman, the Julia Harrison Bruce Foundation-Bank of Herrin Trustee, the Garwin Family Foundation, Hastings Foundation, Moore-Corpora Foundation, SISO Patrons Committee and Southern Foundation.

Here is the schedule for the Herrin events:


Klassics for Kids (ages 0-8)

4 p.m., Herrin Civic Center

Wind quintet

String Orchestra

7:30 p.m., Herrin Civic Center

Bach: Double Concerto with Michael Barta and Josh Schlachter, soloists

Sibelius: Valse Triste

Stephenson: Double Concerto with Junghwa Lee and Robert Allison, soloists

Dvorak: Serenade for Strings

$7 adults, $4 students


Marvin Hamlisch

7 p.m., Herrin Civic Center

Tickets: $155, includes dinner

Tickets for this performance are available through the Herrin Civic Center

Call 618/942-6115 for tickets


Patriotic music

7:30 p.m., Herrin City Park

Brass quintet