May 28, 2008

Music festival events planned in Marion

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Fourth Annual Southern Illinois Music Festival, based at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, comes to venues all over Southern Illinois -- including some special dates in Marion.

On June 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., a string quartet comes to Peoples National Bank on 17th Street in a concert to benefit the Lighthouse Shelter for the homeless.

Members of the Marion community who saw a need in Williamson County and the surrounding area created the Lighthouse Shelter. The shelter is a faith-based organization that provides more than just a temporary home but also case management services to assist homeless men, women and families. To learn about volunteering opportunities, call 618/993-8180. To reserve a spot at the benefit concert, call 618/998-2825.

June 20 sees a Klassics for Kids program at 4 p.m. at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. This program features a brass quintet in an interactive performance designed to introduce classical music to children from the ages of birth to 8 years old. The performance is free.

Later that night, beginning at 7:30 p.m., A Children's Nutcracker Ballet, featuring approximately 80 area dancers, takes the stage at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. Performers have already been practicing at Susan Barnes Willow Street Studios in Carbondale for months to make this charming and well-known tale of a young girl's Christmas fantasy come to life -- even in June. The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, under direction of conductor Edward Benyas, provides the music.

While the Miners are away, the symphony will play. The Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra is set to bring Music from the Movies to Rent One Park on June 21. Pre-concert music from the New Arts Jazztet and the Voices United, directed by Alice Berry, begins at 6:30 until about 7:45 p.m. Then the orchestra takes over beginning at 8 p.m. Fireworks round out the evening.

Rent One Park is, of course, home to the Frontier League baseball team, the Southern Illinois Miners. The park is at the intersection of Interstate 57 and Illinois 13 in Marion. The park features chair seats, lawn seats, picnic areas and, during games, theme nights. For more information about the Miners or Rent One Park, go to

Here are details on the Marion events:

2008 Southern Illinois Music Festival

June 12

String Quartet -- Benefit for Lighthouse Homeless Shelter, 6-7:30 p.m. at Peoples National Bank, tickets $15, call 618/998-2825 for reservations.

June 20

Klassics for Kids -- Brass Quintet, 4 p.m. at Marion Cultural and Civic Center, free admission.

Ballet -- A Children's Nutcracker, 7:30 p.m. at Marion Cultural and Civic Center, general admission, $15, students, $6.

June 21

Orchestra Concert -- Music from the Movies, 8 p.m. at Rent One Park. Pre-concert jazz and choral music is from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Fireworks follow the orchestra concert. Tickets are $15/$12/$10. For an infield table or more information call 618/998-8499.

More information and any late changes are at

Sponsors include: SIUC, Illinois Arts Council, The Southern Illinoisan newspaper, WSIL-TV Channel 3 ABC, WSIU Public Broadcasting, Peoples National Bank, Laborers' Union International-Local 773, Southern Illinois Miners, Mélange Coffee House, the Harrison, Hastings, Moore-Corpora, Southern and Garwin Family Foundations, Drs. Hal and Susan Pearlman, Dr. Samuel Goldman, First Southern Bank, Crawford County Arts, Lebanon Fine Arts,, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Carbondale Community Arts, and the Southern Illinois Symphony Patrons Committee.