June 09, 2009

Music festival performances planned in Herrin

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois Music Festival, hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale, returns this month and the schedule includes several performances in Herrin.

The Herrin dates kick off with jazz performances, including one especially for the younger set. The free program, Jive with Jazz, begins at 10 a.m. on June 17 at the Herrin Civic Center, and features the New Arts Jazztet. The Jazztet returns that night at 7:30 for a performance for adults.

New Arts Jazztet is, to many listeners, first among jazz groups in Southern Illinois. They also appear at jazz venues in Chicago, Cincinnati and other Midwestern cities. Recently, the group appeared on the Chicago-based WTTW-Channel 11 special broadcast, “Arts Across Illinois: Center Stage.” They are part of the Illinois Arts Council’s 2007-2009 Artstour Artist Roster.

New Arts Jazztet is SIUC School of Music faculty members Dick Kelley on saxophones, Bob Allison on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tim Pritchford on trombone, Phil Brown on bass and Ron Coulter on drums and percussion. Mel Goot on piano rounds out the membership.

The Bank of Herrin hosts a free performance of chamber music from 4 to 6 p.m. on June 23. The performance features a string quartet.

Klassics for Kids featuring a string quartet comes to the civic center beginning at 10 a.m. on July 1. Edward M. Benyas, festival artistic director and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra conductor, and his wife, musician and School of Music faculty member Kara Benyas, designed the interactive program to appeal to very young listeners.

A chamber music concert featuring a wind octet, piano quintet and a mixed ensemble takes the stage at the civic center beginning at 7:30 p.m. on July 1. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $3 for students. Tickets are available at the door, or at any TicketMaster outlet, including Ticketmaster.com.

The Southern Illinois Music Festival is a multi-venue festival bringing classical and jazz music to the greater Southern Illinois and Metro East area. For a complete schedule of all festival events and information about the artists, visit www.sifest.com.