June 02, 2010

Music Festival events coming to Murphysboro, Ava

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale brings its annual Southern Illinois Music Festival to Murphysboro and Ava with several special events this month.

Jive with Jazz is set for 10 a.m. on June 10 at the Murphysboro Youth and Recreation Center. This free interactive concert gives children a chance to hear and learn to appreciate a jazz performance in a casual setting. Everyone is welcome and reservations are not required.

The First Baptist Church of Ava is the venue for the free Klassics for Kids wind quintet performance at 10 a.m. on June 11. Via this free live music performance, children can discover an appreciation for classical music. It’s an interactive, informal presentation with one and all invited to attend.

This summer’s festival features a Romeo and Juliet theme and that’s borne out with the showing of the movie “Romeo and Juliet” at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro June 14 at 7:30 p.m. “West Side Story” will come to the big screen at the Liberty June 21, also at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for each movie.

Chamber Music for Winds and Strings is set for June 15 at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro. The University’s wind and brass quintets will perform. Highlights of the evening include Antonin Dvorak’s “American” String Quartet. Those in attendance will also experience the unique improvisation and musical technique of Vinko Globoka’s “Corporel” during which Eric Hendrickson will use body percussion to create music in surprising ways.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 for the general public or $4 for students. You can purchase tickets in advance at the Shryock Auditorium Box Office on campus, 618/453-6000, or through Ticketmaster outlets including www.ticketmaster.com.

The sixth annual Southern Illinois Music Festival includes more than three-dozen performances at locations throughout Southern Illinois and the Metro East area and continues through June 26. Presentations include a Russian ballet by Sergei Prokofiev, performed by principal dancers from the Atlanta Ballet and Ballet Austin, as well as a French opera by Charles Gounod and a moving symphony program featuring music from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”

Chamber music concerts, performances by The New Arts Jazztet and more than a dozen Klassics for Kids and Jive with Jazz children’s events are also on tap. Courtesy of the School of Music, you can hear some of the finest musicians of North and South America, Europe and Asia offering orchestra and chamber music, opera, ballet, jazz and current music in informal settings. Ed Benyas, SIUC music professor, director of the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra and music director designate of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, is the artistic director of the festival.

The School of Music at SIUC will host, as it has annually for some 40 years, a two-week summer music camp for high school students and the camp coincides with the music festival. Members of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra will be in residence.

For additional information, including the complete Southern Illinois Music Festival schedule, look online at http://www.sifest.com/.