October 20, 2016

Klassics for Kids, Stars of Altgeld set for November

The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra has several November events involving students – performances designed for young listeners and a “Stars of Altgeld” concert featuring School of Music performance standouts. 

The symphony, under the direction of Edward Benyas, presents two Klassics for Kids programs. These programs provide an informal setting for pre-school aged children to learn listening skills and as an introduction to classical music. The interactive nature of these performances educates children about musical instruments, and encourages them to approach classical music fearlessly, without the pre-conceptions adults sometimes have. Area pre-schools and daycares often use the educational opportunity these programs provide. 

Klassics for Kids

  • Nov. 1 -- 10 a.m., Altgeld Hall, Room 112. Student and faculty musicians will perform chamber music for oboes and low brass. Performers are part of the Benyas’ oboe studio and the low brass studio, led by Jessica Butler, lecturer.
  • Nov. 15 -- 10 a.m., Shryock Auditorium. SISO and the SIU Civic Orchestra will present an hour-long concert featuring graduate student vocal and instrumental soloists and conductors, accompanied by full orchestra. These performers are also part of Stars of Altgeld. 

There is no admission charge for Klassics for Kids. 

Stars of Altgeld features winners of School of Music instrumental and vocal solo competitions. That performance is Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Shryock Auditorium. 

This performance features the Civic Orchestra, under Benyas’ direction, presenting selections from the world of opera, including Verdi’s Overture to “Nabucco” and the Triumphal March from “Aida,” Borodin’s Polevetsian Dances from “Prince Igor,” Mascagni’s intermezzo from “Cavalleria Rusticana,” a medley of themes from Puccini operas, and George Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Graduate students Brynn Scozzari, soprano, and Nyghel Byrd, baritone, perform as soloists in two Mozart duets. 

Solo competition winners are: James Vilseck, marimba, performing a concerto by 21st century composer Eric Ewazen; Emily Dworak, soprano, performing the aria “Vilja” from “The Merry Widow” by Franz Lehar; and Minji Kim, piano, performing the finale from Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. Guest conductors from the competition are Katrina Walczyk and Jeffrey Chow. 

Tickets to Stars of Altgeld are $20, with student tickets at $8. Tickets are available in advance from the SIU Arena or McLeod Theater box offices, by phone at 618/453-2000 or online