The award-winning Northwest Symphony Orchestra will present the first concert in its 61st season at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, in the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Maine West High School, 1755 S. Wolf Road, Des Plaines.
This season is honoring the maestro, Paul Vermel, who has been directing and conducting the award-winning group for 19 years. Vermel is stepping down at the end of this season.
Among his accomplishments, the Conductors Guild presented Vermel the prestigious Max Rudolf Award as only its 7th recipient. To honor the maestro, the NSO annually awards outstanding string players with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra the Paul Vermel Young Artist Award.
The opening concert is titled "An Evening at the Ballet -- Music that Inspires the Ballet."
It will open the concert with Weber-Berlioz "Invitation to the Dance." Ballet Suite of Lully, and Six German Dances by Mozart will follow. The final pieces are two of the best-known and favorite dance pieces: Tchaikovsky's Suite from the Ballet "Swan Lake" and J. Strauss' "On the Beautiful Blue Danube."
The NSO will continue to offer its popular preconcert commentaries by Carolyn Paulin, a producer and program host at radio station WFMT 98.7 Chicago. Her commentaries begin one hour prior to the concert.
Members of the Northwest Symphony Orchestra represent a wide spectrum of interests and backgrounds, including financial analysts, real estate agents, engineers, physicians, music performers and educators, students and retirees.
The orchestra, founded in 1951, now numbers 70 instrumentalists, ranging from talented students to music professionals, who meet weekly to play and enjoy great symphonic orchestral music.
Symphony members, whose ages range from the late teens to their 80s, live in more than 45 communities.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Season tickets for the four-concert series are $60, $45 and $30. Children under age 14 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available at the door, by mail at P.O. Box 46, Mount Prospect, 60056-0046, and online at northwestsymphony.org.