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Article updated: 10/16/2013 12:03 PM

Orchestras from Roosevelt University and Stevenson High perform together at Symphony Center


Roosevelt University's orchestra program is expanding its horizons with the appointment of an internationally known conductor whose goal is to create liaisons with high school orchestra programs throughout the Midwest.

Emanuele Andrizzi, a leading conductor in Europe and the U.S. who is known for his collaborations with young artist programs, is Roosevelt's new director of the orchestra program. This fall, his first order of business has been to create a unique and exciting new performance partnership with the Adlai Stevenson High School Orchestra in Lincolnshire, Ill.

"It's the first time we've done anything like this with a university," said Enrique Vilaseco, director of orchestra and guitar at Stevenson.

The liaison between the Roosevelt and Stevenson orchestras has led to a performance together at the storied Symphony Center in Chicago.

It is the first time Stevenson's Patriot Orchestra has performed at Symphony Center.

"There is definitely a sense of pride for us to be playing at Symphony Center and alongside a university orchestra," said Vilaseco.

More than 125 musicians from Roosevelt's Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Symphony Orchestra and the Stevenson High School Patriot Orchestra, under the direction of Andrizzi, are performing Guiseppe Verdi's Overture to La Forza del destino to open the Symphony Center concert and to mark the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth.

The free performance is the first of many collaborations to be led by Andrizzi between talented CCPA student musicians and up and coming high school musicians from across the Midwest.

"My goal is to build a very visible orchestra program for CCPA's Music Conservatory," said Andrizzi, who has been an assistant/cover conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and has partnered with some of the finest opera theaters in both the U.S. and Europe, including the Los Angeles Opera, the Dallas Opera and Rome's Opera Theatre.

"Stevenson High School has one of the most important high school orchestra programs in the entire region and we believe the experience of partnering with Stevenson's students will be an important learning tool for all involved," Andrizzi said.

Before the concert, the Stevenson orchestra visited CCPA for day-long work with both Maestro Andrizzi, who prepared the high school musicians for the concert, and with other outstanding CCPA faculty, who offered master classes to the Stevenson students to give them a taste of what it is like to be a collegiate music student.

"This is an opportunity for our CCPA Orchestra members to mentor younger musicians and for them to play side by side in a world-class venue," said Andrizzi.

In future years, Roosevelt's new orchestra conductor hopes to bring musicians from different high schools together with CCPA college musicians for at least one concert every year. He also plans to start an honors orchestra made up of promising high school musicians from throughout the region who will be invited to play with CCPA students and faculty members.

The Symphony Center concert program also includes Paul Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis and Johannes Brahms's Symphony No. 2.

For more information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/ccpa or call CCPA's Music Conservatory concert line at 312-341-2352. To learn more about the new orchestra initiative between CCPA and area high schools, contact Andrizzi at eandrizzi@roosevelt.edu.

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