On Sunday, March 16, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform the second concerts of its 38th season. The concerts will be at 2, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Elgin Community College's Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. The EYSO is comprised of student musicians in third grade through college.
Tickets are sold in advance or at the door. For tickets, call the ECC box office at (847) 622-0300 or visit tickets.elgin.edu. Tickets are $24, $19 for seniors and $13 for students. All tickets are reserved seating.
The "Fantastical Banquet" concerts celebrate the magic of Shakespeare's language, in opera, song, and incidental music for the theater, with works by Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Gounod, and Verdi. The concerts continue the 38th season exploration of the genius and influence of William Shakespeare through music inspired by his canon.
The EYSO 2014 Music Educator of the Year award will be given to Julie Maura Bickel at the March 16 concerts. The award was established in 1980 to honor a music teacher who has made a meaningful contribution to music education in the area served by the EYSO, or has supported the EYSO in a significant way.
The 2 p.m. concert will feature Sinfonia and the Prelude Orchestra. Andrew Masters conducts Prelude Orchestra, a string orchestra for early and intermediate level students. Jason Flaks conducts Sinfonia, a full orchestra for intermediate level students. The Philharmonia Orchestra will also perform a piece as a preview of the 4:30 p.m. concert.
The 4:30 p.m. concert will feature Philharmonia and the Brass Choir. Under the direction of conductor David Anderson, Philharmonia is an orchestra for advanced middle and high school players, performing challenging repertoire. The Brass Choir, conducted by Jason Flaks, provides a unique musical experience for brass players. Brass Choir draws its members from the three full orchestras to form an ensemble within the EYSO. The Youth Symphony will also perform a piece as a preview of the 7:30 p.m. concert.
The 7:30 p.m. concert will feature the Youth Symphony. For advanced high school and college-age students, the Youth Symphony plays standard symphonic repertoire. Its members are drawn from a wide geographical area and enjoy the enrichment and challenge of performing with other serious and dedicated musicians under the leadership of Artistic Director and Youth Symphony conductor Randal Swiggum.
Season auditions will be held from May 29 to June 1. Students who will begin fourth grade in the fall to college students may audition for a seat in one of the six ensembles. Applications and audition requirements may be found at eyso.org.
The EYSO is committed to making participation accessible to any qualified student regardless of financial need. Students have opportunities each year to earn part or all of their EYSO tuition. Since the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra is an In-Residence Ensemble at the Elgin Community College Arts Center, members who are 16 years of age at the beginning of a concert cycle are eligible to earn college credit while playing in the EYSO.