Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra to open 40th season

Submitted by Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Updated 9/29/2016 11:11 AM
  • Pianist, composer and songwriter Emily Bear will take the stage with Kishwaukee Symphony's 40th season opening Oct. 8.

    Pianist, composer and songwriter Emily Bear will take the stage with Kishwaukee Symphony's 40th season opening Oct. 8. Courtesy of Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra will begin its 2016-17 concert season with its fall concert, "Happy 40th Season KSO!" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.

The KSO will perform "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, and with pianist Emily Bear, Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and Bear's original works "Les Voyages," "The Bravest Journey" and "Santa Fe."

The public is invited to attend a free preconcert lecture in the Recital Hall beginning at 6:30 p.m. This concert is supported, in part, by the Kishwaukee Symphony Associates. Season tickets are available by calling (815) 756-3728 or online at

At age 15, pianist, composer, and songwriter Emily Bear enjoys arranging, orchestrating, and performing in a diverse collection of styles. Having made her professional debut at the Ravinia Festival at age 5, she has since performed at many of the world's most well-known venues, including Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note and the Hollywood Bowl, among others.

Her concerts have taken her to concert halls across the U.S. and Europe and Asia, and her love for all musical styles ranges from pop, classical, jazz, and everything in between. Lately, she has been singing and writing all genres of pop music with many of the top songwriters and producers in the industry.

Bear was the youngest to ever receive the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award at age 6. Orchestras all over the world have performed her original orchestral pieces, and she is the 2016 recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composer of the Year Award.

She recently was commissioned to arrange an original composition performed by 25 pianos at the same time for Street Pianos Mesa. Establishing herself as a classical artist, she performed Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 K488 at the age of 7.

Other pieces in her concerto repertoire include the "Schumann Piano Concerto," "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin, and the "Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor."

Bear also loves composing for film and TV and recently scored six national commercials for Weight Watcher's "Simple Start" campaign. Bear has released several CDs of original music, with her most recent CD, "Diversity," produced by Quincy Jones for Concord Music.

Bear has helped raise millions for charities across the globe through performances and events. For more, visit

Led by music director and conductor Linc Smelser, the KSO will offer its free annual Halloween Concerts at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. Children are invited to trick-or-treat in the building a half-hour before the 5:30 p.m. concert.

Each year, the KSO presents a special concert that is specifically for students and their teachers invited from elementary schools in our region in November; not open to the general public. Area school principals and teachers are encouraged to reserve seats for their students by calling (815) 756-3728.

The orchestra will present its annual "Holiday Pops Concert: Winter Wonderland" at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. Joined by the Celebration Chorale, the KSO will warm your heart with music of the holiday season.

The public is invited to the live auditions for the Arthur D. Montzka Young Artists Concerto Competition Jan. 7, 2017. This annual event will present Illinois musicians, up to the age of 18 years, playing portions of concertos in a competition to determine who will win a monetary prize and perform a solo concerto accompanied by the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017.

The competition is open to the public at no charge. It will begin at 10 a.m. and continue probably into the early afternoon, until all competitors have performed. Members of the audience may come or go after each performer.

The KSO will present the Arthur D. Montzka Memorial Concert Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, featuring this season's winner of the Arthur D. Montzka Young Artists Concerto Competition. Also on the program are the Symphonic Suite from "On the Waterfront," by Leonard Bernstein and Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 ("Italian"), by Felix Mendelssohn.

The orchestra will close the season with its spring concert, "Bach to Beethoven," Saturday, May 6, 2017, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. The program will feature Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, BWV 1046, by Johann Sebastian Bach and Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, by Ludwig van Beethoven, with members of the DeKalb Festival Chorus.

Tickets go on sale 30 minutes before each concert. All seats are general admission. Individual tickets are $16, $11 for seniors 62 or older, $6 for students with school ID, and $6 for children younger than 12.

Season tickets may be purchased at special prices for the four regular concerts of the season. Season tickets are $53, $38 for seniors, $21 for students children younger than 12. Tickets can be purchased with cash, check or credit card.

For information, call (815) 756-3728 or visit