Elgin Symphony Orchestra offers $10 tickets to youth concerts April 10-11

  • Cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing, junior winner of the 2017 Sphinx Organization Competition, will be the guest artist at Elgin Symphony Orchestra Ainsworth Concerts for Youth April 10-11.

    Cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing, junior winner of the 2017 Sphinx Organization Competition, will be the guest artist at Elgin Symphony Orchestra Ainsworth Concerts for Youth April 10-11. Courtesy of Elgin Symphony Orchestra

  • Resident conductor Stephen Squires will lead the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in "Music Emojis: Feelings, Connections, Life," the Ainsworth Concerts for Youth concerts April 10-11.

    Resident conductor Stephen Squires will lead the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in "Music Emojis: Feelings, Connections, Life," the Ainsworth Concerts for Youth concerts April 10-11. Courtesy of Elgin Symphony Orchestra

 
Submitted by Elgin Symphony Orchestra

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is offering general admission tickets to the Ainsworth Concerts for Youth concerts at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10-11, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way in Elgin. Tickets are $10; taxes and fees apply.

Advance purchase is required by 3 p.m. Monday, April 9. For information, see ElginSymphony.org.

The concerts, led by resident conductor Stephen Squires, feature 15-year-old cellist Ifetayo Ali Landing, the junior winner of the 2017 Sphinx Organization Competition and a Chicago native.

The 45-minute program, "Music Emojis: Feelings, Connections, Life," explores how music expresses emotion.

ESO Ainsworth Concerts for Youth are designed to introduce children in second to eighth gradeto the fundamentals of music and to generate an interest in learning how to play an instrument.

The 2018 concerts include works by traditional and contemporary composers like George F. Handel, Gustav Mahler, Danny Elfman, Jennifer Higdon and John Williams. It is sponsored by Sterling Ainsworth, James and Ruth Ann Snodgrass and the Elgin Symphony League.

Seven hundred and fifty students from Elgin Area School District U-46 are able to attend due to a generous grant from the Bear Family Restaurants and the U-46 Foundation.

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Guest artist Ifetayo Ali-Landing began her musical studies on violin as soon as she was able to stand. At age 3, she decided that she preferred the mellow sounds of the cello and begged her mother to switch. At age 4, she was playing the cello. Ifetayo was selected as one of the winners of the 2016 DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers competition and performed as soloist with the Festival's Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra. Over the years, she has placed or received honorable mentions for the Society of American Musicians competition, DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Musicians competition, and the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius competition.

The Sphinx Competition is held every year in Detroit, Michigan. The competition is open to all junior high, high school, and college-age black and Latino string players residing in the U.S. The competition offers young black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. Its primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the black and Latino communities. For more information, visit www.sphinxmusic.org.

Stephen Squires is a musician with a career that blends his passions for conducting, teaching, and performing. Fully committed to conducting the music of living composers, he has premiered more than 80 new works. Squires received his musical training at the Preparatory School of the Eastman School of Music and the Crane School of Music, in his home state of New York. He earned his master's degree in instrumental conducting/trumpet performance at California State University, Northridge. Further conducting studies were with Helmuth Rilling, Maurice Abravanel, Daniel Lewis, Tsung Yeh, and at the Aspen Music Festival. He is professor of conducting in the Music Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. Prior to this appointment, he served on the artist faculty of the Northern Illinois School of Music for 19 years, where he received the prestigious "Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award."

Squires' current professional appointments include resident conductor of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Fox Valley Orchestra, music director of the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Rockford), music director of the Millar Brass (Evanston), and music director of the Illinois Brass Band (Arlington Heights). He is the former music director of the Illinois Chamber Symphony.

Now in its 67th season, the ESO offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented four times -- in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016 -- and works to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the Midwest.

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