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home : arts, entertainment and events - archive : featured events May 24, 2016

11/9/2013 4:23:00 PM
Illinois Symphony presents Holiday Pops in the Heartland
Featuring the Illinois State University Concert Choir and other performing arts groups

SPRINGFIELD — Join the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Alastair Willis for Holiday Pops in the Heartland, a musical feast celebrating the upcoming holidays on Saturday, November 23 at 8 p.m. at Sangamon Auditorium. Bring your family and bring your friends for this cornucopia of holiday favorites!

The first half of the concert celebrates Thanksgiving with a feast of familiar tunes including “Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver! and an orchestral rendition of the folk tune “Turkey in the Straw.”  The festivities continue with John Rutter’s “Good Ale” and a beautiful choral arrangement of Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Melody.” The second half begins with a joy-filled side-by-side performance with the Youth Orchestra in an exciting arrangement of “Joy to the World” and Georges Bizet’s stately Farandole march. Christmas and Hanukkah are in full swing, with carols, dances from the Nutcracker, and a festive Hanukkah overture by Lucas Richman.

A multitude of performing arts groups from throughout the community will join the ISO including: The Illinois State University Concert Choir led by Director Karyl Carlson, Springfield Ballet Company led by Artistic Director Julie Ratz, Springfield Youth Performance Group led by Artistic Director Ronda Brinkman and President Taryn Grant, and the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony led by Music Director Eugene Power in Springfield.

Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis is the Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.  Previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series and Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony. In the past few seasons, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, China National Orchestra (Beijing), and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma) among others. Born in Acton, Massachusetts, Willis received his bachelor’s degree with honors from England’s Bristol University, an Education degree from Kingston University, and a Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Join Mr. Willis and musicians of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra for Concert Comments, a pre-concert conversation about the evening's program, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 23rd in Sangamon Auditorium.

Tickets for the Springfield concert on Saturday, November 23, 2013 are available by calling Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217-206-6160. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning two hours before the performance. Ticket prices range from $5 for students (6 years +) to $60 for premium seating.  Tickets for youth (5 and under) are free with a paying adult. Senior discounts are also available.  Additional information about the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is available at

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