Music

Our guests this week are George Stelluto, conductor of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra; and Gary Roberts, President of Bradley University. The Peoria Symphony begins it's 120th season this weekend. They talk about the shared history of the orchestra and the university (which celebrates it's own 120th anniversary this year). The concert recognizes other notable anniversaries, of Johannes Brahmas and Leonard Bernstein.

David Commanday, conductor of the Heartland Festival Orchestra, is with us to talk about the concert that opens the orchestra's ninth season. Fittingly, the program includes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Commanday says it's the culmination of Beethoven's symphonic works, and it includes the well-known "Ode to Joy," with its themes of freedom and universal brotherhood.

We talk with Kelleen Nitsche and Sarah Marie Dillard about this year's Ignite Peoria event. Nitsche is the coordinator of the main performance stage, which features appearances from local performing arts groups -- theatre, dance, even magic. There are also musical theatre and improv workshops for young performers, and a "ticket booth" with special offers from area performers.

Its time to get wild this weekend on Out and About with a pair of events at Wildlife Prairie Park. Today, Jenn talks Doug Dillow, Executive Director of Wildlife Prairie Park to learn about the Art in the Wild photo contest and display, and we'll heat things up with a preview of the next installment of their Wildfire Concert Series.

If You Go

This week, we're talking with Bob Kessler, a Chicago-based harmonica player, and one of the three musicians featured in the Third Annual Harmonica Invitational at the Contemporary Art Center. He talks about what initially drew him to that instrument, about what to expect from the invitational event, and about his recent collaborations on opera and theatre productions.

The Third Annual Harmonica Invitational takes place tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Contemporary Art Center, at 305 SW Water Street in downtown Peoria.

WIU / Facebook

Summer music camps are a staple at universities and institutes across the country. Most of them focus on large ensembles playing large works. But Western Illinois Univeristy’s School of Music is trying something different and going small. Illinois Public Radio's Jonathan Ahl explains.

This week, we're talking about the Peoria Riverfront Jazz and Art Festival, with Mary Jo Papich. The event features live performances throughout the day, representing a wide range of jazz styles; a jazz improv workshop; and exhibiting artists. Papich talks about the need she saw for the event, about some of the Peoria natives who are returning to perform, and about other upcoming jazz events with the Central Illinois Jazz Society.

The Peoria Riverfront Jazz and Art Festival runs Saturday from 2:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the CEFCU Stage on the Peoria Riverfront.

This week, we're talking with cellist Patrice Jackson and David Commanday, Artistic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. The HFO's next concert is called "New World." It features music by Dvorak, Carl Maria von Weber and American composer David Popper. Jackson is the featured soloist for this performance. She talks about her own arrangement of Bruno Mars' 24K Magic," which she'll perform with the orchestra. She also talks about her wide-ranging musical pursuits, and how she encourages a similar versatility in her students.

This week, we're talking with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's George Stelluto, and with violinist Arnaud Sussman. The PSO is presenting a concert with music of Beethoven and Brahms this weekend. They talk about about the Brahms Violin Concerto, and Beethoven Third Symphony. Stelluto describes the Beethoven Symphony -- which was originally dedicated to Napoleon -- as a transition point between the Classical and Romantic Eras. Sussmann calls the Brahms "the king of all the Violin Concertos," one which treats the violin as an integral part of the orchestra.

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, Artistsic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra.

This week, we're talking with Marcia Henry Liebenow and Kyle Dzapo. They're two of the musicians featured in "Chamber Music by Candlelight." The concert - part of the Trinity Concert Series - features chamber music by composers ranging from Bach to Lukas Foss. They talk about selecting the works to include in the program, about what Trinity Lutheran Church offers as a performance venue, and about the unqiuely personal and intimate experience of performing chamber music.

"Chamber Music by Candlelight" will be presented Friday night at 7:00 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Peoria.

This week, Nathan Irwin is talking with David Commanday, Music Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. In their next concert, the orchestra is joined by three former finalists from "American Idol." Commanday talks about the three guest artists, and the different genres and vocal types they represent. He says the concert offers the orchestra an opportunity to present a different type of repertoire. And he talks about "American Idol" as a cultural and musical phenomenon.

Central Illinois Youth Symphony

This week, we're talking with Jeff McSweeney, Executive Director of the Central Illinois Youth Symphony. They're presenting "A Musical Masquerade" tonight. It's a fund-raising event to support the CIYS and its programs for young musicians.

We talk about the CIYS, and the variety of orchestras and chamber ensembles it encompasses, and about some of the benefits young performers derive from participating in music. We also talk about what to expect from this this evening's event.

This year at the Grammys - Chicago native Chance The Rapper took home multiple awards, including one for Best New Artist. But another Chicago based group took home its first win, though the category it took the Grammy for goes a little more under the radar.

BarryCloyd.com

Singer-songwriter Barry Cloyd is back this week, talking about his upcoming concert at the Forest Park

Nature Center on Saturday. The performance is part of their "Songs From the Woods" concert series, and  Cloyd considers it his annual "home concert." He talks about the repertoire he has planned for the concert, and  about "Freedom Street," the new name he's given the long-time collaborators who are joining him. He also talks about his songwriting process, and how new distribution platforms -- like Internet radio stations -- have changed the music business in recent years.

This week, Nathan Irwin and Jenn Gordon talk with Jerry Kolb from public television station WTVP, and with Cody Diekhoff (who performs under the name Chicago Farmer). Kolb talks about WTVP's new program, "State and Water," which is designed to spotlight local bands and musicians. They're hosting Chicago Farmer with a live taping tonight at 6:00. Diekhoff talks about his musical background, the origin of the name "Chicago Farmer," and about his evolution as a songwriter.

This week, we're talking with George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. They're presenting a matinee concert this weekend, tailored to children and families. It opens with "Gershwin's Magic Key," a presentation that introduces us to George Gershwin and some of his best-known songs. It's one of several productions from  Classical Kids LIVE! which the PSO has featured. Stelluto talks about how it works to open the concert

Quad Cities residents gathered at Augustana College over the weekend for a community celebration and musical tribute to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This week, we're talking with Andrew Morgan, founder of The Penguin Project, and director of their upcoming production of "Crazy For You."

He reviews the purpose of The Penguin Project - to provide an opportunity for children with special needs to participate in the performing arts. He also talks about this particular show, a musical that weaves together many of George Gershwin's best-known songs.

Heartland Festival Orchestra

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, Music Director of the Heartkand Festival Orchestra. Their next concert is "New Year's Greeting: Vienna to Broadway." The program blends opera favorites and music from the Broadway stage. Commanday talks about some of those pieces, the history of the HFO's New Year concerts, and about the two featured soloists - Sarah Jane McMahon and John Cudia.

The Heartland Festival Orchestra presents "New Year's Greeting: Vienna to Broadway" Saturday night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

This week, we're talking with George Stelluto - Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra - and with cellist Richard Hirschl. The PSO presents a concert of Russian music in its next concert, including an overture by Mikhail Glinka, Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony,  and the Cello Concerto by Dmitri Shostakovich. Hirschl offers a performer's perspective on the Shostakovich work and it's historical context, and Stelluto describes how Tchaikovsky's symphony reflects the composer's emotional state.

Today, we're talking with Dr. John Jost from the Bradley Music Department. He's conducting the Bradley Community Chorus, Chorale and Symhony Orchestra in a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" next Sunday. Jost notes that Verdi's background as an opera composer is on display in this choral work, in it's intensity and sudden emotional contrasts. He also gives a little background on the work, and talks about the process of putting three large ensembles and soloists together for the upcoming performance.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

This week, we're talked with young pianist Harmony Zhu, and with George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Zhu is the featured soloist in the PSO's upcoming concert, which features the works of three musical prodigies -- Mozart. Mendelssohn, and Beethoven. Zhu offers us a look inside the life of a young performer. Stelluto talks about how he became aware of her, and invited her to perform with the PSO.

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra's concert, "Prodigies," will be performed tomorrow night at 8:00 at Grace Presbyetrian Church in Peoria.

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, Artistic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Their next concert, "Mozart's Masterpieces," is tomorrow night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington. The program includes two pieces by Mozart, accompanied by works of Luigi Boccherini and Giovanni Paisiello. Commanday talks about the works in the concert, about pairing Mozart with his two contemporaries, and about the orchestra's community partner for this concert.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

This week, we're on the phone with jazz legend Ramsey Lewis. The Peoria Symphony Orchestra kicks off its new season in a concert with the Ramsey Lewis Trio this weekend. The program includes jazz standards, and Lewis' own "Concerto for Jazz Trio" and orchestra. Lewis talks about the genesis of his piece, which was first written for the Joffrey Ballet. He also connects the work to the improvisational traditions of the Baroque era, and reflects on the state of jazz today.

David Commanday is with us this week, talking about the first concert in the Heartland Festival Orchestra's upcoming concert. Their eighth season opens, fittingly, with a performance of Beethoven's Symphony no. 8. The orchestra is also joined by violinist Rachel Barton Pine in Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D. Commanday talks about both of those pieces, about some of the events Barton Pine will be presenting ahead of the concert, and about the orchestra's featured community partner, the Community Workshop and Training Center.

This week, we're talking Jack Manis, about the Peoria Blues and Heritage Music Festival. The Festival is even bigger than in past years -- and features a new name, as well. Manis talks about some of the musicians and bands who will be featured this weekend, how the festival has grown, and the experience the organizers are hoping to provide for attendees.

The Peoria Blues and Heritage Music Festival runs Friday from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday from noon to midnight, on the Peoria Riverfront.

This week, we're joined by Lyndsay Byers, from Dramatic Crossroads. The concert presents what the group calls "a new spin on what you think of as opera." The program blends opera and classical music, with musical theatre, and contemporary music performed in an operatic style. The intent is to show the parallels between opera and musical genres, and to make opera more accessible to concert-goers.

"Hip-hOpera" will be presented Saturday night at 6:30 at t

he Contemporary Art Center in downtown Peoria.

Galactic Cowboy Orchestra

Nathan Irwin talks by phone John Wright, founder of the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra. The band is playing tonight at the Contemporary Art Center in downtown Peoria - part of the CAC's weekly "Live at the Five Spot" concert series. Wright talks a little bit about the style of music the band plays, which grew out of the myriad interests and influences of the band members. He also talks about the band's busy touring schedule and output of new CDs.

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra performs tonight at 5:30 at the Contemporary Art Center, 305 Water Street in Peoria.

Pekin Civic Chorus

We're talking with Marcia Jansen from the Pekin Civic Chorus, about their concert, "Hooray for Hollywood." Jansen talks about the history of the chorus, and some of the work that goes into the concerts they present every other year. She also talks about the repertoire in this year's concert, and about the chorus's rehearsal process as they get closer to performance week.

"Hooray for Hollywood" continues with performances Friday night, Satuday night and Sunday afternoon in the F. M. Peterson Theater at the Pekin Community High School.

Pages