| Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Chamber Orchestra
With an operating budget of 1.2 million dollars, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra
and Illinois Chamber Orchestra serve as the primary orchestras in the central and
downstate Illinois region, performing series concerts in the cities of Springfield and
Bloomington/Normal, as well as performing run-out concerts to the surrounding
areas. We are a per-service regional orchestra comprised of musicians who commute
from St. Louis, Chicago, Bloomington/Normal, Springfield, Champaign, and the
surrounding areas. The season consists of 5 pairs of Masterworks concerts, 4 pairs
of Chamber Orchestra concerts, 3 pairs of Pops concerts, the “Sneakers and Jeans”
Family Matinée Series, and many education and outreach concerts.
The 2003/2004 season witnessed an increase in Season Subscribers of over 350. In
addition, the Illinois Chamber Orchestra series completely sold out leaving us with
the wonderful need to add an additional performance night and ultimately have to
move to a new, larger venue.
In addition to planning, programming and conducting all services, I serve as
spokesperson for the organization, speaking for local civic groups and educational
institutions in Springfield and Bloomington/Normal as well as the surrounding
communities. I have been instrumental in increasing interest in the orchestra
through community service and public relation events. My responsibilities also
include working closely with both the Bloomington/Normal and Springfield
Trustees and Guilds, as well as the Board of Governors, the Executive Director and
staff, overseeing the Illinois Symphony Chorus and acting as advisor to the
Sangamon Valley Youth Orchestra.
Every effort is made on my part to keep costs down and creativity up. This is
accomplished in a great variety of ways from sensible programming and rehearsal
scheduling, creating my own youth and education concerts instead of spending
money on packaged programs, finding soloists who are reasonably priced, and
flexible solutions to complicated problems.
Some immediate goals we have been able to realize during my tenure with the ISO
are: the creation of a new series for children and families called, “Sneakers and
Jeans,” Family Matinée Series; an increased presence of the ISO in the community
through new education and outreach programs; the involvement of local talent and
the youth orchestras in both communities on our holiday programs, and a
rehearsal/concert environment in which we enjoy working. We are now poised to
open a new Performing Arts Center in Bloomington which will serve as the new
concert hall for the ISO. We are expecting sell out crowds once we open this new
The majority of our musicians come from St. Louis and Chicago (one reason the
quality of the orchestra is so high), and they must travel great distances in order to
perform with us. We try to create the best possible musical environment for the
players, so they will come to know that they are part of an organization which
appreciates their artistry and dedication.