Ankush Kumar Bahl, music director of the Omaha Symphony, will conduct the ESO in its February 5 and 6 performances of Beethoven’s Eroica, which also features works by Jessie Montgomery and Felix Mendelssohn. Listen as he discusses the upcoming program.
Elgin Symphony Orchestra CEO Marc Thayer recently shared the ESO’s vision for the future with the Elgin City Council and in a sit-down interview with Rick West of the Daily Herald. The Symphony’s overall goal: to be more representative of and accessible to the Elgin community.
Acknowledging that symphonies have had an image of being an elite experience, Marc emphasized that the Symphony is actively working to be more engaging with the local community. As he told the Daily Herald, “Some people think the orchestra is just for a select few, and I know that’s how it has seemed in the past. It’s very much not that way now.”
In less than six months, Marc and his team have made significant changes to make the community feel more welcome. Materials are now published in both English and Spanish to better reflect the ethnic composition of the city. Tiered pricing, with a focus on making concerts more accessible to younger audiences and families, has been put into place. The ESO is creating a community advisory committee to be sure programing and collaborations reflect the community. The symphony is also planning for more community-based concerts, continuing to have musicians play at local hospitals and expanding its efforts to include concerts in churches and community centers.
Read more about the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s vision in the Daily Herald story.
If you love – or are just curious about – live symphonic music, you can see Elgin Symphony Orchestra concerts for free by volunteering as an usher at our performances. Ushers are needed to assist with greeting, taking tickets and seating patrons. Ushers arrive 90 minutes before show time, and receive free entry to the concert in exchange for their ushering assistance. Pleasant demeanor, a willingness to help, and an interest in the symphony are all that is required. Dress code is black slacks or skirt and a white shirt. To volunteer or learn more about this opportunity, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lidiya Yankovskaya, music director at the Chicago Opera Theater, will conduct the ESO in its January 8 and 9 performances of Brahms Symphony No. 2, which also features works by Clara Schumann and Wagner. Listen as she discusses the upcoming program.