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Diane K. Handler Named Elgin Symphony Orchestra Director of Marketing

Diane-K-HandlerDiane K. Handler has been named Director of Marketing at the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Handler previously worked as the director of the University of Iowa arts outreach program, Arts Share, and as Media Relations Manager at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  She also worked at the Merit School of Music as marketing director and at WBZ-TV Boston as an assistant producer.

A St. Charles resident, she served on the Steel Beam Theatre board of directors as chair of the marketing committee and volunteered with the Saint Charles Arts Council.  For the past two years, she has also produced the People for the Arts or P-ARTS Variety Show at East High School, the largest fundraiser for the organization and a featured program of ARTSFest St Charles.

Handler has a BA in International Relations, an MA in Journalism and a JD with distinction in Public Service.  She and her husband Brian have two (2) daughters – Nadia, a junior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities studying biology and business and Mara, a senior at St Charles East High School.  Handler studied voice at Millikin with Emily McKnight, at Boston University with Phyllis Curtin and with Lucille Halfverson and Neva Baily at the Merit School of Music.

Dave Bearden, CEO of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, commented on the appointment of Diane. “We are very fortunate to find a person of Diane’s background and experience for this vital position. Her familiarity with the area as well as her deep connection to so many cultural organizations makes her the ideal candidate to create new marketing programs and campaigns that attract new patrons and new demographics. We look forward to her creativity and unique perspective to better serve our current and future patrons.”

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ESO Music Director Andrew Grams Conducts Copland and Shostakovich Jan 30 and 31 at Hemmens Cultural Center

Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Music Director Andrew Grams conducts Copland and Shostakovich on Saturday, January 30, 7:30 pm and Sunday, January 31, 2:30 pm at Elgin’s Hemmens Cultural Center. Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring tells the story of a family of early pioneers who enthusiastically embrace the American dream of unlimited possibilities in the land of opportunity. Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 depicts the violence and bloodshed of the 1905 Russian Revolution. The program will transport audiences to these two very different worlds existing at the same time in history. Tickets start at $30 and concertgoers are invited to attend a Musically Speaking pre-concert chat with Andrew Grams one hour prior to the performance. For tickets, contact the Box Office at 847-888-4000 or visit ElginSymphony.org.

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Elgin Symphony Wins Grant to Perform More American Music

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The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will be featuring a piece of American classical or contemporary music in every concert during the 2015-16 season beginning Oct. 3, officials said Monday.

It will be funded through a $4,000 American Music Project Grant award. American Music Project is a new, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and underwriting performances of old American classical music and selectively commissioning new works from American composers.

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Elgin Symphony to Present Master Class with Cellist Lynn Harrell

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The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will host a master class with renowned cellist Lynn Harrell at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.

Classes are free and open to the public. Students may apply for the opportunity to perform for Harrell. Applications are available for download on the ESO website, www.elginsymphony.org. The application deadline is Sept. 7.

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New contract for Grams in harmony with upgraded Hemmens sound system

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The Elgin Symphony Orchestra hosted a celebration party recently at the Anvil Club in East Dundee in honor of Music Director, Andrew Grams’ extended five-year contract. The event was well attended by staff, subscribers, and musicians.

Addressing those in attendance, Grams recalled “when Dave Bearden, ESO Chief Executive Officer approached me about extending my three year contract, I immediately knew what my answer would be. It was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. Everything has been going so well and the team is so great. I had no hesitation whatsoever.”

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Music Director aims to expand support for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra

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After signing a five-year contract to remain music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra through the 2020-2021 season, Andrew Grams said the deal allows him time to further establish the roots of the organization.

“The things I want to do here are somewhat amorphous in terms of the ensemble and team,” Grams said. “But toward the big picture, my goal is to make sure the symphony is better off artistically and financially and stronger than when I started.”

Having the five years also allows more flexibility in planning concert bills and booking guest artists, Grams said, as he hopes to sew a thread between pieces performed on those bills and from concert to concert and season to season.


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