Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony Announces Its 2015-2016 Concert Season
Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony, the oldest performing symphony orchestra in the area, showcases area professional musicians.
Milwaukee, Wis. — The area’s oldest performing symphony orchestra, Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony (FCS), has announced the schedule for its upcoming 2015-2016 “Symphony Sundays—Classical Music for All Ages” series and the “Pajama Jamboree” concert series for children, parents, and grandparents. In all, the symphony orchestra will perform seven concerts during the upcoming season.
The 2015-2016 Symphony Sundays series will begin with the concert titled American Celebration on Sunday, September 13, 2015, with three compositions inspired by America: “Variations on America” by Charles Ives, “New England Triptych” by William Schuman, and “Florida Suite” by Frederick Delius.
On Sunday, February 28, 2016, the orchestra will perform Finnish with Swedish and Ilana. The concert will open with the beloved “Dance of the Hours” by Amilcare Ponchielli, known as the ballet for hippos in Disney’s “Fantasia.” Next, the concert will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Finnish master Jean Sibelius with his brilliant “Symphony No. 5.” Then Milwaukee-based soloists Stephen Swedish, piano, and Ilana Setapen, violin, will join FCS for Felix Mendelssohn’s virtuosic “Concerto for Violin and Piano.”
Peter and the Wolfgang is the title of FCS’s March 20, 2016, concert, which will combine the talents of two of music’s greatest masters: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Inspired by Mozart, Tchaikovsky wrote the first piece of the concert, “Orchestral Suite No. 4 (Mozartiana).” Next is Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40,” of which it has been said, “Few things in art are perfect. The G Minor Symphony is one of them.” Two opera excerpts will conclude the program: Mozart’s lively “Overture to the Impressario” and Tchaikovsky’s swirling “Waltz from Eugene Onegin.”
The Symphony Sundays’ season will conclude with a bang on May 1, 2016, with Bigger Is Better, a majestic performance of true, full-orchestra-sized symphonic music. “Salome’s Dance” from Richard Strauss’s opera “Salome” will be followed by Richard Wagner’s “Overture and Venusberg Music from Tannhauser,” two of the most sensual, melodic, and romantic pieces ever composed. The concert will close with “Four Last Songs,” the culmination of Strauss’s remarkable career. Nationally acclaimed soprano Kathy Pyeatt will guest perform.
Symphony Sundays concert performances are held at the Pabst Theater, 144 East Wells Street, at 3 p.m., and include descriptive program information from the stage by Conductor Monte Perkins. FCS welcomes children to these concerts, which are most appropriate for those in second grade and older. Prior to each concert at 2:45 p.m., Jayne Perkins presents “Children’s Program Notes,” offered to help children become familiar with the music they are about to hear.
Admission to each concert is $14 for adults and $8 for children, students, and seniors. Early-bird season ticket packs are available through September 13, 2015, in several categories—a season Family Pack admits an entire family to all four concerts for just $75; Couples Packs admit two people to all four concerts for $72; a Single Adult Pack admits one adult to all four concerts for $50; and a Senior or Student Pack admits one adult over age 60 or a student to all four concerts for $28.
Information about purchasing season packs or group tickets may be obtained by calling Festival City Symphony at 414-365-8861 or by visiting festivalcitysymphony.org. Individual tickets may be purchased by calling the Pabst Theater Box Office at 414-286-3205 or online at pabsttheater.org.
Returning again will also be three free “Pajama Jamboree” classical pops concerts, held on select Wednesday evenings from 7-8 p.m. in the Bradley Pavilion of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Hosted by FCS education director Jayne Perkins, these popular concerts welcome children, especially in grades kindergarten through fifth, and their parents or grandparents to attend in casual dress or pajamas for open space floor seating up close to “meet” the orchestra. Conventional seating is also available.
The orchestra will begin its Pajama Jamboree concert series on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, with the Halloween Pajama Jamboree. FCS orchestra members will be in costume and invite attendees to do the same. The Pajama Jamboree season continues on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, with the Holiday Pajama Jamboree featuring seasonal music and a sing-along. Attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation for Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force. This series will conclude on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, with the Americana Pajama Jamboree when the orchestra duels it out with local bluegrass group, Above the Town. The popular Festival City Symphony tradition of young audience members conducting the orchestral finale, “Stars and Stripes” by John Philip Sousa, will bring this concert to a close.
Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony, the oldest performing symphony orchestra in the area, showcases area professional musicians. Its mission is to extend the reach of classical music in the community with reasonable pricing and informative formats that embrace people of all ages. For more information, visit festivalcitysymphony.org or call 414-365-8861. The full schedule of concerts follows.
“SYMPHONY SUNDAYS” 2015-2016 CONCERTS
SUNDAYS AT 3 P.M. • PABST THEATER
WITH “CHILDREN’S PROGRAM NOTES” AT 2:45 P.M.
SEE FESTIVALCITYSYMPHONY.ORG FOR TICKET INFORMATION
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2015
Three compositions inspired by America:
- “Variations on America” by Charles Ives
- “New England Triptych” by William Schuman
- “Florida Suite” by Frederick Delius
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2016
FINISH WITH SWEDISH AND ILANA
- “Dance of the Hours” by Amilcare Ponchielli, known as the ballet for hippos in Disney’s “Fantasia.”
- “Symphony No. 5” by Finnish master Jean Sibelius
- “Concerto for Violin and Piano” by Felix Mendelssohn, featuring soloists Stephen Swedish, piano, and Ilana Setapen, violin.
SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2016
PETER AND THE WOLFGANG
Music from two great masters, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
- “Orchestral Suite No. 4 (Mozartina)” by Tchaikovsky
- “Symphony No. 40” by Mozart
- “Overture to the Impressario” by Mozart
- “Waltz from Eugene Onegin” by Tchaikovksy
SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016
BIGGER IS BETTER
A majestic performance of true, full-orchestra-sized symphonic music:
- “Salome’s Dance” from Richard Strauss’s opera “Salome”
- “Overture and Venusberg Music from Tannhauser” by Richard Wagner
- “Four Last Songs” by Richard Strauss, with nationally acclaimed soprano Kathy Pyeatt guest performing.
“PAJAMA JAMBOREES” FOR 2015-2016 • SELECTED WEDNESDAYS AT 7 P.M.
MARCUS CENTER, BRADLEY PAVILION, 123 E. STATE ST. ENTRANCE
ADMISSION IS FREE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015
HALLOWEEN PAJAMA JAMBOREE
Dressed in costume, the orchestra will perform musical “treats” related to the season. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2015
HOLIDAY PAJAMA JAMBOREE
FCS performs a concert of holiday favorites and a sing-along. Attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation for Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2016
AMERICANA PAJAMA JAMBOREE
The orchestra will duel it out with local bluegrass group, Above the Town. Young audience members will have the opportunity to conduct the orchestral finale, Sousa’s “Stars & Stripes.”
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FCS Music Director Carter Simmons invites the public to “experience a concert of works by two Frenchmen who changed music forever.”