OTTAWA — The Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra will present “Winter Dreams” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Ottawa High School Auditorium, preceded by a 2:15-2:45 p.m. “Chat with the Conductor.”
This concert is sponsored by Wendy and Aziz Asphahani, along with Season Sponsors Ning Communications and Ottawa Radio. All are invited to celebrate the holidays with the IVSO and bring cheer to the season with this festive celebration, a combination of serious/classical and pops/holiday music that includes an audience sing-along.
Admission to the concert is by season membership, individual ticket, available online at www.ivso.org or at the door. Adult tickets are $20, college students with an ID $5, and students K-12 are free. The auditorium is handicapped accessible.
Guest conductor Glenn Block will lead the orchestra in a program of music for the season, beginning with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, “Winter Dreams,” followed by Leroy Anderson’s medley “A Christmas Festival” and “Hanukkah Festival” by Lucas Richman, an arrangement of traditional tunes that mark the celebration of the Jewish holiday.
The performance will also include “Russian Christmas Music” by Alfred Reed, based on ancient Russian Christmas carols and Eastern Orthodox liturgical music. The concert will conclude with “A Holly Jolly Sing-Along,” which features many holiday favorites and invites audience participation.
Block is in his 28th year as the director of orchestras and professor of conducting at Illinois State University. From 1983 to 2007, he led the Kansas City Youth Symphony program to being one of the largest and most recognized youth symphony programs in the country.
Prior to coming to Illinois in the fall of 1990, Block served for 15 years as director of orchestras and professor of conducting at the Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri, Kansas City and music director of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra.
Born in Brooklyn, Block was educated at the Eastman School of Music. He received his doctorate from the University of California at San Diego. A frequent guest conductor, he has appeared in 42 states with all-state and professional orchestras in the United States, Europe and South America.
In January 2016, he was on sabbatical from Illinois State University, living and conducting in South America.
In 2017, he returned to guest-conduct in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Italy, China, and Vietnam, in addition to his concerts in the United States. He was invited to serve as principal guest conductor with the National Symphony of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City for the 2016-17 seasons.
In 2017, he was also invited to lead the international V. Seminario in Dirección Orquestal (V. Seminar in Orchestral Conducting) and orchestra concerts at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 2018 he was invited to guest-conduct in Wuhan, China (March), Asunción, Paraguay (June), Malaysia and Vietnam (November) and a return to Argentina to the Testro Colon (November).