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Princeton Mayor Keith Cain (far left) rehearses with the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra in the La Salle-Peru Township High School band room. IVSO is under the direction of Lucia Matos (pictured). The symphony’s holiday concert includes many favorites including, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” which will be narrated by Cain.
NewsTribune photo/Goldie Currie
A day at the symphony
What: Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert When: Dec. 8 Time: 4 p.m. Where: Princeton High School’s Sally Skinner Council Auditorium Tickets: $12 for adults and $5 for season subscribers and students; K-college with ID. Tickets are available at the door, online at www.ivso.com, Princeton Chamber of Commerce and Heartland Bank and Trust Co.
PRINCETON — For the first time in 63 concert seasons, the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra will perform in Princeton. The annual holiday concert will be Saturday, Dec. 8 in the Sally Skinner Council Auditorium at Princeton High School. The IVSO is under the direction of Lucia Matos, who has chosen many holiday favorites for the performance including, “Carol of the Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” “White Christmas” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” which will include a narration by Princeton Mayor Keith Cain. The concert’s guest soloist will be Princeton native Susan Nelson, who has been praised by critics for her “full, powerful voice — agile and pliant,” as well as her interpretations, called both “sensitive and moving” and “full of life and vigor.” Nelson attended PHS and sang in concert choir, madrigal singers and the ladies’ ensemble. As an American lyric soprano, she showcases versatility and vocal beauty in repertoire from Bach and Mozart to verismo and contemporary opera. IVSO board member Ken Grams said the symphony is working harder to reach out and engage and inspire more communities. “The IVSO coming to this side of the Illinois Valley is great for both Princeton and the neighboring communities. I hope this becomes a long term ‘win-win,’ with IVSO being able to entertain and inspire the community, while Princeton can continue setting the stage as a destination for the arts,” he said. Grams said the symphony has a great following from Princeton’s art community and said the city always has been supportive of the arts. He said hosting the IVSO is an important step for Princeton, because it will help further promote the city as being a tourism destination. “People might think the symphony is aloof, stand-offish and ‘I can’t attend.’ But, when they go to the concert and hear this music live ... I think they will be impressed and want to attend more concerts,” he said “Live music is neat and hearing an orchestra of 50 plus members sometimes gives you the chills.” During a recent rehearsal with the symphony, Cain said hosting the IVSO in Princeton is one step further in supporting the fine arts and helps show that Princeton is a part of the Illinois Valley community. “The symphony is very upbeat and just wonderful,” he said. “I enjoy just being in here rehearsing and listening to them play.” Tickets for the IVSO holiday show are available at Heartland Bank and Trust Co., Princeton Chamber of Commerce, online at www.ivso.com and at the door. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for season subscribers and students; kindergarten through college with ID. There is no reserved seating. PHS is wheelchair-accessible. The concert is sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.