Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra Leaping into Milestone 100th Anniversary

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The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, the state’s longest continuously active orchestra, is gearing up for its 100th anniversary season. Info: sheboygansymphony.org

According to press releases:
“Dozens of great works by major composers of art music and popular favorites will be performed by the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra in their 100th season, and the Sheboygan Symphony Chorus in their 25th year,” said Kevin McMahon, music director and conductor.

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2018-19 Season

+ Oct. 6: “Inaugurating Our 100th Season”

Hector Berlioz, “Roman Carnival Overture”
Johannes Brahms, “Violin Concerto” featuring Frank Almond, violin; last with the orchestra in 2005
Ottorino Respighi, “Fountains of Rome”
Ottorino Respighi, “Pines of Rome”

+ Nov. 10: “New Directions”

Franz Joseph Haydn, “Trumpet Concerto” featuring Dan Cross, principal trumpet of orchestra
Sergei Prokofiev, “Symphony No. 7”
Antonin Dvorak, “The Golden Spinning Wheel”
George Gershwin, “An American in Paris”
+ Dec. 8: “Holiday Concerts Past and Present”

Included are highlights from the movies “The Polar Express” and “Elf.” The Sheboygan Symphony Chorus joins the orchestra.
+ Feb. 9: “Old World, New World”

Igor Stravinsky, “Greeting Prelude”
Richard Strauss, “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”
Thomas Massella, “Smooth Ride for Fast Orchestra”
Igor Stravinsky, “Four Norwegian Moods”
George Gershwin/Robert Russell Bennett, “Porgy and Bess Symphonic Picture”

+ Feb. 17: “Teddy Bears and Tunes”

A 3 p.m. concert for ages 3 to third grade. Program to be announced.
+ March 16: “Favorites from the SSO’s Recent Past”

Alexander Glazunov, “Autumn” from “The Seasons”
Emmanuel Chabrier, “España”
Aaron Copland, “Appalachian Spring”
Markk Isham, “A River Runs Through It”
Ludwig van Beethoven, “Symphony No. 7”

+ March 20: Fourth Grade Children’s Concerts for Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties.

Including a musical journey through the history of Sheboygan and Sheboygan County.
+ May 11 “Forward to the Next 100 Years”

Sheboygan Symphony Chorus joins the orchestra
George Frideric Handel, “Lift Up Your Heads” from “Messiah” with Sheboygan Symphony Chorus
Michael Torke, “Music at Night” (world premiere)

Gustav Mahler, “Symphony No. 2” with Mary Wilson, soprano, and Margaret Lattimore, mezzo-soprano

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The orchestra’s first concert was performed in Zion Reformed Church on 6th and Erie conducted by John Schmidt. Subsequent conductors include Theodore Winkler, Otto Huettner, Don Radmer, William Block, Manual Prestamo, Guy Victor Bordo and Andrews Sill.

Today, the Stefanie H. Weill Center is home to the orchestra.
The organization has seen a number of landmarks, such as the creation of the Sheboygan Area Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra in 1981 and the Sheboygan Symphony Chorus in 1993. In 2012, the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra added a second youth orchestra called the SAYS Sinfonia.
Founded in 1918, the SSO has planned a variety of special music and other opportunities for the community to celebrate its centennial.
“Centennials are always special, and when you consider that we are the first orchestra in the state to reach this milestone, it’s an extra-special reason to celebrate,” said Roberta Filicky-Peneski, board president.
“We are so fortunate in this community to have musicians willing to share their talents and perform this great music. The SSO also has a long history of educational programming as we prepare the next generations of performers and listeners. We are very excited for the concerts and other events we have planned for this memorable season.”
Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays. My new book, “I Fell Out of a Tree in Fresno (and other writing adventures),” is available in Green Bay at Bosse’s, with signing possible Aug. 24-26 during Artstreet.

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