SHEBOYGAN - The Sheboygan Symphony, the oldest symphony orchestra in the state, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary this season.
“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," Kevin McMahon, music director and conductor, said. "All in all, we look forward to an enriching, uplifting and fun celebratory season.”
The long history of the symphony began in 1918. The first concert was performed in Zion Reformed Church on 6th and Erie conducted by John Schmidt. Subsequent maestros 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 Sheboygan’s Symphony Orchestra.
During these years, the organization has seen a number of milestones such as the creation of the Sheboygan Area Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra in 1981, the Sheboygan Symphony Chorus in 1993. In 2012, the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra added a second youth orchestra called the SAYS Sinfonia.
“Our 100th Anniversary Season holds many significant musical highlights. We invite you to browse our 100th season concerts,” McMahon said.
The 100th season lineup
Frank Almond, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster, will be featured in the Brahms Violin Concerto. (Photo: JENNIFER BRINDLEY)
Saturday, Oct. 6
The October inauguration of the regular season activities includes several major works by Ottorino Respighi as well as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster, Frank Almond, featured in the Brahms Violin Concerto.
- Berlioz | Roman Carnival Overture
- Brahms | Violin Concerto: Frank Almond, Violin, Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
- Respighi | Fountains of Rome
- Respighi | Pines of Rome
Dan Cross, trumpet, will be featured as a guest artist in November. (Photo: Submitted)
Saturday, Nov. 10
November includes the highlight of one of the SSO’s principal performers and some repertory that is new to the orchestra.
Guest Artist: Dan Cross, trumpet
- F. J. Haydn | Trumpet Concerto: Dan Cross, Trumpet, principal of SSO
- Prokofiev | Symphony No. 7
- Dvorak | The Golden Spinning Wheel
- Gershwin | An American in Paris
Saturday, Dec. 8
Songs from the past and present set the holiday mood. Among the new music are excerpts, for choir and orchestra, from the movies "The Polar Express" and "Elf."
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019
February includes a very interesting version of happy birthday to celebrate the inaugural concert in 1919. The orchestra will present music of both the Old World and New World, not least of which is music of American pops composer, George Gershwin.
- Stravinsky | Greeting Prelude
- R. Strauss | Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
- Massella | Smooth Ride for Fast Orchestra
- Stravinsky | Four Norwegian Moods
- Gershwin/Bennett | Porgy & Bess Symphonic Picture (Long Version)
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, 3 p.m.
The SSO will be presenting its second annual Teddy Bears and Tunes concert geared to children ages 3 to 3rd grade.
Repertoire to be announced.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
March includes favorites from the SSO’s recent past. A highlight of this concert is that during one musical work, images will be projected of the history of the symphony, as well as vintage photos of the area.
- Glazunov | Autumn from The Seasons
- Chabrier | España
- Copland | Appalachian Spring
- Isham | A River Runs Through It (to accompany historical photos)
- Beethoven | Symphony No. 7
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
4th Grade Children’s Concerts for Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties will feature a musical journey through the history of Sheboygan and Sheboygan County.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
The season closing concert will, in great part, traverse musical landscapes unexplored during the 100 years of the orchestra. Maestra Janet Herrick will return to Sheboygan to lead a chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
There will be a world premiere for chorus and orchestra, written by Wisconsin native Michael Torke. The season will close with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony Number 2.
Margaret Lattimore, will be featured in May. (Photo: Chezley Royster)
Mary Wilson, will be featured in May. (Photo: Submitted)
The SSO Chorus joins the Orchestra
- Handel | Lift Up Your Heads from Messiah with Maestra Herrick
- Torke | Music at Night (world premiere)
- Mahler | Symphony No. 2: Mary Wilson, Soprano; Margaret Lattimore, Mezzo-Soprano
In summer of 2019, there will be another fundraising concert; the recent programs have included Classical Mystery Tour and The Texas Tenors.
Full Concert Series tickets range in price from $180 to $228. The Mini Series, which includes three of the five regular season concerts, range in price from $90 to $120.
The Interludes Pre-Concert talks begin at 6:30 pm before each concert. They are a free event for concert ticket holders. Space is limited, and an R.S.V.P is required.
For further information or to request a season brochure, call the Sheboygan Symphony Office at 920-452-1985. For tickets, call the Weill Center Office at 920-208-3243. Tickets are also available in the box office two hours prior to the concert.