Announcing Our 25th Season: Taking The Show On The Road

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The Park Ridge Civic Orchestra announced its program of music for a series of four concerts for the 2018-19 season, its 25th Silver Anniversary season. All concerts will be performed at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoons and conducted by PRCOrchestra Music Director Victor Muenzer.

As the Orchestra’s home for the past 24 years – the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge – is under construction, Maine East and Maine South High Schools in Park Ridge have generously allowed the Orchestra to use their facilities. Tickets for all concerts may be purchased either at the box office the day of the concert or at www.parkridgecivicorchestra.org.

The PRCOrchestra’s 25th season begins on October 21 at Maine East High School. The Force of American Music is an exploration of American music and a tribute to Leonard Bernstein on the100th anniversary of his birth, featuring Overture to Candide, music from On the Waterfront, as well as selections from West Side Story. The foray into American classical music and romance continues with Rodeo by Copland, Bernstein’s most famous mentor and inspiration. The concert closes with a premier of the latest chapter of the epic space opera, Williams’ Star Wars: Suite from The Force Awakens.

On December 9, also at Maine East High School, the Orchestra will present An Irish Christmas with Irish dancers and singer Kathy Cowan, who specialized in Irish song and has performed with orchestras all over North America. The program will include the Armed Forces Salute, an audience favorite, along with the haunting and contemplative Williams’ Fantasia on the Theme by Thomas Tallis, a work written by two composers working centuries apart.

To celebrate the PRCOrchestra’s 25th Anniversary, the March 3 performance at Maine South High School features the extremely popular and devilishly difficult Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Although one of the most difficult violin concertos, Orchestra Scholarship winner Joshua Brown will have no trouble as the evening’s soloist. Holst’s enduringly popular orchestral suite, The Planets, influenced by the astrological significance of Earth’s seven neighbors, concludes the performance. It has been a chief inspiration for much of the music heard in today’s films.   

The PRCOrchestra’s 25th season closes with The Magic of Spring on May 5, also at Maine South High School, featuring Eunice Keem, a Chicago native who came up through Midwest Young Artists. Miss Keem, a winner of the prestigious Paganini Prize at the 7th International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, has a dazzling career as a soloist and is one of the youngest Associate Concertmasters ever appointed at the Dallas Symphony. She will be playing both the sublime Lark Ascending by Williams and Ravel’s impetuous Tzigane, a work inspired by the spirit of the Roma. The concert concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, music at its best.

PRCOrchestra Music Director Victor Muenzer said, “Anniversaries are always a time for joy, wonder and celebration. When my parents, Edgar and Nancy Muenzer, founded this Orchestra 25 years ago as a volunteer organization, few would have imagined that it would become the professional ensemble that it is today. To celebrate our 25th Gala Season, we are returning to one of our most successful concerts of all, the Planets and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and we are emphasizing Chicago grown talent, Joshua Brown and Eunice Keem. This year we celebrate all that the PRCOrchestra has become, and we look forward to a growing future with excitement and anticipation.”

Tickets for all concerts are $25/adults, $20/seniors 62+, $5/youth under 18 and a special thank-you price of $10 for U.S. active service members and veterans.

Announcing the 2018 PRCOrchestra Scholarship Winners

Joshua Brown, Violin
Rotary International Educational Scholarship
Underwritten by the Rotary Club of Park Ridge

Natalie Clarke, Viola
J. Mark Waltz Memorial Scholarship

Recipients, who will each receive a $1,000 college scholarship, are selected through professionally judged live auditions and other criteria. 

“It takes tremendous dedication along with talent to become a fine musician, so we think a professional concert is the perfect place to introduce our scholarship recipients,” says PRCOrchestra Music Director Victor Muenzer. “Joshua and Natalie have already exhibited these qualities. We’re so grateful to Karin Waltz and the Rotary Club; It’s wonderful to be able to help serious young musicians continue their studies so that the next generation can produce and enjoy great music, too.”