Muscatine Symphony to bring music to life for community

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–For the past two years, the performing arts have struggled, as the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic kept many people from partaking in live performances. In more recent months though, the arts have seen patrons surge back, eager to come together to enjoy in person shows. This year, the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the city’s continued enthusiasm for the arts with their Music’s Alive season.

From October through April, the Symphony will favor audiences with symphonic music of every sort through their MasterWorks concerts. Oct. 8 at their “Beauty and Grace Elevated” concert, the ATLYS String Quartet will join them to allow audiences to experience the works of classic composers such as Beethoven and Vaughn Williams.

Later, on Nov. 12, Dollinger’s son, Constantine Janello, will visit Muscatine from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he currently studies, to premier David Stern’s “Concerto for Cello and Orchestra,” which Dollinger believes will enthrall audiences: “I’d have to say a highlight for me will be the November MasterWorks concert where my son, Constantine, will be the featured guest artist when we perform the World Premier of a newly written cello concerto. Bringing him back to the Midwest from his graduate school, the San Francisco Conservatory, to perform this work will be very special.”

The MasterWorks series will continue Feb. 11 with the “H2H: Hear to Heart,” concert. Just in time for Valentine’s day, husband and wife vocalists John Koch and Tracy Marie Koch will perform a variety of songs from Broadway and opera.

March 11 in their “For Young and Old” concert, The Symphony will honor the winner of the Howe Foundation Young Artist Competition. They will also perform works that will appeal to listeners of all ages, including those based around folk tales, fables, and myths sure to please children and adults.

To round out the season on April 15, the Symphony’s “Dvorak–Second to None,” concert will celebrate the work of Antonin Dvorak, with the help of guest horn player Marc Zyla.

A pair of holiday concerts will bring the Symphony out into the community as well. “Christmas with the Symphony,” Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church (401 Iowa Avenue in Muscatine) will spread holiday cheer and collect non-perishable food and toy donations to give to the Salvation Army of Muscatine County’s Two Weeks of Love campaign. The evening of July 4, the symphony will give their annual concert on the riverfront to celebrate Independence Day and accompany the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s fireworks display.

With the Symphony’s season about to start, Dollinger encourages people to purchase individual tickets (which cost $15 per performance) or season tickets online using the symphony’s website or by calling 563-288-6195, ext. 1608. Alternately, people may purchase individual or season tickets at the door of Wesley United Methodist Church at 400 Iowa Avenue in Muscatine. Children under 18 and students with ID may always attend for free. All concerts will begin at 7 p.m.

With a larger and more experienced orchestra than many bigger cities have, as well as one with a good sense of fun, Dollinger believes this year’s concerts will resonate with all kinds of music lovers: “We have the widest breadth of audience members at each concert – well seasoned and musically educated, young children, casual listeners, newcomers who’ve never been to a concert, and everywhere in between. There is something for everyone!”

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