Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield Music Program and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra (ISO) have joined forces in a new Partnership in Education and Civic Engagement [PEACE]. The partnership is intended to enrich the cultural, educational and career-training opportunities of UIS students, to enhance music education in the Springfield-area and to extend the reach of both organizations into the community.

The inaugural Premiere Partnership Performance will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17 in Sangamon Auditorium in the UIS Performing Arts Center. The concert is titled “Franckenstein!” and will feature the UIS Orchestra and the Illinois Symphony Youth Symphony and Concert Orchestras. The concert is free and open to the public with opening remarks by UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney, UIS Music Program Director Yona Stamatis and ISO Executive Director Trevor Orthmann. A reception will follow the concert. 

“The UIS Music Program and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra share a longstanding commitment to engaging the arts to make positive change in the community,” Stamatis said. “Guided by the shared values of quality education, engaged citizenship and community involvement, the partnership will offer a host of opportunities for musical, cultural and educational enrichment.”

Expanded community music opportunities include lectures, concerts, individual instrumental lessons via the UIS Community Music School, orchestral opportunities with ISO Youth Programs and with UIS Music ensembles.

“The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is excited to begin a new partnership in education and civic engagement with the UIS Music Program. The launch of this partnership strives to provide a strong foundation for the continued growth of music education and orchestral performance in our community,” Orthmann said.

As the largest professional orchestra in central Illinois, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra also brings a vital industry presence to campus. In addition to ongoing educational opportunities in arts management and music performance, UIS students will gain unique opportunities to apply their knowledge through experiential learning including internship opportunities with the ISO, guest lectures, masterclasses and workshops with ISO musicians and staff.

“This partnership is bound to have a significant impact on the UIS Music Program’s reputation, recruiting/retention, education and community engagement,” Stamatis said. “The partnership emerged out of a year of conversations with ISO about how to: strengthen educational/career-building opportunities for UIS students, how to strengthen orchestral opportunities in Springfield (most local schools do not offer string/orchestra instruction) and how to increase opportunities for community engagement in music.”

Educational and career-building opportunities now available to UIS students include:

  • Arts Management internships with the ISO and ISO youth programs
  • Guest lectures, workshops and masterclasses with ISO musicians and visiting guest artists
  • The UIS Orchestra will be under the direction of the assistant conductor of the ISO
  • The ISO Civic Orchestra merges with the UIS Orchestra
  • Individual instrumental lessons with ISO musicians on select instruments
  • Coaching opportunities with the ISO youth
  • Side-by-side concerts with the ISO and ISO Youth Ensembles
  • Free rehearsal and concert attendance at ISO concerts

Civic engagement initiatives of the partnership include:

  • Shared event programming:
    • Lectures
    • Masterclasses
    • Concerts
  • Side by side concerts between the UIS Orchestra and ISO Youth Ensembles
  • Music Education Advocacy - Starter strings and the UIS Community Music School
  • UIS Camerata students work with ISO Youth Ensembles
  • Community-based learning projects for UIS and ISO Youth musicians

For more information on the partnership, contact Stamatis at 217-206-8583 or