Orchestra Events

​2017-2018 SEASON

MON SEP 4, 2017, 6:00pm | CENTRAL PARK
LABOR DAY POPS

Free to the public

The Star-Spangled Banner
Copland: Hoe-Down
Shostakovich: March from Suite No. 2 for Variety Orchestra
Dave Hillyer, guest conductor
Rogers and Hammerstein: Oklahoma Suite
Schoenberg: I Dreamed a Dream (from Les Misérables)
Ann Borders, soprano
Rogers and Hammerstein: Sound of Music
Strauss: The Blue Danube Waltz
Anthony Hopkins: And the Waltz Goes On
Strauss I: Radetzky March

Join the MDSO in paying tribute to your hard work with a program selected entirely by you! From the patriotic to the sentimental, from the musical theater stage to the dance floor, the entire family will enjoy this program of audience favorites. Come dream the dream with Fantine from Les Miserables, waltz along Strauss’s Blue Danube, and discover that even the hills of Decatur are alive with the Sound of Music!  


 

 

SAT SEP 23, 2017, 7:30pm | KIRKLAND FINE ARTS CENTER
MASTERWORKS I – OPENING NIGHT: INSPIRED BY SHAKESPEARE

Tickets: $10, $15, $20

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture
​Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 102, F Major
​ILYA YAKUSHEV, piano
Guest artist supported by David and Norma Fathauer Symphonic Music Fund
Prokofiev: Selections from Romeo and Juliet Ballet
With dancers LUIZA BOAVENTURA and NOAH HART from The Alabama Ballet
Original Choreography by Roger van Fleteren 
Guest dancers supported by Dr. Paul and Shirley Stanley

          

The MDSO 2017-18 season officially opens with an evening of romantic tragedy inspired by the Bard himself. The orchestra pairs Tchaikovsky’s fantasy with Prokofiev’s ballet, both retelling the story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. In the midst of these two masterpieces stands Shostakovich’s transcendent Second Piano Concerto, featuring an “astonishing” and “uplifting” performance by special guest pianist, Ilya Yakushev. “If music be the food of love, play on!”


 

 

WED SEP 27, 2017, 10:00am-6pm | KIRKLAND FINE ARTS CENTER/
MILLIKIN ORCHESTRA WORKSHOP: BEETHOVEN
A day designated to exploring the music of Beethoven. Selected high school orchestras rehearse with Millikin string students and Millikin applied faculty, receive expert coaching on repertoire, sighreading, and All-State excerpts. The day culminates in a public performance of Coriolanus Overture, 2nd movement of Symphony 7, and Millikin applied faculty performing selected movements from Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat major.
https://www.millikin.edu/orchestra-workshop


 

 

SUN OCT 22, 2017, 2:00pm | KIRKLAND FINE ARTS CENTER
MASTERWORKS II – MUSIC OF JOHN WILLIAMS
                                        featuring POLISH VIOLINIST KINGA AUGUSTYN

Tickets: $10, $15, $20

Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2, op. 22, D minor
Williams: Theme from Schindler’s List

​Wieniawski: Polonaise brilliante No. 1, op. 4, D major
​KINGA AUGUSTYN, violin
Guest artist supported by David and Norma Fathauer Symphonic Music Fund
Williams: Adventure on Earth from E.T.s
Williams: Theme from Jurassic Park
Williams: Selections from Star Wars Suite

Lauded for masterful scores that capture the very essence of film, John Williams is considered one of the greatest composers of our time. His themes for movies including E.T., Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and many others, have become iconic in film history. The MDSO, joined by special guest violinist, Kinga Augustyn, will perform some of the most dramatic musical moments from these movies. Alongside the heartrending theme to Schindler’s List, this concert features Augustyn’s “stylish and vibrant” playing in compositions by the Polish-Jewish composer, Henryk Wieniawski.


 

 

SAT NOV 4, 2017, 2:00pm & 7:30pm | KIRKLAND FINE ARTS CENTER
MASTERWORKS III
MOSCOW BALLET – THE GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER
In collaboration with The Kirkland Fine Arts Series  

Tickets: $35, $45, $65

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker, op. 71

There is no greater way to usher in the holiday season than with Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker! The MDSO and Kirkland Fine Arts Center present the Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker.” Premiered in 1993, this version sets the beloved Christmas fairytale in Moscow, embracing the colors of its iconic onion-domed skyline for its background, and embellishes Tchaikovsky’s ballet with themes from Russian folklore. As they have for generations, audiences of all ages will delight in a cast of vibrant characters and the elegant splendor of dance and music.  


 

 

SUN DEC 10, 2017, 10:30am | CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH
​MILLIKIN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA –  ADVENT SERVICE
Free to the public

The tradition continues! Join the Millikin Chamber Orchestra and members of the MDSO for caroling favorites, from Deck the Halls to God Rest Ye, Merry Gentleman, featuring the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis. Audience singers are welcome for a special Hallelujah sing-along!


 

 

SAT FEB 3, 2018, 7:30pm | KIRKLAND FINE ARTS CENTER
MASTERWORKS IV – CREATIVE & INNOVATIVE: YOUNG ARTISTS DEBUT!

Tickets: $10, $15, $20

Mozart: Turkish March, from Piano Sonata in A major, K.331
TBA Concerto and Aria Competition Winners
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, K.551, C major (Jupiter)

In 18th-century Vienna, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was renowned for his prodigious talent as a composer and pianist. Many of Mozart’s works, especially his Turkish March, were pinnacles of compositional creativity and cosmopolitan culture. The grandeur of his final symphony, later nicknamed “Jupiter,” highlights the composer’s musical and emotional brilliance. Now, in 21st-century Decatur, the MDSO celebrates both Mozart’s historical innovations and contemporary creativity with debuts of its young artist competition winners. 


 

 

SAT MAR 3, 2018, 7:30pm | KIRKLAND FINE ARTS CENTER
MASTERWORKS V – ODE TO JOY: BEETHOVEN SYMPHONY NO. 9

Tickets: $10, $15, $20

Millikin Union of Choirs
Guy Forbes, Beth Holmes, Brad Holmes, directors

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1, Op. 21
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, Op. 125

Few composers have inspired greater fascination among audiences, musicians, and scholars than Ludwig van Beethoven. His nine symphonies, framed in this concert by the MDSO and the Millikin Union of Choirs, represent monumental artistic achievements for both the composer and the many musicians who continue to perform his works. Symphony No. 1, premiered in 1800, reveals deep roots to Beethoven’s compositional ambitions in the Viennese classicist styles of Mozart and Haydn. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, completed near the end of his life in 1824, stands as a testament to the composer’s optimism that culminates in the choral finale proclaiming an “Ode to Joy.” 


 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
APR 20 & 21 at 7:30pm, APR 22 at 2:00pm

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Charles Hart

Additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe
Book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Originally directed in Broadway by Harold Prince
Original Broadway production by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group"
Based on the novel “Le Fantome de ‘l’Opéra” by Gaston Leroux
Orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber

presented by

Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra
School of Theatre and Dance

and
School of Music Opera Workshop
Directed by Kevin Long
Conducted by Dr. Sergey Bogza

The Millikin School of Theatre and Dance and Music Opera Workshop team up with members of the MDSO to present Andrew Lloyd Webber’s critically-acclaimed The Phantom of the Opera. Since its 1986 premiere on London’s West End stage, the eternally romantic saga of Christine and her mysterious “angel of music” has enchanted audiences worldwide. Winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and one of the longest running shows on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera features timeless songs such as “Masquerade,” “Think of Me,” and “Music of the Night.” Come relive the magic of this unforgettable music and unmasked drama.

 

Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra

The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra is an ensemble comprised of faculty, hired professionals, and is open to students who successfully audition for the Millikin University School of Music. The MDSO performs an annual Labor-Day Pops Concert, 5 Masterworks Concerts, Advent Services, and hosts high-profile guest artists and concerto/aria competition. Selected students also have the opportunity to play for Musical Theatre productions and various community and educational events. Membership in MDSO places a high demand on students who gain hands-on experience by playing side-by-side with faculty and other professionals in a nurturing environment.

Millikin Chamber Orchestra

Millikin Chamber Orchestra is primarily a student ensemble and is dedicated to providing high-quality training through exposure to an immense body of orchestral literature. Rehearsals are MW (7:15-9:45 p.m.) and membership is open to all Millikin students through audition. There are no restrictions on those playing a string instrument, but those playing wind, brass, and percussion, must be recommended by studio teachers.

Staff

Sergey Bogza, Music Director and Conductor
sbogza@millikin.edu |(217) 424-3774

Georgia Hornbacker, Violin
ghornbacker@millikin.edu | (217) 424-6302

Sharon Chung, Viola
schung@millikin.edu | (217) 424-6307

Amy Catron, Cello
acatron@millikin.edu | (217) 424-3522

Christopher Nolte, Bass
cnolte@millikin.edu | (217) 424-3535

Stay Connected

 

 

The Amati String Scholarship

The Amati String Scholarship offered to School of Music students covers up to full tuition for exceptionally talented string students.  For more information, contact School of Music Audition Coordinator, Brynn Kickle (som@millikin.edu).

 
 

Common Questions

How can I get into the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and Millikin Chamber Orchestra?

If you audition successfully for the Millikin University School of Music on violin, viola, cello, or orchestral bass, you will automatically become part of the orchestra program.  No further audition is necessary.

What if I play a wind or percussion instrument?

If you are a music major or minor on a woodwind or brass instrument, your required major ensemble will always be the Concert Band or Symphonic Wind Ensemble.  However, you may also play in the orchestra upon placement by your studio teacher.   Percussionists rotate between Band, Wind Ensemble, and Orchestra.

What if I won’t be majoring in an orchestral instrument, but I’d like to keep up my playing?

If your primary medium is voice, piano, guitar, or some other non-orchestral instrument, you may still be able to play in the orchestra as an elective.  Violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists play an audition for the conductor.  If you play woodwind, brass, or percussion, you must be placed by the studio teacher.

What if I’m not going to major in music at all?

All Millikin students are eligible to audition for the orchestra on string instruments.  Wind, brass, and percussion players must be placed by the performance faculty.

Is financial aid available for playing in orchestra if it’s not my major instrument?

If you play an orchestral instrument, we encourage you to schedule an audition for the School of Music, regardless of your intended major.  Talent awards for ongoing and successful contributions to Millikin’s instrumental ensembles are available to all students.

Is the orchestra open to community players?

Per-service positions are available to qualified freelance musicians. Contact Dr. Sergey Bogza to schedule an audition.

What works have been performed by the Orchestra recently?

Barber
Beethoven
Brahms
Bruckner
Colgrass
Copland
Debussy
Dvorak
Elgar
Faure
Haydn
Mahler
Mendelssohn
Moravec
Mozart 
Mussorgsky
Ravel 
Rhodes
Saint-Saens
Schumann
Shostakovich   
Sondheim
Strauss 
Stravinsky
Tchaikovsky 
Verdi 
Wagner 
Walker
Warshauer

Knoxville, Summer of 1915
Symphonies Nos. 3,5,6,7, and 9, Piano Concertos Nos. 1,3,5
Symphony No. 4, Haydn Variations, Serenade in A, Piano Concerto No. 1
Psalm 150
As Quiet As
Tender Land Suite, Appalachian Spring Suite, Old American Songs
Nocturnes, Afternoon of a Faun
Cello Concerto, Symphony No. 9
Enigma Variations
Requiem
Creation, Nelson Mass, Symphony No. 81
Symphonies Nos. 1,2,4, and 5
Symphony No. 4
Songs of Love and War
Requiem, Symphonies Nos. 26, 41
Pictures at an Exhibition
Tombeau de Couperin, Pavane, Mother Goose Suite
Reels and Revelries
Symphony No. 3
Symphony No. 3
Symphony No. 5
Sweeney Todd
Death and Transfiguration
Rite of Spring
Symphony No. 4, Violin Concerto, Nutcracker
Requiem
Selections from Meistersinger, Tannhauser, and the Ring
Light of Three Mornings, Autumn Leaves
Jerusalem, Open your Gates 

 

Our History

The Orchestra was created by the convergence of an established community orchestra with the Millikin University Orchestra in the early 1920’s. The scope of the Symphony’s services and activities were expanded in 1975 with the formation of the Symphony Guild of Decatur, a non-profit support organization representing the wider community. This partnership has allowed the MDSO to provide an ever-expanding galaxy of cultural benefits to central Illinois in the last quarter century, including symphony concerts, the co-sponsorship of the Decatur Youth Orchestra, youth scholarships for private lessons and summer music camps, in-school programs, a competition for University soloists, clinics, workshops, master classes with guest artists, and partnerships with the music programs at area schools. For the first two decades of this period, the orchestra was conducted by the successive Deans of the Millikin University School of Music, Ronald Gregory and Wesley Tower.

An important new stage of growth began in 1996 with the creation of a full-time position for a professional Music Director and Conductor, a position that was filled with the appointment of Dr. Michael Luxner. Since that time, the orchestra has converted from a college-community model to a fully auditioned professional model. Working conditions, pay scale, rehearsal schedules, travel allowances, and repertoire are now on a par with other professional ensembles in the region, and the orchestra’s student members are trained in a professional environment and standard of performance.

The MDSO is also intensely engaged in efforts to build new audiences and to raise the Orchestra’s profile in the wider community. Initiatives in this area include outreach concerts, media appearances, contract services, publications, speaking engagements, and new partnerships with underserved constituencies. Building on a venerable history and unique spirit of the town and gown cooperation, the Millikin-Decatur Symphony looks forward to a distinguished future of artistic achievement and community pride.