Simmons, JSO headline Fine Arts Series concert


The Illinois College Fine Arts Series welcomes piano soloist Jade Simmons back to the stage on Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Rammelkamp Chapel, along with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as it celebrates the conclusion of its 50th season.

Simmons will perform Gershwin’s “Concerto in F” accompanied by the orchestra. This intense and uniquely American piece is heavily influenced by jazz, blues and ragtime music. Simmons, a pianist and former Miss Illinois, recently delighted audiences at the Illinois College Engelbach-Hart music festival in 2011. She has also given dynamic performances with the Illinois, Dallas and Peoria symphonies as well as a solo appearance at Ravinia.

To celebrate the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s community milestone, the Symphony Society commissioned Timothy Kramer to compose a new orchestral piece for the occasion. Kramer is a professor of music at Illinois College and an accomplished composer whose works have been widely performed by orchestras nationwide. The piece, “All in Golden Measure,” is inspired by melodies and sounds from Jacksonville, from the alma maters of Illinois College and MacMurray College to the sounds of cicadas, train whistles and the Jacksonville Speedway.

Prior to the concert, the public is invited to listen to the symphony rehearse “All in Golden Measure” on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, at 2 p.m., both at Rammelkamp Chapel. Kramer will also give a lecture describing the inspiration and musical structure of the piece before the concert at 6:30 p.m. Kids of all ages will enjoy a “Kid Talk” presentation at 7 p.m. Afterwards, the public is invited to celebrate the conclusion of the season at a reception honoring the musicians of the orchestra, held a short walk away at the Illinois College Barnes House.

Tickets are $15 for adults and can be purchased at the door or by contacting the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 217.245.3046. All children and college students with a student ID are admitted free. This program is funded in part by New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections Program. The concert is also underwritten by the Ruby K. Worner Trust. Visit for further information about the concert.
About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217-245-3467 for more information.

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