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Clinton Symphony’s 60th season set to open

Local musicians featured in area’s popular orchestra

CLINTON, Iowa – The Clinton Symphony Orchestra is kicking off its 60th season with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Morrison High School auditorium.

The season, which runs through June, features seven performances in Clinton, DeWitt, Morrison, and Sterling.

The 50 musicians in the orchestra are from about a 50-mile radius, and include music educators as well as people from many other professions. Some have played in Clinton Symphony Orchestra for up to 40 seasons.

“The orchestra performs in the finest area venues, including the Vernon Cook Theater in Clinton, the Morrison High School Auditorium, Centennial Auditorium in Sterling, and recently the new Central Performing Arts Center in DeWitt,” Executive Director Robert Whipple said in a news release.

“All are within reasonable traveling distance, and our core audience follows us to each of these splendid performance facilities.”

Music Director and Conductor Brian Dollinger, now in his seventh year at the artistic helm, has chosen “Inspirational Landscapes” as a theme for the opening concert. Included is a new composition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lincoln Highway, running through this area. The section titled “Prairie View” depicts the Illinois/Iowa portion of this first coast-to-coast highway. Composer Nolan Stolz visited local towns to get inspiration for his piece.

Also on the opening program is the prelude to the third act of Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides overture, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite from Norway, and Dvorak’s well-loved New World Symphony.

The rest of the schedule:

– 3 p.m. Sept. 29, Central Performing Arts Center in DeWitt, a repeat of the opening concert.

– 3 p.m. Nov. 3, Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton: Musicians from the orchestra will form smaller ensembles for a chamber music concert.

– 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Vernon Cook Theater in Clinton: The Symphony’s popular Holiday Concert will feature Clinton’s RiverChor as guests.

– 7:30 p.m. March 8, Centennial Auditorium in Sterling: This is the annual “Young Artist” concert, featuring an area high school musician in a solo spot accompanied by the orchestra. The student will be chosen in January (go to the website for audition details). The program will include dancers from the Gateway Contemporary Ballet in two famous story pieces from the orchestral literature, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. It will close with Symphony No. 2 by Borodin.

– 7:30 p.m. April 5, Clinton High School Auditorium: The closing concert of the regular season, and the actual celebration point of the 60th season, will feature the festive Symphony No. 4 by Tchaikovsky. Supporting pieces for this performance are the tone poem overture Othello by Dvorak, and The Enchanted Lake by Russian composer Anatoli Lyadov.

– 6:30 p.m. June 8: The annual free pops concert again will be held in Clinton’s Riverview Park.

Also available this year is a bus ride to Centennial Auditorium in Sterling, with boarding points in Clinton, Fulton and Morrison. Call 563-243-5958 for prices and to make a reservation.

To participate

Season tickets for the Clinton Symphony Orchestra are $60 for adults, $15 for high school and college students, while individual tickets are $15 and $5. Students through the eighth grade attend for free, and all students can attend the February concert, which features a student soloist, for free.

Tickets are available at Tegeler Music in Clinton, Fitzgerald Pharmacy in Morrison, and Grummert's Hardware in Sterling about 2 weeks before each concert, online and at the door.

"A Symphonic Affair," the annual fundraising gala, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. June 6 at Rastrelli's Restaurant in Clinton. There will be hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, live and silent auctions and, of course, music. Details will be available on the website.

And as always, the Orchestra Association is soliciting support from individuals and corporations for its annual fund.

Go to or mail Clinton Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 116, Clinton, IA 52733 to buy season tickets, to donate or for more information.

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