DeKALB – Whether it be from Broadway musicals, movie scores or cartoons, audience members for the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Spring Pops concert on Saturday are bound to recognize some pieces they’ve heard before, conductor and music director Linc Smelser said.
The performance also will feature some “light classical” music, or pieces listeners might not be able to name but maybe heard before on a "Looney Toons" episode or a commercial, Smelser said. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Northern Illinois University Music Building, 550 Lucinda Ave. in DeKalb.
Smelser said the program might not be as heavy classically as a typical concert the orchestra performs. He said the selections were made not only with the upcoming spring season in mind, but to hopefully attract people who might not ordinarily go to traditional symphony concerts to come to this one.
“When you program something like some 'Harry Potter' and 'Superman' and 'Hamilton' and 'Wicked,' you’re going to pull in a lot of people that are not normally coming to a classical symphony concert,” Smelser said.
Tamara Farrell, KSO publicist and music librarian, said the orchestra usually draws in 300 to 500 people per concert. She said the orchestra’s pops concerts are ones that usually sell out every season, even more so than the KSO’s Halloween and winter holiday concerts.
Farrell said this particular type of orchestral concert is for everyone, whether you want to bring a friend who has never been to the symphony before or take along a child that you want to expose to classical music.
“And you don’t have to leave DeKalb County to do it,” Farrell said. “It’s right here.”
KSO board president Ann Tucker said she doesn’t want people to think that the community orchestra is a hidden gem, since this is the orchestra’s 41st season. She wants the orchestra to be heard.
“Music is only as good as the audience,” Tucker said.
Smelser said there’s nothing like live music, whether you’re talking about seeing an orchestra play or even going to a Paul McCartney concert. He said it’s amazing to have the experience where you can hear the energy coming from the performing musicians, especially since many people are so used to hearing prerecorded music.
“It’s kind of like eating a Twinkie,” Smelser said. “I mean, you crack open the package and you know exactly what it’s going to taste like every time. It’s never going to change. And you put on that CD, it’s that same thing every single time. You go to a live concert, though, you’re going to hear something different and you’re also going to get the organic, human side of the sound of music that you don’t get on a recording.”
Farrell said this concert isn’t included for season ticket holders. Tickets for individual KSO concerts cost $16 for adults, $11 for seniors and $6 for students with school IDs and children younger than 12. Tickets go on sale 30 minutes before the performance.
For more information, visit www.kishorchestra.org.