Written by on July 2, 2013 in News

The Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra has unveiled plans for its 63rd season. Under the direction of conductor Robert McConnell, the regional orchestra will present a full slate of classical concerts, Kidsymphony concerts, summer & Christmas concerts, the Pops and educational activities. Complete details about the orchestra and the season are now available at

The first performance is the annual “Symphonic Blast!” in Burlington’s Crapo Park, July 6, 2013. Starting at dusk (8:15), the concert will be a rich and wonderful blend of popular and light classical music. As always, it will conclude with Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever and the best fireworks in the region. Bring your family and a picnic supper for a very memorable evening in Crapo Park. With funding from the John H. Witte, Jr. Foundation, the Starker Foundation and the Cullen Family Foundation, this concert is offered free of charge with an opportunity to make a free-will donation to the orchestra.

In September, SEISO will perform 2 extraordinary POPS concerts. The first performance with dinner & concert will be held Saturday, September 14, 2013 at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. The Burlington Pops will follow on Sunday evening, September 15, 2013 and will be held at Memorial Auditorium. Featured guest artist is pianist Michael Philipsen who will perform Gershwin’s classic, “Rhapsody in Blue.” Tickets for dinner and the concert are ordered directly through the Burlington and/or Ottumwa Pops Committees. Reservation forms will be mailed in August. Those who do not receive the SEISO season brochure and wish to order Pops tickets for the first time, should contact the Symphony Office at 610 North Main, Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641 or write to Tickets for concert-only seating will be available (without prior reservations) at the door at each venue.

Season tickets are on sale now for SEISO’s classical concert series (fall, winter and spring). The fall concert series (October 19-20, 2013) will feature a large regional chorus in performances of Poulenc’s masterpiece Gloria and Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 by Gabrial Fauré. Dr. Bradley Miller, director of vocal and choral activities at Iowa Wesleyan College will serve as guest conductor for Fauré’s piece. In addition, the orchestra will complete this amazing concert with a performance of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88.

There will be three presentations of SEISO’s Kidsymphony Concert for Families in Ottumwa, Mt. Pleasant and Burlington Saturday, November 9, 2013. Music director, Robert McConnell and the SEISO will take a light-hearted approach to introducing children and their parents to the symphony orchestra with Lemony Snicket’s hilarious tale “The Composer is Dead.” Each concert lasts about 45 minutes – not too long for little ones to enjoy from beginning to end. They’re funny, fast-paced and very entertaining. Tickets for Kidsymphony concerts are sold at the door ($3 for adults and $2 for kids) or included free of charge with season tickets ordered before August 1, 2013.

Now an annual tradition, SEISO will present Messiah – Sing! December 7, 2013. Once again, SEISO will provide an incredible opportunity for people to celebrate the holiday season by singing Handel’s masterpiece. The orchestra and regional soloists will perform in the Iowa Wesleyan College Chapel, Mt. Pleasant and you, the audience, will be the chorus. There will be plenty of room for everyone, including those who just want to sit back and enjoy the music. Participants are asked to bring their own vocal scores, which are readily available from area music stores and at the door of the concert. Messiah is under public domain, and vocal scores may also be downloaded (free of charge) from the Internet. Tickets are available for sale through the season brochure or at the door ($10 for adults and $5 for students over 12 years of age).

SEISO’s Winter Concert Series (February 15-16, 2014) will showcase Franck’s Symphony in d minor and Mozart’s Symphony No 41 in C Major – Jupiter. In addition, SEISO’s young artist competition winner may also perform with the orchestra.

The Spring Concert Series (March 22-23, 2014) features SEISO’s Artist-in-Residence, saxophonist Sarah Roberts. Roberts is a former SEISO Young Artist and a native of Ft. Madison, Iowa. She will perform Canfield’s Concerto after Glière for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. For two weeks prior to the concerts Roberts will be teaching and performing for schools and community groups throughout Southeast Iowa. The orchestra will complete its 63rd season with Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2 and a special presentation of Saint-Saens’ Tarantelle for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra. Sarah Roberts will play solo clarinet and her twin sister Rachel will perform on the flute.

Conductor and Music Director, Robert McConnell said, “I am honored to be serving as the Music Director for the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra. The SEISO has served our region admirably over its history, providing performing opportunities for scores of musicians both as orchestra members and soloists. It has also been the first orchestral listening experience for thousands of school children and many adults. It is a bedrock arts organization in Southeast Iowa. In short, the Orchestra has enriched, and will continue to enliven the cultural life of our region for years to come.”

Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra sent out ticket brochures, as plans for the 63rd season were unveiled this week. All orchestra donors will be recognized in the season’s classical concert programs at various levels, based on the amount donated. The cost of season tickets is still a bargain at $35 for adults, $20 for students and $70 for family passes. Those who place orders by August 1, 2013 will also receive free tickets to SEISO’s Kidsymphony family concert, November 9, 2013. Patrons, who choose to forego their free tickets, may have them donated to their local school district.

Detailed information about concerts, schedules, tickets and other programs is available on the orchestra’s web site: To receive a season brochure, please contact the SEISO office at 601 North Main Street, Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641; phone (319) 385-6352 or send e-mail to

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