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Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra

The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra begins its season this weekend.

CARBONDALE — The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra is back at SIU with a new season full of exciting performances. The upcoming series features selections by renowned composers such as Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky and many more, while also spotlighting distinguished soloists from across the state.

Since its establishment at Southern Illinois University in 1903, the orchestra has supplied the region with educational music experiences. The ensemble has received multiple awards from the Illinois Council of Orchestras over the past two decades.

All upcoming performances are held at Shryock Auditorium on the SIU campus. Participants include regional musicians, with conducting by Music Director Edward Benyas. Five concerts are planned for the 2018-19 season, from October through April.

The season opens Oct. 28 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee performance of inspirational music by Bach, Haydn, Mozart and more. Featured soloists include: John Dee, oboe; James Thompson flute; Jered Montgomery trumpet; Michael Barta and Sophia Han, violins.

This program also opens the Cedarhurst Chamber Music Series at Mitchell Museum in Mount Vernon at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27.

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra will feature music from the belligerent countries. Selections for these performances will include music by Tchaikovsky, Haydn, Elgar, Brahms and many more. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13.

SIU’s music sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota, is organizing a food drive at both fall concerts. The group will accept all nonperishable food items, as well as toiletries and monetary donations. All proceeds will be donated to the Good Samaritan House in Carbondale to be used for their Thanksgiving meal.

Radio preview

For more information and a deeper look at the upcoming season, Maestro Benyas will preview the 2018-19 season in an hour-long radio program on WSIU, 91.9 FM. The preview will air at 8 p.m. Oct. 26.

The season continues with three concerts in the 2019 spring semester:

  • The Poor People of Paris: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12, with pre-concert wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m. at the Shryock Balcony Lounge; advance reservations required
  • Stars of Altgeld: 7:30 p.m. April 2
  • Verdi Requiem: 7:30 p.m. April 25

Tickets are available as a season package, or individually for each performance.

Series tickets are $100 for adults, $80 for those over 50 and $40 for students of any age.

Individual tickets are $20 for adults and $8 for students.

Tickets may be obtained by phone at 877-725-8547; online at; and in person an hour before each concert at Shryock Auditorium.

For more information about the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, visit

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