Blast Off! Music from the Stars and Beyond

Over 3,000 students from 11 counties in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa will be treated to a free symphony orchestra concert on March 16.  In conjunction with the Quincy Public Schools, the Quincy Symphony Orchestra will present “Blast Off: Music From the Stars and Beyond,” their 47th annual Young People’s Concerts at Baldwin Intermediate School. Both students and adults will enjoy this concert directed by guest conductor Dr. Richard Cangro. The 11:30 a.m. performance is free and open to the public—and at about 45 minutes, it’s perfect for a lunch break.

Blast Off showcases a wide variety of space-themed music including some of the most recognizable tunes of the last century.  Selections include the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Star Wars,” “The Planets” and others that serve as a background for introducing the instruments of the orchestra to students and members of the community.

“Humans have always been entranced by space: we can see the stars and planets but they are out of reach and that fascinates us,” Cangro said. “Space exploration and blockbuster movies of the past generation have added to that fascination. From these we get some of the most iconic music of the modern era. As we introduce orchestral music to another generation, we convey to children their connection to the explorers and creators of the past.”

Admission is free in fulfillment of the QSOA’s mission to bring fine symphonic orchestral and choral music to the region while encouraging young people to foster an interest in live music. The concerts are made possible by support from Encore! Symphony Volunteer Council, the J. W. Gardner II Foundation, Refreshment Services Pepsi, Quincy Service League, Gem City Kiwanis, Noon Kiwanis, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Quincy Society of Fine Arts Art$ Dollar$, the Quincy Wal-Mart Superstore, Sam’s Club, the Stillwell Foundation and the Tracy Family Foundation. QSOA, Encore! Symphony Volunteer Council and the Tracy Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jayne & Leroy Boeckelman Fund for Young Musicians, the Katherine Broemmel Endowment for the Arts and the Alan L. & Mary Ellen Stiegemeier Fund Charitable Fund and of the Community Foundation. The QSOA season sponsors are Blessing Health System and the Knapheide Manufacturing Company. Call 217-222-2856 or visit for more information.