Quincy Symphony Orchestra Concert Blends Nostalgia with Contemporary Style

The Quincy Symphony Orchestra looks appreciatively to the past while embracing the future in their “Cherished Melodies” concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Quincy Junior High’s Morrison Theater.

The orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Briney, performs Antonin Dvořák’s exhilarating “Symphony No. 8.” Full of darkness and sunshine, sadness and joy, Dvořák’s symphony was chosen for the season by QSO musicians, and is nostalgic for the organization.  As a guest conductor in 2005, Briney selected this beloved work as part of the program. The concert turned out to be Briney’s inaugural concert, a prelude to many wonderful seasons at the helm of the orchestra.

“I have fond memories of conducting this music over many years,” Briney said. “It traverses such a wide emotional range. It possesses the most tender and nostalgic moments only later to display bold and triumphant themes utilizing full orchestral colors.”

Continuing with the great Czech master, the orchestra will perform Dvořák’s “American Suite” for the first time. The colorful stylings and energy are similar to those found in the composer’s “New World Symphony.” Composed following his visit to America in 1892, this work is inspired by African-American, Native-American, and Scottish music.

In another first, the QSOA commissioned Illinois composer William Camphouse to write music for the Quincy Area Youth Orchestra (QAYO). The result is “Brilliance,” a piece that reflects craftsmen laboring over newly mined rough stones carefully shaping them to a brilliant sparkle. With that in mind, Camphouse re-purposed the familiar melody from Vivaldi’s “Spring” movement from the “Four Seasons” in a new setting for the QSOA’s  75th Diamond Anniversary. His efforts hone a 300-year-old classic with contemporary style to send bright, sparkling sounds from the stage to the ears of the audience.  Both orchestras, youth and adults, will premiere this new work side-by-side under the direction of QAYO conductor, Dr. Richard Cangro.

Camphouse is engaged in music making with student, community-based and professional performing ensembles. In addition to experience as a public school music educator, he developed and led a comprehensive music program at Kaskaskia College in Centralia. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, was awarded a Morris Doctoral Fellowship from Southern Illinois University and studied conducting with John Paynter (Northwestern University) and Katherine Comet (St. Louis Symphony).

He was awarded the Illinois Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity Outstanding Composition Award for his workLet Every Man Remember,” a collaboration with the late Senator Paul Simon commemorating the life and times of abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy. He has appeared as a guest conductor at regional festivals, presented clinics at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference and composes pieces for developing string orchestras.

“Cherished Melodies” will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 at Quincy Junior High. Tickets will be available at the door or may be purchased in advance at Quincy County Market, Hy-Vee, or Sturhahn Jewelers. The cost is $18 for adults and $15 for seniors. Thanks to support from the Tracy Family Foundation and Community Foundation, children 18 and under are admitted free to all QSO concerts and are encouraged to attend.

The performance is made possible, in part, by Concert Sponsor County Market, Music Sponsor IPI Wealth Management and Encore Symphony Volunteer Council. All 75th Anniversary programs are made possible by Blessing Health System, the Knapheide Manufacturing Company, and grants from the Marion Gardner Jackson Charitable Trust, the Community Foundation, the Stillwell Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.

QSOA will sell tickets for their annual $1000 raffle at the concert. Raffle tickets are $10 each or 12/$100 and available from any chorus, orchestra, Encore! or board member. The $1,000 grand prize drawing will be held at the “Pines of Rome” Concert on April 22.  Buy raffle tickets early to also be included in the March 4 Early Bird drawing for $250. The winner need not be present. Sponsored by Homebank, the raffle supports the many programs of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association, including the youth orchestra, youth choirs, and free concerts for children. Visit www.qsoa.org or call QSOA at 217-222-2856 for more information