Notes from the Symphony - Volume 1 | Issue 1

Page 1

volume 1 | issue 1

January 2017


Inside Community Piano Project | Original Compositions, Violin Mastery, and a Tribute to the Mississippi | Membership Has Its Privileges | QCSO Musician Profile | Meet Our Intern

WELCOME Welcome to the Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s new publication, Notes from the Symphony. This monthly newsletter will provide you with a deeper look into the organization and how its programs are enriching the Quad City area. The QCSO staff works very hard to support the orchestra’s mission, and I look forward to sharing their accomplishments with you. We are also excited about this new way to spotlight upcoming events, special initiatives, and profiles of the individuals who make it all possible.

Caitlin Bishop

Director of Marketing

We would also love to hear from you! If there is an aspect of the QCSO you would like to know more about, please send us an e-mail at Thank you for your support the QCSO,

Caitlin Bishop Director of Marketing

volume 1 | issue 1

CONTENTS January 2017


QC Community Piano Project Painted piano takes residence in local Quad Cities organizations.


Original Compositions, Violin Mastery, and a Tribute to the Mississippi A wealth of entertainment to be found in Signature Series II and Masterworks IV.


Membership Has Its Privileges! Make these fantastic seats even better with reduced prices and subscriber benefits.


QCSO Musician Profile Learn more about the new QCSO Principal Trumpet, Matt Onstad.


Meet Our Intern The QCSO welcomes our new Education Intern, Morgan Sarber.



QUAD CITY COMMUNITY PIANO PROJECT By Montana Farrell Photos by Nicolas Propes

On Tuesday, January 10, the Quad Cities Community Piano began its four-month tour of the Quad Cities with a residency at the Figge Art Museum. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) created this initiative to raise awareness of how music, like our river, joins this community together. Painted by the Davenport Central High School/Creative Arts Academy AP art class in the theme of the QCSO’s current season, Joined by a River, the piano features images that represent the Quad Cities and the river that joins us. The piano will make several stops throughout its tour of the Quad Cities, residing in each location for two weeks. The QCSO will announce additional brief appearances of the piano throughout the spring via Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. “One of the most exciting things to witness is a person making music for the first time,”


said Marc Zyla, QCSO Director of Education and Community Engagement. “It’s a mixture of nerves and excitement that quickly turns to joy when a person realizes the possibilities that making music can bring. My hope with this project is that many Quad Citizens will share in this experience with friends and family.” The QCSO hopes that you will take some time to find the piano, play and share your experience with them on social media, adding the hashtag #LetMusicFlowQC. Below are the locations and dates for visiting the piano: Figge Art Museum Putnam Museum

January 10 – January 22

January 23 – February 5

River Music Experience

February 6 – February 19

Quad City Botanical Center Family Museum

Milltown Coffee

February 20 – March 5

March 6 – March 19

Figge Art Museum

March 20 – April 2

April 4 – April 17

Adler Theatre | RiverCenter

April 18 – April 30

To find out more about the Community Piano, visit the Special Events page of, or follow the QCSO on Facebook/Twitter @QCSymphony or SnapChat at qcsymphony



ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS, VIOLIN MASTERY, AND A TRIBUTE TO THE MISSISSIPPI By Mark McLaughlin The last weekend in January and first weekend in February offer a wealth of entertainment for Quad-Cities area music lovers. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) will present two events with World Premiere compositions, stunning performances by a renowned violinist, an orchestral tribute to the mighty Mississippi River, and much more. QCSO will feature their Concertmaster in WVIK/ QCSO Signature Series II: Naha Greenholtz in Concert, 2 p.m., January 29 at Centennial Hall, Augustana College. The concert will also include the QCSO commission “Over the Broken Waters” by Quad-Cities composer and Augustana Professor of Music, Jacob Bancks. The QCSO will honor the rich history of the Mississippi River and its importance to the QuadCities with the concert, Masterworks IV: Joined by a River. The two performances are at 8 p.m., Sat., February 4 at the Adler Theatre and 2 p.m. Sun., February 5 at Centennial Hall, Augustana College. The program includes another QCSO commission, this time by Los Angeles-based composer Michael Abels. Masterworks IV will be conducted by Mark Russell Smith, QCSO Music Director and Conductor. “‘Joined by a River’ is a theme that is perfect for our community,” said Benjamin Loeb, Executive Director of the QCSO. “Masterworks IV features 06 NOTES

music from around the world and throughout time. The music of the rivers of the world brings audiences together, just as the Mississippi brings our community together.”

A Violin Virtuosa Concertmaster (leading First Violinist) Naha Greenholtz is beloved by Quad-Cities fans and musicians alike. “Naha is one of the treasures of the QCSO,” said Smith. “She is an incredibly lively force and a great asset to the community. People can sense her commitment and her joy in music.” For Signature Series II, Greenholtz will be accompanied by QCSO Executive Director Benjamin Loeb. In addition to serving in his administrative role, Loeb is also an accomplished soloist, accompanist, conductor, arranger, and educator. Greenholtz and Loeb will begin the concert with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Sonata for Piano and Violin in F Major.” They will then perform “Over the Broken Waters,” a World Premiere QCSO commission by local composer Jacob Bancks, Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Augustana College, followed by “Sonata for Violin and

Piano in E flat Major, Op. 18” by Richard Strauss. “Some of my favorite moments in the Quad-Cities,” Greenholtz said, “are driving by the river on the way to an evening rehearsal or concert, particularly in the fall when the trees along the river are gloriously golden.” Born in Kyoto, Japan, Greenholtz began her violin studies at age three. Since her solo debut at

14, her concerto appearances have included engagements with the Vancouver, Madison, Quad City, Burnaby, Kelowna, and National Repertory Orchestras. “Ben Loeb and I are excited to premiere Jacob Bancks’ work ‘Over the Broken Waters’,” Greenholtz said. “It’s a depiction of the shifting moods of flowing water. He cleverly combines mixed meter and repetitive short phrases in the violin to capture the mesmerizing and unpredictable nature of choppy waves.” The QCSO has previously premiered a work by Bancks, so he was delighted to be asked to work with them again. “Naha is exactly the kind of musician I love collaborating with,” he said. “She has impeccable technique and an absolutely gorgeous sound, full of color and subtlety. The extra bonus was the chance to write again for Ben Loeb, who also happens to be a wonderful musician. We’ve worked together on other projects, and he understands my music intuitively.”

Honoring the Mighty Mississippi Masterworks IV: Joined by a River presents a variety of orchestral pieces united by the concept of rivers. “In civilization, rivers have provided incredible inspiration for music, writing, painting and other art forms,” said Smith. “‘Joined by a River’ celebrates the lifeblood of the Midwest. It is a theme that will resonate with the people of the Quad-Cities area.” The program opens with “Dawn on the Moscow River” by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. Then Naha Greenholtz will be in the spotlight for a performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto #5. The Symphony continues its tradition of commissioned World Premieres with “Liquify,” a new work by California-based composer Michael Abels, inspired by this concert’s river concept. The program closes with Mozart’s majestic Prague Symphony and the evergreen “Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss II. Though he now lives in Los Angeles, composer Michael Abels grew up surrounded by nature in South Dakota, so he enjoyed the concept of composing music around the theme of a


river. “‘Liquify’ is a tone poem, featuring a series of waterfront scenes,” said Abels. “It starts with a waterfall, cascading into an industrial river. This vast waterway is filled with cargo boats. The river is a place of commerce. There are rapids, followed by a peaceful, pastoral scene. Then the water starts to rise in geysers. There’s always joy in my music. Nearly every instrument in the orchestra gets a feature moment.” “With Masterworks IV, the Quad Cities can look forward to a fine variety of pieces,” Smith said. “It’s a great combination of the tried and true with the new, bold and imaginative.” For more information on each event, be sure to visit concerts/. Quad City Symphony Orchestra tickets are available at the QCSO box office at 327 Brady St., Davenport. You can also call the QCSO at (563) 322-7276 or visit

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES! As the QCSO enters the second half of its 2016-17 season, we’d like to remind you that great seats are still available for all performances. A couple of offerings from the QCSO can make these fantastic seats an even better buy at reduced prices, when purchased as a subscription.

Priority Seating Choose the best seats in the house before they go on sale to single-ticket purchasers.

There are three remaining Masterworks concerts in the 2016-17 season and they can be purchased as a Trio subscription package at a 15% savings over buying seats individually. A new offering for the second half of this season is a Pick-2 subscription, where you can select and try out any two remaining Masterworks concerts. The Pick-2 option is an excellent way to experience the QCSO at the same 15% discount, compared to single ticket prices. The Pick-2 packages range in price from $20 to $106 for adults and $10 to $53 for students… and yes, those prices are for both concerts in the subscription! A $6 subscription fee per order will be added.

Free Ticket Exchange You can exchange tickets between Masterworks concerts on the same weekend. This gives you added flexibility in your schedule should a conflict arise. Please make your request online, or stop in the QCSO office, by Thursday of concert week and there is no charge (a $4 order fee is charged after Thursday).

Subscription packages also include other useful benefits. Here are just a few: 08 NOTES

Priority Ticket Access Get early access to season upgrades, such as tickets to special guest artists. This was a huge benefit for subscribers who wanted to see Yo-Yo Ma!

Free Ticket Replacement If your original tickets become lost, we will replace them free of charge. So you see, there are real advantages to becoming a QCSO subscriber. Our new Pick-2 subscription option is a perfect way to try us out. St. Valentine’s Day is coming up! What is your plan to show that special someone how much you care? With a visit to or a call to 563-322-7276, you can go from zero to hero in a matter of minutes!

If you are a frequent visitor of the QCSO website, you may have noticed that things look a little different under the “Meet the QCSO” tab. To show our audiences the diverse group of people who make up the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, the QCSO has begun the process of expanding the musician roster pages to include photos and bios of each musician. Visitors learn about the career paths that musicians have taken to get where they are, as well as the interests they enjoy outside of music.


MATT ONSTAD principal trumpet

Member Since 2016 BM - University of Wisconsin Oshkosh 2014 MM - University of Wisconsin Madison (in progress) What is your favorite piece of music? Mahler’s 2nd Symphony. What is your favorite QCSO memory? In my short time with the QCSO, a distinct memory of mine was when Garrick Ohlsson performed “Clair de Lune” as an encore following his rendition of Brahm’s Second Piano Concerto. For a brief moment, everything stood still in that hall – it was absolutely breathtaking. What is a fact about you that our QCSO audiences might find surprising? I play trumpet in a hip-hop band in Madison, WI, called Fringe Character. The music we perform is completely different from anything I am used to – it’s a blast! Away from the orchestra, where might the QCSO audience find you? When I am not in a practice room at school, you can find me running around the beautiful city of Madison, or cooking after said run. NOTES 09

Internships can be valuable for everyone involved. For the organization, internships can foster positive relationships with area educational institutions and help complete work objectives. For interns, internships can teach them skills relevant to their jobs, push them that extra step toward finding great careers after they graduate, and help them to know what they’re looking for in their careers.


MORGAN SARBER education, spring 2017

For the Spring 2017 semester, the QCSO has welcomed an education department intern, Morgan Sarber. She will spend her time interacting with our five youth ensembles and working on our second annual Family Music Carnival. Why did you seek an internship with the QCSO? My music theory professor at Black Hawk College recommended that I look into an internship here. Also, it fits in with the type of job I want to look for, post-graduation. What do you hope to get out of your internship? I hope to build more relationships and learn more about the not-for-profit and arts administration world.

What is your current area of study? Right now, I am a vocal music performance student at Black Hawk College. Next year, I am transferring to Western Illinois University to study music business. What area of music business would you like to study? Arts Administration interests me because it will provide me with the tools to achieve my main goal, which is to receive my master’s degree to teach vocal music at the college level. What made you start music in school? I have always liked to sing, and when I was old enough to do band, I chose the clarinet because I come from a family of clarinetists. 10 NOTES

What other responsibilities do you hold, outside of being a full-time student and a QCSO intern? I work as a team leader at Dairy Queen and a receptionist at a hair salon. I also coach winter guard at Geneseo, coach marching band guard at Rock Falls, and sing in a praise team at my church.

SUPPORT THE QCSO Tickets cover only about a thrid of our expenses to deliver superb symphonic performances. It’s due to those who support us through the Annaul Fund that we have been able to servive and thrive in the Quad Cities for over a century. We count on your support for our success.

Donate online at by mail or call Steve Mohr at 563-424-7735

UPCOMING QCSO CONCERTS & EVENTS WVIK/QCSO Signature Series II: Naha Greenholtz January 29, 2017 2:00 p.m. Centennial Hall, Rock Island, IL

Masterworks IV: Joined by a River February 4, 2017 8:00 p.m. Adler Theatre, Davenport, IA February 5, 2017 2:00 p.m. Centennial Hall, Rock Island, IL

QCSYEs Winter Festival Concert February 19, 2017 3:00 p.m. Centennial Hall, Rock Island, IL

WVIK/QCSO Signature Series III: Horn Fourtune February 26, 2017 2:00 p.m. Wallenberg Hall, Rock Island, I

Masterworks V: River of Life March 4, 2017 8:00 p.m. Adler Theatre, Davenport, IA January 29, 2017 2:00 p.m. Centennial Hall, Rock Island, IL

WVIK/QCSO Signature Series IV: Madison String Trio March 19, 2017 2:00 p.m. Wallenberg Hall, Rock Island, IL

Masterworks VI: St. Matthew Passion April 8, 2017 7:30 p.m. EARLY START Adler Theatre, Davenport, IA April 9, 2017 2:00 p.m. Centennial Hall, Rock Island, IL Quad City Symphony Orchestra tickets are available at the QCSO box office at 327 Brady St., Davenport. You can also call the QCSO at (563) 322-7276 or visit NOTES 11

327 Brady Street | Davenport, IA 52801 563.322.0931

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