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Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Southern Illinois Music Festival

13th Annual Southern Illinois Music Festival

"An Offer You Can't Refuse"
Music of Mozart, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky: May 26 - June 11, 2017

Edward Benyas, Artistic Director and Conductor

(Scroll down for full schedule or visit official website to learn more)

2017 General Description

The 13th annual Southern Illinois Music Festival features nearly three-dozen performances in venues from Carbondale to Cairo, Murphysboro to Marion and at many points in between. In addition to members of the New Chicago Chamber Orchestra, musicians from throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia perform orchestral and chamber music, opera, patriotic music, and jazz in an informal and inviting atmosphere. Casual dress is welcome!

This year’s Festival is titled “An Offer You Can’t Refuse” and runs May 26-June 11, featuring the music of Mozart, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. Highlights include unique performances of Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni, updated with gangsters, fully staged, sung in Italian with projected English titles, with full orchestra and an incredible cast (June 9 and 11); three large orchestral concerts (June 2, 3 and 4) featuring symphonies and concertos by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky; a Memorial Day Extravaganza, modeled on the one in Washington DC (May 29), a virtuoso organ recital (June 5), numerous chamber music performances (May 27, 31 and June 1, 4, 5, 7, 8. 9 and 10); the New Arts Jazztet (May 26, June 8 and 9), Young Artists Concerts (June 5 and 6); and Klassics for Kids and Jive with Jazz events at venues throughout the region. Many of the Festival events are free. Admission for other performances are noted on the website. Go to for the latest schedule updates or email Please join us for our 13th season of great music!

Tickets for all 2017 Southern Illinois Music Festival performances are available: In advance, online and in person at any of the SIU Ticket offices, or at the door of each performance. Patrons may also purchase a non-transferable SIFest pass, through the ticket office at a cost of $100. This will allow admission to all SIFest events (except the Chamber Music Soirées and Happy Hour Mozart), a value of $160 with no waiting in line for tickets and special reserved parking on the SIU campus.

The Southern Illinois Music Festival has been nationally recognized:

  • In Symphony magazine, the premiere publication for American orchestras, as one of only four professional music festivals in Illinois, alongside such distinguished peers as the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony;
  • By the Chicago Tribune Travel section as one of 24 top summer activities (musical and otherwise) in an eight-state region;
  • By AAA Midwest magazine as a Midwest Travel Treasure and in a full-page photo feature;
  • BY WTTW’s Arts Across Illinois, in Chamber Music America; and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and a variety of private foundations.

Major sponsors of the 2017 Southern Illinois Music Festival include: WSIU Public Broadcasting, WSIL TV 3, SIU Foundation, Oris B. Hastings Foundation, City of Marion, Samuel Goldman, Peter Gregory, University Mall, Southern Illinois Ob-Gyn Associates, First Bank and Trust Company, Rob & Melissa Jensen, John & Marsha Ryan, Brehm School and Anna Arts Center.

SI Fest orchestra

2017 Event Schedule (as of 4-17-16)

(Italics not confirmed)

Fri. May 26

9am: WSIU SIFest 2017 Radio Preview, 91.9 FM

7pm: New Arts Jazztet (Alto Vineyards) (Free)

Sat. May 27

7pm: Chamber Music Soirée (Ugent Home) ($50)
Mozart Piano Quartet; Dvorak “American” Quartet

Mon. May 29 (Memorial Day)

10am: Klassics for Kids (University Mall) (Free)

7pm:  Orchestra and Singers Memorial Day Concert (Marion HS) (Free)
Gettysburg Address, Battle Hymn of the Republic, 1812 Overture,
Fanfare for the Common Man, Band of Brothers, Cowboys Overture,
America the Beautiful, God Bless America, Armed Forces Salute

Wed. May 31

10am: Klassics for Kids (Du Quoin Library) (Free)

7:30pm: Chamber Music Concert (Varsity Center for the Arts) ($10/5)
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet; Dvorak: Slavonic Dances; Mozart: Oboe Quartet

Thur. June 1

6pm: Chamber Music Soirée: The Brehm School ($50)
Tchaikovsky Quartet, Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Mozart Oboe Quartet

Fri. June 2

6:45pm: Pre-Concert Lecture by David Tuttle (Carterville Cafeteria)
7:30pm: Orchestra Concert: “Dvorak and Tchaikovsky I” (Carterville) ($20/8)
Dvorak: Symphony No. 6; Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto (Michelle Skinner, Violin)

Sat. June 3

10am: Jive with Jazz (University Mall) (Free)

6:45pm: Pre-Concert Lecture by David Tuttle (Carterville Cafeteria)
7:30pm: Orchestra Concert: “Dvorak and Tchaikovsky II” (Carterville) ($20/8)
Dvorak: Carnival Overture and Cello Concerto (David Peshlakai, Cello)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Sun. June 4

2pm: Chamber Music Concert (Mozart, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky) (FUMC) ($10/5)
Dvorak: Piano Quartet, Piano Sextet

7:30pm: Orchestra Concert: “Best of Dvorak and Tchaikovsky” (Carterville) ($20/8)
Dvorak: Cello Concerto (David Peshlakai, Cello)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto (Michelle Skinner, Violin)

Mon. June 5

10am: Klassics for Kids (Varsity Center for the Arts Balcony Theater) (Free)

10am: Klassics for Kids (Anna Arts Center) (Free)

6pm: Young Artist Showcase (OBF Hall) ($5/2)
Dvorak: “American” Quartet and Young Artists TBA

6pm: Chamber Music in Cairo (Free)
Mozart: Piano Quartet and “Dissonance” String Quartet.

7:30pm: American Guild of Organists Guest Artist Recital (Shryock) (Free)

7:30pm: Chamber Music in Anna (Anna Arts Center) ($10/5)
Mozart: Oboe Quartet; Dvorak: “American” Quintet

Tue. June 6

7:30pm: Don Giovanni Excerpts and Young Artist Soloists (VCA) ($15/5)

Wed. June 7

5:00pm: Eric McCluskey Recital (First United Methodist, Carbondale) (Free)

Thur. June 8

11am: Jive with Jazz (Boys and Girls Club, Carbondale) (Free)

5:00pm: Benyas Family Recital (First United Methodist, Carbondale) (Donation)

6:00pm: New Arts Jazztet (Cairo) (Free)

Fri. June 9

10am: Klassics for Kids (Christopher Civic Center) (Free)

11:30am: Jive with Jazz (Murphysboro Youth & Recreation Center) (Free)

Noon: Klassics for Kids (Johnston City Free Will Baptist Church) (Free)

5pm: New Arts Jazztet (Brews Brothers Taproom, Murphysboro) (Free)

5pm: Happy Hour Mozart, wine and hors d’oeuvres (Home of Trish Guyon) ($25)
Mozart Oboe Quartet, “Dissonance” Quartet, Piano Quartet

7:30pm: Don Giovanni Performance (Shryock) ($20/8)

Sat. June 10

10am: Klassics for Kids (University Mall) (Free)

5pm and 7:30pm: Progressive Chamber Music Concerts (FUMC and CCA)
Mozart, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky String and Wind Serenades
($20/8 to attend one or both concerts, including post-concert hors d’oevres at CCA)

Sun. June 11

1:15pm: Pre-Concert Lecture by David Tuttle (Shryock Upstairs Balcony)
2pm: Don Giovanni Performance (Shryock) ($20/8)