Jeff Lechner - Ottumwa Courier - September 9th
Photo by Tracy Goldizen/The Courier
OTTUMWA — The Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra (SEISO) made several announcements at is season kickoff event Friday night, including several of the guest musicians for the season, information about the upcoming pops concert and several business items for the orchestra.
One of the biggest changes announced was that shows in the classical concert series would be free for kids and students. “That’s anyone with a valid student ID," said Isaac Campbell, the man in charge of the event. SEISO also unveiled its new online ticketing system at the event, which Campbell says used to be kind of “in the dark ages.” Not only was it announced, but guests were able to purchase tickets for upcoming shows, including the pops and kids concerts, at the kickoff event.
The guest musicians that were announced include a return by pianist Spencer Meyer for the fall concert, string player Keoni Bolding for the winter concert and Iowa Wesleyan’s Choral Director Blair Buffington, who will direct the Southeast Iowa Symphony Choir for a performance.
The upcoming pops concert was also a big topic at the event with SEISO discussing several of the songs that would be performed. This year the pops concert is set to feature the music of John Williams.
"Normally when you have John Williams the music is arranged — someone has recreated it — but this is actually original John Williams," said Cambell. "The music has his name at the top and no one else, and that’s pretty exciting.”
One of the pieces that Campbell is particularly excited about is “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars Episode I, which will be accompanied by the choir. The concert will also showcase a suite from the first Harry Potter movie as well several other John Williams classics like the Superman theme and the Raider’s March from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Last Ark, adding up to almost an hour’s worth of music.
In addition to the music, the pops concert will also be hosting a costume contest so guests can dress in attire inspired by the music and movies that the pieces are from.
“It seemed silly to have a movie music concert at the end of September and not do it; who doesn’t want to dress as a Jedi and listen to Star Wars or a wizard and listen to Harry Potter?” said Campbell. “We’re hoping it will emphasize the concert as a family event. Music is for everybody, and that’s what we’re trying to emphasize with this event."