Suburban Chicago orchestra gives seniors a chance to play

Posted on: September 30, 2009

In Wednesday’s (9/30) Chicago Tribune, Helene Van Sickle profiles the Senior Suburban Orchestra, based in Downers Grove, Illinois. “ ‘We’re a musical service organization that provides education and entertaining orchestral performances to groups lacking the physical mobility or financial resources to attend traditional public programs,’ said MJ Luetgert, grant writer and French horn player for the group. In addition, ‘The orchestra provides the opportunity for talented older musicians to continue playing their instruments on a regular basis as members of an active and challenging performance organization.’ The 40-piece orchestra draws members from the western suburbs and outlying areas. Participants are experienced orchestral performers and range in age from 40 to 90. … The group rehearses weekly and gives 12 to 18 concerts from September to June. ‘The audiences are primarily seniors, either in residential facilities or are community dwelling seniors,’ Leutgert said. ‘Our other main audience is in elementary schools. We’ll go into an elementary school and present a workshop, which consists of a presentation to the entire student body of that school, plus their teacher and interested parents,’ he said.”

Photo: Senior Suburban Orchestra conductor Don Pasquale

Posted September 30, 2009