Illinois Symphony’s spring-themed concert, with music by Corigliano, Bach, Rameau, Haydn

Posted on: February 17, 2022

“Spring officially begins next month, but the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is ushering it in early with a spring-inspired ‘Flora and Fauna’ on Friday,” writes Janet Seitz in Tuesday’s (2/15) State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL). The concert will feature mezzo-soprano Kate Tombaugh and the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir. “The ISO had been planning the collaboration for several years [since Music Director Ken] Lam met Scott Ferguson, IWU’s director of choral activities…. The pandemic interrupted the collaboration, which was originally set to take place in April 2021. The performance showcases ‘the collegiate choir in American composer John Corigliano’s “Fern Hill,” which calls for a mezzo-soprano soloist,’ Lam said…. ‘Fern Hill’ is based on Dylan Thomas’s poem about his summer on a farm. The concert features Tombaugh ‘performing two Bach arias, Rameau’s cheeky ‘La Poule,’ which mimics a hen, and Haydn’s jubilant Symphony No. 88,’ said Lam.… ‘The biggest challenge we have faced with these performances,’ said Lam, ‘has been the uncertainty caused by the pandemic…. Also, when an orchestra collaborates with choirs it adds logistical challenges with stage changes and rehearsal planning, but these small challenges are worth it to make this incredible music experience possible for our community.’ ”