Welcome to the Quad City Symphony
Welcome to the 87th season of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra serving the Quad City metro area and the eastern Iowa and western Illinois region. Join Music Director Donald Schleicher for sparkling classical concerts, intimate chamber music performances, festive pops concerts, and innovative music education programs.
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to the beauty of our music.
Chamber music is a sophisticated form of music played a small group. You get to listen to some truly beautiful quartets and become emotionally moved by them.Chamber Concert
We love Pops Orchestra and we enthral the audience with many top-rated music pieces. Join us live and enjoy all the hits!Pops Series
It’s a joy to watch our well trained and highly experienced musical directors in action. Their movements are graceful and it is striking to see how they lead the group of musicians so harmoniously.Music Director
We upload orchestra rosters and schedules so that you can stay updated and not miss out on any of the fun!Orchestra Roster
Concerts & Musicians
Located in the heart of the Quad Cities region, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) has been a fixture of the local arts scene for over 100 years. Founded in 1916, the QCSO is a professional symphony orchestra that serves the communities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and Rock Island and Moline in Illinois.
A Brief History of the QCSO
The QCSO has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. In 1916, a group of local musicians came together to form the Davenport Symphony Orchestra, which was later renamed the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Over the years, the QCSO has grown and evolved, becoming one of the premier cultural institutions in the Quad Cities region.
The QCSO has gone through several iterations, starting as a small community orchestra and eventually becoming a fully professional ensemble. In the early years, the QCSO was made up of volunteer musicians who rehearsed and performed in various venues around the Quad Cities.
In the 1940s, the QCSO began to hire professional musicians and started to perform at the Central High School Auditorium in Davenport. In the 1950s, the QCSO moved to the Adler Theatre, where it has been performing ever since.
Today, the QCSO is made up of over 70 professional musicians who come from all over the world to perform with the orchestra. The QCSO is led by Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith, who has been with the orchestra since 2010. Under his leadership, the QCSO has continued to grow and thrive, offering a wide range of classical, pop, and educational concerts to the Quad Cities community.
The QCSO’s Impact on the Quad Cities Community
The QCSO plays a vital role in the cultural life of the Quad Cities. Each year, the orchestra presents a diverse range of concerts, including classical, pops, and educational concerts. The QCSO also collaborates with local organizations and schools to bring music education to students of all ages.
One of the QCSO’s most popular programs is the “Symphony Kids” series, which introduces young children to classical music through interactive and engaging concerts. The QCSO also partners with local schools to bring classical music to students through the “Symphony in the Schools” program. In addition to these educational initiatives, the QCSO also performs free outdoor concerts in the summer, bringing classical music to a wider audience.
The QCSO’s impact extends beyond the Quad Cities as well. The orchestra has a strong reputation nationally and internationally, having performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. The QCSO has also toured internationally, performing in countries such as Italy, Austria, and Germany.
The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is a cultural gem of the Quad Cities, offering a wide range of classical, pop, and educational concerts to the community. With a rich history dating back over 100 years, the QCSO has established itself as a vital part of the local arts scene.
Through its educational initiatives and collaborations with local organizations, the QCSO is dedicated to bringing the joy of classical music to people of all ages in the Quad Cities and beyond.
Symphonic music, also known as classical music or orchestral music, is a genre of music that is characterized by its grand, sweeping melodies and intricate harmonies. It is typically performed by a large ensemble of musicians, known as an orchestra, and is often accompanied by a choir.
Symphonic music has a long and rich history, dating back to the Baroque period of the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been a cornerstone of Western classical music ever since.
The Power of the Orchestra
One of the most striking features of symphonic music is the sheer size and power of the orchestra. An orchestra is typically composed of several sections of instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
Each section brings its own unique timbre and range of expression to the music, and the combination of these diverse sounds creates a rich and complex tapestry of sound.
The conductor plays a crucial role in shaping the sound of the orchestra. They are responsible for interpreting the composer’s score and communicating the desired dynamics and phrasing to the musicians. The conductor’s gestures and facial expressions can convey a wide range of emotions and help to bring the music to life.
The Structure of Symphonic Music
Symphonic music is typically structured in a formal way, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. A common form of symphonic music is the sonata form, which consists of three main sections: exposition, development, and recapitulation.
In the exposition, the main themes and ideas of the piece are introduced. The development section takes these themes and develops them in new and interesting ways, often through variations and modulations. Finally, the recapitulation brings the piece to a close by restating the main themes in their original form.
The Emotional Impact of Symphonic Music
One of the most captivating aspects of symphonic music is its ability to evoke a wide range of emotions in the listener. From the triumphant fanfare of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 to the hauntingly beautiful melodies of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, symphonic music has the power to stir the soul and move us to tears.
The emotional impact of symphonic music is often enhanced by the use of programmatic elements, such as the depiction of a particular story or scene through music. For example, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique tells the story of a young artist who becomes obsessed with a woman and ultimately loses his mind. The music reflects the various stages of his descent into madness.
The Legacy of Symphonic Music
Symphonic music has played a central role in the development of Western classical music for centuries, and it continues to be an important and beloved genre to this day. From the grand symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms to the groundbreaking works of composers like Stravinsky and Shostakovich, symphonic music has left a lasting mark on the world of music.
Symphonic music is a genre of music that is marked by its grand, sweeping melodies and intricate harmonies. Performed by a large ensemble of musicians, known as an orchestra, symphonic music has the power to evoke a wide range of emotions in the listener and has played a central role in the development of Western classical music. Its majesty and beauty continue to captivate audiences around the world.
Music education has long been recognized as a valuable asset for children’s development. From improving cognitive skills to fostering creativity and social connections, the benefits of music education are numerous and far-reaching.
In this blog, we will explore some key ways music education can positively impact children’s development and why it is so important for parents and educators to prioritize it in the early years.
One of the most well-known benefits of music education is its ability to improve cognitive skills. Studies have shown that children who participate in music education have the higher critical thinking, problem-solving, and spatial-temporal skills. These skills are crucial for success in various academic subjects, including math, science, and reading.
One reason for this is that music education requires children to engage with complex patterns and rhythms, which helps to develop their ability to process and analyze information. It also involves memory and visualization, as children must remember and recreate melodies and rhythms.
In addition, music education can help to improve children’s attention spans and focus, as they must concentrate on the task at hand and filter out distractions. This can translate to better performance in the classroom, as well as in other areas of life.
Creativity and Self-Expression:
Music education also provides children with a platform for creativity and self-expression. Through creating and performing music, children can explore their own emotions and experiences in a way that is unique and meaningful to them. This can be especially beneficial for children who struggle with verbal communication or find it difficult to express themselves through words.
Music education also encourages children to take risks and try new things. When learning a new instrument or composing a piece of music, children must be open to experimentation and embrace the possibility of making mistakes. This can help to build confidence and resilience, as well as foster a sense of creativity and innovation.
Social and Emotional Development:
Music education can also play a key role in children’s social and emotional development. Participating in music-making activities with others requires children to work as a team and collaborate towards a common goal. This helps to build communication skills, teamwork, and leadership abilities.
In addition, music education provides children with a sense of belonging and community. Whether joining a school band or participating in a community choir, children can find a sense of purpose and connection with others who share their love of music. This can be especially important for children who may feel isolated or misunderstood in other areas of their lives.
Finally, music education can also have physical benefits for children. Playing an instrument requires fine motor skills, coordination, and physical control, which can help to improve hand-eye coordination and overall physical dexterity. In addition, dancing and moving to music can improve coordination and balance, as well as provide a fun and enjoyable way to get physical activity.
In conclusion, music education has numerous benefits for children’s development. From improving cognitive skills to fostering creativity and social connections, it is an invaluable tool for supporting children’s growth and well-being. As such, parents and educators must prioritize music education in the early years and provide children with the opportunity to explore and express themselves through music.
Attending a music concert can be a thrilling and memorable experience, but it can also be overwhelming if you’re not prepared. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you make the most of your concert-going experience:
Research the artist and venue
Before buying tickets, ensure you know who you’re seeing and where you’ll be seeing them. Look up the artist’s music and learn about their style and genre. This will help you have a better understanding of what to expect at the concert. You should also research the venue to find out its seating and standing arrangements, as well as any rules or restrictions.
Buy tickets from a reputable source
There are many ticket reselling sites and services, but not all of them are trustworthy. To avoid getting scammed, it’s best to buy tickets directly from the venue or a reputable ticket seller. You may also want to consider buying tickets from the artist’s official website or through a fan club, as these are often the best options for getting good seats.
Plan your transportation and arrive early
It’s important to plan your transportation to and from the venue ahead of time, especially if you’re going to be driving. Consider carpooling or using public transportation to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. You should also plan to arrive at the venue early to allow time for parking, security checks, and finding your seat.
Bring essentials and follow the venue’s rules
Make a list of the items you’ll need to bring to the concert, such as cash, identification, and any necessary tickets or passes. You should also check the venue’s rules to see what you can and cannot bring inside. This may include prohibited items such as outside food or drinks, large bags, or weapons.
Dress for the occasion
Consider the type of concert you’ll be attending and dress appropriately. If it’s a more formal event, you may want to dress up a bit. If it’s a casual concert, you can wear comfortable clothes and shoes. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers, as the temperature inside the venue may vary.
Stay hydrated and take breaks
Concerts can be physically demanding, especially if you’re standing or dancing for long periods. Make sure to stay hydrated by bringing a water bottle or purchasing water at the venue. You should also take breaks when you need to rest or use the bathroom.
Have fun and respect others
Most importantly, remember to relax and have fun at the concert. Enjoy the music and the atmosphere, and don’t be afraid to sing and dance along. At the same time, be mindful of the people around you and respect their space. Avoid pushing or shoving, and be considerate of those who may be trying to enjoy the concert in a different way.
Attending a music concert can be a great way to discover new artists and enjoy live music. With a little planning and preparation, you can have a fun and memorable experience at your next concert.
Brass instruments are, as their name would imply, composed of brass. The sound produced by this group of instruments may be heard far away and is louder and stronger than any other instrument in the orchestra. Fundamentally, they resemble extremely long pipes that enlarge into bell-shaped shapes at their ends. To make them easier to hold and play with, the pipes have been curled and twisted in a variety of ways. Horns, trumpets, tubas, and trombones are the four groups into which brass instruments in an orchestra often fall.
Modern musicians frequently refer to the French Horn simply as “The Horn” because it is made of a long piece of tubing that has been wound into a circle. The French horn’s bell is similarly substantial and broad. Compared to the higher-pitched trumpet, the French horn has a darker tone because of its bigger bell. The French horn should be held with the bell-curved downward and buzzed into. The 3 valves are operated by your left hand, and the manner your right hand is placed in the bell affects the music you produce.
Trumpet’s tremendous volume and wide dynamic range make it always noticeable. A conventional trumpet section consists of a maximum of 4 performers, with the first trumpeter serving as the principal trumpet and playing the most important part. Using your lips to buzz into the mouthpiece while holding the trumpet horizontally, you may adjust the pitch by pressing down on the 3 valves in different ways. The trumpet, which is sometimes mistaken for only being very loud, really fills the flexible soprano part in the brass section. The trumpet of today is a thin brass pipe, bent and curved into lengthy loops, with 3 attached valves.
The tuba is the lowest and largest brass instrument, and with its deep, rich tone, it supports the harmonies not just of the brass family, but also of the entire orchestra. The unusual silhouette of a tuba, which consists of a lengthy metal tube that is bent into more of an oblong shape and ends with a large bell, makes it easy to identify. You probably aren’t shocked to find that playing the tuba demands a lot of air since they normally have between nine and Eighteen feet of tubing. By blowing and buzzing into a sizable mouthpiece while applying pressure to the valves with your palm, you may alter the sound.
The only brass instrument in the family that employs a slide rather than a valve to change pitch is the trombone. The trombone is played by placing it horizontally, blowing further into a mouthpiece, and changing the pitch by pushing or dragging the slides to one of 7 settings with your right hand. The trombone’s length may be altered by pulling and pushing the slide, which also expands the trombone’s range of musical tones. Two trombones and a third musician on bass trombone, which we’ll look at next, make up a typical trombone section.
Symphony orchestras offer their performers and audience exceptional musical experiences while showcasing both classical music and the works of regional composers, prominent soloists in their early careers, and artists. Here are some suggestions to help you appreciate the performance more if this is your first time attending a concert or a live orchestra performance.
Expect to enjoy yourself
Let go of any preconceived notions you could have about songs or the musical experience at this time. It’s okay to feel a bit anxious. Because they are unfamiliar to you, some aspects of the concert may appear unusual, but when you just concentrate on the music, you’ll have a great time. Be receptive to the music. Allow it to arouse your feelings, perhaps even recollections. Feel the rhythms and dance to the music. See how the conductor and the musicians communicate with one another by keeping an eye on them. Take note of how the music fluctuates between being forceful and booming at moments, delicate and fleeting at somebody else, and everyone in between.
It is ok to connect your emotions
Live symphonic music has the power to stir the soul, make your heart race, or make you laugh. You might smile, cry, cheer, and get up from your seat. Even simultaneous occurrences have been reported. A live performance has a special quality that is unlike any other. Approximately 50 to 70 famous musicians, including some of the most celebrated and talented in the world, are performing on stage. You’ll be able to hear and feel a searing energy when they perform together. The orchestra musicians report feeling the same way about the audience when questioned, which produces a completely unique experience that is distinct from walking into an empty hall. As a result, you’re involved in the magic.
Plan to be there 20 minutes before the start of the event so you have time to find your seat, put your phone away, look around, take in the environment, and take a quick look at the program book. It won’t be just you. Most audience members make a point of arriving early to study the program notes, observe the orchestra warming up, listen to the pre-concert talk, relax with the music inside the lobby, or simply enjoy the snacks and chat with friends.
Never forget to Applause and appreciate
For musicians, appreciation and applause are essential rewards. Often, this will result in improved communication between the parties, strengthening the chance for development, learning, and a successful outcome. Some of the compositions are divided into movements during the performance if you look there. Even when the orchestra pauses between movements, it is customary for the audience to hold off on applauding until the finish of the entire work. Unless there is a special case.
The woodwind family of instruments got their name because they were all formerly made of wood. In essence, they are all slender pipes or cylinders with holes, an opening at one end, and a mouthpiece at the other. You manipulate the pitch by closing or opening the holes with your fingers while blowing air through the mouthpiece Some of the woodwind instruments used in a symphony orchestra are the Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, etc.,
The piccolo, which translates as “little” in Italian, is a scaled-down version of the flute. In the orchestra, one of the woodwind players also will perform piccolo if that instrument is needed. Piccolos are half the size of a standard flute and can generate the highest tunes of all the woodwinds. Traditional marching band and drum corps music both feature the high whistling sound of the piccolo.
The flute, which was originally crafted from materials like wood, stone, clay, or hollow reed-like bamboo, is the oldest instrument that can make pitched notes. Modern flutes are made of silver, gold, or platinum, and a symphony typically has 2 to 4 flutes. The flute is played by blowing along a hole in the mouthpiece, much like blowing across the lid of a bottle, while holding it sideways with both hands. Pitch fluctuates as a result of your fingers opening and closing the keys.
The oboe is a two-foot-long black cylinder with metal keys filling its holes, and when you breathe through its mouthpiece, a double reed vibrates. The air within the oboe moves as a result of the reed’s vibration, which produces sound. Use both hands to push down on the buttons to close and open the holes and adjust the pitch while holding the oboe upright and blowing into the double reed in your mouth. The oboe produces a wide range of pitches, from eerie noises to warm, velvety smooth notes, making its sound very distinctive. There are typically two to four oboes in a symphony.
With the exception of the mouthpiece, which makes use of a single reed, the clarinet may readily be confused for an oboe. The typical B-flat clarinet is just over 2 feet long, but clarinets come in a variety of sizes. The two to four clarinets in the orchestra perform both melodies and harmonies. Their lower notes have a dark, rich sound, and their upper range is vibrant and resonant. Holding the instrument upright, breathing in through reed, including using your hands to alter pitches by opening and shutting the keys using your fingers are how you play the clarinet.
This man is the clarinet family’s granddad. To make it simpler for musicians to grasp and play, the bass clarinet’s top and bottom are curved due to the instrument’s size. Due to its length, it may play a few of the symphony’s lowest notes.
E- flat Clarinet
The shorter E-flat clarinet is identical to a standard clarinet in every way except for the length. It can play higher notes because of its smaller size.
A career in the symphony orchestra might be a thrilling opportunity that allows you to realize a long-held desire. But gaining it is difficult. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and effort. The goal of many classically educated musicians is to obtain a permanent spot in a symphony orchestra. Most importantly, we would like to offer advice to anyone interested in playing in a symphony orchestra.
The majority of orchestra players begin their professional careers either directly from high school or shortly after receiving a college degree. Before applying to more recognized orchestras in bigger cities, where salaries and performing standards are higher, many musicians start out by polishing their craft in regional and community orchestras. Here are things you can practice before going to college.
- keep a regular, rigorous practice routine
- attend as many competitions or auditions as you can
- seize opportunities as they come up
- take part in youth and school orchestras
Students who aspire to work in the symphony by their junior year locate professors and mentors who will help them be ready for music competitions that will suit their present and future demands.
- Outstanding instrumental performance
- Theory of Music
- Very good timing, dynamics, and phrase
- Interpreting musical notation
Searching and finding a job
The only genuine way for a beginning musician to get a job with an orchestra is to attend auditions. Thus, the easiest way to obtain a job is to attend auditions wherever you can, without giving too much thought to which orchestras could be on your level or below. Even though auditions are commonplace, each orchestra has its unique procedure for selecting new members, thus aspiring orchestra musicians would do well to familiarize themselves with these customs.
Using networking possibilities, asking past instructors who may have contacts with particular orchestras for advice, and independently keeping notes of auditions will help to build the orchestra career. Potential orchestra musicians need to have a strong work ethic as well as patience, persistence, confidence, and the capacity to perform well under extreme stress.
Elite musicianship demands a significant amount of commitment and discipline. After joining an orchestra, players can rise to the ranks of their instrumental section to become the principal symphony orchestra player. The section leader or the player of the first violins holds a unique position known as the concertmaster. Opportunities to fill these seats are typically few because section leaders frequently hold their symphony seats for decades at a time.
A good orchestra musician can consider a career as a solo performer, become a conductor or music director, form their own musical groupings as bandleaders, or work in a school or public engagement as a nonprofit performer, music instructor, or professor, in addition to working for higher and improved orchestras.
Musical instruments, which are often referred to as things that make music, are essential to social interactions in societies all over the world. The majority of musical instruments are thoughtfully made in accordance with the ideals and ideas prevalent in the social contexts in which they are used. Here are some string instruments used in an orchestra:
The cello resembles the violin and viola in appearance, but it is about four feet long and has thicker strings. The cello has the closest resemblance to the human voice of any string instrument, and it can produce a wide range of sounds, from soft low pitches to dazzling upper notes. Since the cello is too big to place under your chin, you play it while seated, placing the neck of the instrument on your left shoulder and the body of the instrument between your knees. A metal peg holds the cello’s body in place as it lies on the ground.
The violin, the youngest member of the string instruments, produces the loudest notes. There may be up to 30 violins in the orchestra, which is the most of any instrument. and the first and second groupings are separated from them. Secondary strings fluctuate between melody and harmony, while first violins frequently play the melody. The violin is held under your chin and left shoulder when you play. While your right hand swings the bows or plucks the strings, your left hand maintains control of the violin’s neck and applies pressure to the strings to alter the instrument’s pitch.
In contrast to other stringed instruments, the harp is unique. It stands about six feet tall, resembles the number seven somewhat, and also has 47 strings of varied lengths that are tuned to the tones of the piano’s white keys. In an orchestra, there are often one or two harps that perform both melody and harmony. The harp’s neck rests on your right shoulder as you play it while seated with your legs spread out to either side. You play the strings by plucking them with your fingers and thumb, and each one has a distinctive sound. The colors help you distinguish one string from another.
The string family’s granddad is represented by this. The double bass is the largest member of the string family and has the longest strings, allowing it to play extremely low notes. Its length is over 6 feet. The orchestra’s 6 to 8 double bass are virtually always performing the harmony. It helps if you have long arms and large hands because they are so massive that you will have to stand or sit on a very high stool to play them. Similar to the cello, the double bass’s neck rests on your left shoulder while the body lies on the floor and is held up by a metal peg. By using your left hand to modify the tone and the right hand to move the bows or pluck the string, you create sound just as on a cello.
The British rock bands have their own legacy that they have spread all across the globe. With only a little different from the American rock culture, British rock successfully maintains a unique identity in the world of music. Also, British rock bands have been quite creative with their music and performances. Bands like Super Furry Animals, the Jam, T. Rex, Black Sabbath, Queen, and Pink Floyd have left their mark in history by giving us classic albums and also some unique instruments to ponder upon. These instruments may not have originated in the UK, but they became iconic when the UK bands used them in their historical performances.
A left-handed Hofner violin bass guitar
This not so unique violin bass used by Paul McCartney himself in several of his performances became a really iconic instrument. Sir Paul used this instrument for a period of his performances when his playing style was filmed from start to end, which helped giving violin bass a degree of recognition. Many may think it was a tribute to the instrument, but the sources tell us they the Beatles chose to use it just because it was lighter than its alternative.
Gibson Les Paul Standard
The production of these unique guitars began in the late 1950s. These guitars were fitted with frets, machine heads, pickups, and many other things. These guitars were thought to be just like any other guitar until Eric Clapton plugged his into a Fender Bassman amp and almost maxed out the volume. It became a perfect device for the blues, and soon every guitar hero had one for themselves.
The tea-chest bass
This weird and unique instrument, known as tea-chest bass, may not be available anywhere in the market today. When it came out, it was a complete musical instrument. In the 1950s, when this instrument was first introduced, it looked more like a washboard that is played with thimbles. Lonnie Donegan was the one who brought this instrument into the mainstream.
The Vox AC30 guitar amp
This is the most favourite amplification system of Brian May of the Queens. In fact, he has stored plenty of them to make a wall. When the known guitar players like Ringo and Charlie Watts were using the rare but expensive instruments, Brian Mary and Keith Moon went ahead with these unique amps that were perfect for careful and dedicated players.
Mellotron is an instrument that first became famous with the Beatles during their psychedelic pomp. Later, every rock band wanted to try out the sound of a full orchestra using a single instrument. This was one of the first samplers that were successful among the top brands in the UK. Today you can find mellotron on the DAWs and phone apps, but they will be nothing like their ancestor.