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.


Molding the future!
Classical and chamber music is here to stay! We predict a great future for this timeless music and we are taking active part in ensuring that we grab the attention of more people with the genius of such music.

Education & Outreach

Volunteers For Symphony
We welcome volunteers for symphony. We can provide you with a fantastic learning experience and exposure into the workings of the Orchestra.
Support the Symphony
Orchestral music requires time and patience to understand and savor fully. The level of depth it has to offer is seldom found in other forms of music. Support the Symphony to ensure that this form of music can be enjoyed by the newer generations.
Symphony in Bloom
Symphony in Bloom is sure to bring a wide smile to your face. It’s grand and celebratory sounds make for a memorable time.

About Symphony Day

Support The Qcso And Make A Difference!

We would be incredibly grateful for your assistance and support. You can help make a difference and open people’s eyes and ears
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


The Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year!
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Latest Events

Music Concert

A Beginner’s Guide to Attending Music Concert Like a Pro

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

Music Concert

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 Used In Orchestras

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.

The horn

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.

The trumpet

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

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 trombone

The trombone

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

A Guide for Newcomers to the Symphony Orchestras

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.

Symphony orchestras 

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.

Arrive early

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.


Notable Woodwind Instruments Used In Symphony Orchestras

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.


  • Bass 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.

Symphony Orchestra

How to Get Ready for a Career in the Symphony Orchestra?

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.

Initial steps

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.

Practical qualifications

instrumental performance

  • Outstanding instrumental performance
  • Theory of Music
  • Very good timing, dynamics, and phrase
  • Collaboration
  • 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.

Conventional growth

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.


Major String Instruments Used In An Orchestra

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.


Double bass

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.

Iconic Instruments

The Most Iconic Instruments That Formed British Rock

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.

bass guitar

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.

The Mellotron

The Mellotron

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.

Classical Chamber

Etiquette at Classical Chamber Music Concert

Let others Enjoy the Music:

One of the cardinal rules of any classical music concert is that you should let others appreciate the music. Make sure to switch off your phones and keep silent throughout the entire duration of the performance. No matter how catchy the beat is, you are not supposed to sing along or tap your foot. Classical music concert halls are known for absolute silence during performances. It is not classy to stand between the performance and fiddle with your clothes or bags during the concert. If you are going along with others, make sure not to talk or whisper. Making any sound inside the hall other than during the break is considered ill-mannered behavior.

Reach Early:

Another primary etiquette behavior to keep at a classical music concert hall is to reach early. When you arrive early, you can get to your assigned seats without any disturbance to other people. On the other hand, if you reach late, you might have to wait or stand in a designated area before you can quietly go inside. Music concert halls only allow permission to move out of the seats during breaks. Some music concert halls don’t allow entry for people arriving late, so as to not disturb the guests. Imagine angry faces looking your way when you try to find your seat in a completely silent music hall.

Clapping Etiquette:

Clapping Etiquette:

During earlier times, guests were allowed to clap or express their opinions in a concert hall during the performance. But things are different now. When you go to a classical music concert hall, you might notice that nobody claps during the performance. In a classical music concert hall, the norm is to clap only at the end of the performance, when the concert hall lights come back up. During a performance, you might hear several pauses. Make sure not to clap or start cheering during any of those pauses. It is wise to wait before you start cheering; make sure that others are applauding and cheering first. If you don’t want to be confused, make sure to learn about the pieces you are going to hear at the concert beforehand.

Outfit Choice:

The outfit is one of the major etiquette parts of any concert hall. It should match the venue and theme of the concert you are going to. Indeed, you don’t want to attract any unnecessary attention to yourself by dressing inappropriately. When going to a classical music event, opt for elegant and classy clothing. A traditional Music Concert is an occasion to put on your best clothes and spend a meaningful night appreciating the music. The norm is to dress formally- tuxedo or suits for men and elegant long gowns for women. You don’t have to wear a tuxedo or evening gown if that is uncomfortable. But make sure to wear something classy and elegant.

Orchestra Concert

To 5 Reasons you Should Visit an Orchestra Concert

There is always an endless list of the things you must try before you die! One of the exciting yet non-adventurous experiences is visiting an orchestra concert. If you’re a music fanatic, this is your sign to visit one immediately.

Orchestra concert events are not only well-produced but also friendly to all age groups, which exposes the audience to captivating sound experiences, giving them once in a lifetime experience. Many music lovers have admitted that visiting one or more concerts in their life has changed the way they perceive music and gained a newfound respect for different types of musical instruments. Some reasons why you should visit an orchestra concert in your lifetime are stated below!

musical instrument

Experience live music

Listening to music on your earpods is one thing, but watching your favorite artists play instruments live is another feeling which can’t be expressed in words. You can witness how different musical instruments blend to form a fine tune that can excite anyone and make them jump from their seats. After experiencing this at least once in your life, you will not wish to turn back to the recorded versions.

Watch musicians perform live.

A primary reason for the increase in live orchestra music’s popularity is the experience of watching your favorite musicians plays on stage. Not only will you get to meet them, but you will also see how they craft their magic. Orchestral musicians are some of the best in the world who have honed their lives on learning an instrument and dedicated time and effort to practice for their performances. Such dedication can also inspire the audience to do more in life!

Discover new music

All music lovers are always keen on expanding their musical horizons, and attending an orchestra concert can do justice to this thought. You will not only be able to watch your favorite instrument at play but also see how other musicians in their field of popularity perform. So you might as well shift your favorites while at the concert. Not only will you discover new music, but you will also get to experience new artists who can potentially be an inspiration for your musical journey.

new music

Once in a lifetime experience

Orchestra concerts are generally attended by people who love music and are there at the venue to gain a positive experience from the show. Some instruments also can uplift your mood and make you forget all your worries for the night.

Connection with music lovers

Visiting concerts will open a new dimension of opportunities, especially if you’re a struggling musician. It will help you get in touch with like-minded individuals who share your interests! This is a much–needed experience to boost your musical knowledge while enjoying the evening.


Orchestra Concert

Reasons Why You Should Go to an Orchestra Concert

An orchestra concert may seem like an event for elites who dress up elegantly. Younger generations are not likely to go to an orchestra concert unless it is for a once-in-a-lifetime classy date. Certain misconceptions surrounding the orchestra concert might be why you are reluctant to go to one. But an orchestral concert can be an exhilarating experience, and frequent visits might improve your mental health and well-being. Here are some of the reasons why going to an orchestra concert should be on your list of priorities:

New Experience:

Orchestra Concert

If you are among the minority groups who don’t listen to classical music as much, going to an orchestra concert can be a unique new experience. We all have those events where we go reluctantly, but their memories last a lifetime. There is something about live music that is magical and exhilarating, and classical music is no different. Going to an orchestra music concert is an opportunity to dress up elegantly and discover new music with your loved ones. During the performance, you will be mesmerized by how the different instruments blend in seamlessly together to form emotionally charged music. Listening to music at a live concert is always better than listening to a recorded version. If you are a fan of classical music, the opportunity will facilitate unique chances to get close to your favorite artists and musicians.

Meeting New People:

Going to an orchestra concert is a great way to meet new people with similar interests and tastes in music. Music indeed has no language – it brings people together despite the differences in language, culture, or beliefs. Orchestral concerts are best enjoyed along with family or friends. Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with the stranger sitting beside you during the break. Or better yet, arrive at the venue a little early to have exciting and uninterrupted conversations with new people. However, it is important to note that talking or whispering in between performances at an orchestral concert is typically considered rude.

Release Stress:

Classical orchestral concerts are a great way to release the stress and boredom of everyday life. Orchestral concerts are characterized by captivating audio that takes you on an emotional journey with strategically arranged musical arrangements. Numerous studies have shown the relationship between classical music and mental health. When someone listens to classical music, the production of stress hormones comes to a halt. Some other studies have also shown that listening to classical instrumental music increases the production of dopamine in the body – an explanation for why we experience huge spikes of pleasure while listening to them.

Find Inspiration:

Listening to a live orchestra concert will inevitably inspire you to try new things. If you have heard the piece before, it might take you on a journey to the past, where you loved and cherished that song. It might inspire you to relish those sweet memories, feel nostalgic and bring hope for the future. Going for an orchestral concert with your children might inspire them to learn a new instrument.

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