The Rockford Symphony will return to perform on the stage of the Sinnissippi Music Shell for the first time since 1967. Presented in partnership with the Rockford Park District, and through the generosity of Bergstrom, this historic return of the orchestra to its original summer performance stage will take place on July 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.
The concert will feature the full orchestra, under the direction of Steven Larsen, performing a repertoire with Latin American influence, inspired by dance rhythms and traditions of Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.
The Sinnissippi Music Shell was originally built for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, formerly known as Rockford Civic Orchestra. Architect Reyner Eastman donated his design and supervision of the project while the Rockford Lions Club stepped forward and took over plans to build the shell. Negotiations were made with the Rockford Park District for the location at Sinnissippi Park, lumber and materials were donated, and construction began in the fall of 1949. The dedication of the Sinnissippi Orchestra Shell was held on June 5, 1950. In 1961, a time capsule was placed at the site by members of the orchestra to be opened in 2061. 1967 was the last year the Rockford Symphony Orchestra performed in the Sinnissippi Music Shell. A season of bad weather threatened expensive instruments sensitive to moisture, and RSO left the outdoor summer venue for indoor spaces.
The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is a regional, award-winning professional orchestra whose primary performance home is the Coronado Performing Arts Center, from October through April. The RSO is under the direction of Music Director Steven Larsen, who was named the 2016 Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras.