June 13, 2008

Mt. Vernon Among Those Hosting Southern Illinois Music Festival

By Tesa Culli, Mt. Vernon Register-News, Ill.

Jun. 13--MT. VERNON -- The King City has been slated to host four events in the Southern Illinois Music Festival, which is sponsored by Southern Illinois University.

"This is the fourth year for the festival itself, and in the past we have had some concerts," said retired music teacher Brett Gibbs, who works with the festival to bring concerts to Mt. Vernon. "Last summer we had a chamber concert at the Schweinfurth house and this year we have programs at Trinity Episcopal Church and ... at Cedarhurst in the new performing arts hall."

Trinity Episcopal Church will be hosting two events held today -- the Klassics for Kids and the Woodwind Quintets chamber concert.

Klassics for Kids, held at 4 p.m., is a free event that will teach and entertain all ages, Gibbs said.

"The musicians will explain all the instruments and talk about and perform music in general," Gibbs explained. "They will perform some of their works that will be played during the evening concert. It's really a prelude to the concert."

The Woodwind Quintets will perform at the church tonight at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $12 and student admission will be $5."

Two more concerts will be held Tuesday, Jive With Jazz at 5:30 p.m. and a concert by the New Arts Jazztet. Both will be held at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts new performance hall.

"Again the Jive With Jazz will be an educational experience and is free," Gibbs said. "It should last about an hour."

The Jive With Jazz program will be similar to the wind quintet, and is designed for children from age three to 12. The members of the New Arts Jazztet consist of faculty from the Southern Illinois University music department.

"Bill Brown, who is the bass player, is known throughout Southern Illinois for his performance abilities," Gibbs said. "Bob Allison is the trumpet player who performs and is an instructor. All of the musicians are wonderful."

Admission to the 7:30 p.m. concert of New Arts Jazz is $12 for general admission and $5 for students.

Gibbs said the goal of the festival is to bring music and art to areas throughout Southern Illinois.

"The effort is to bring quality music to all areas of Southern Illinois and varies from chamber music, opera, jazz and other types of music," Gibbs said.

Other communities hosting events include Cairo, Sesser, Marion, Rend Lake College, Carbondale, Benton, Murphysboro, Robinson, Herrin, Grand Tower, Du Quoin, Anna, Ullin, Carterville, St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, Mo.

A complete listing of concerts, which will be held now through July 2, is available at www.sifest.com.


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