Milwaukee, Wis.— Festival City Symphony (FCS), the area’s oldest performing symphony orchestra, is pleased to announce a new season of concerts for the 2021-2022 season. FCS will perform an all-new concert series, Saturday Classics, with four concerts at the new Bradley Symphony Center. The Pajama Jamborees series will continue this season with three concerts at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Music Director Carter Simmons conducts.
In a change from previous years, admission will be free to both concert series. However, seat reservations are required for the Saturday Classics, and donations are suggested and appreciated.
- 23, 2021, 2:00 p.m. “Passion, Faith, and Fate”
- 20, 2021, 2:00 p.m. “Mendelssohn and Mozart”
- March 5, 2022, 2:00 p.m. “From Many, One”
- April 9, 2022, 2:00 p.m. “Season Finale”
Saturday Classics will be held at the new Bradley Symphony Center at 212 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. The series aims to make classical music accessible to everyone, including single adults, couples, seniors, music students, families, and school age children in grade 2 and above. Before the concerts, families can enjoy a Children’s Program Notes presentation by FCS music educator Lynn Roginske beginning at 1:45 p.m. to help children become familiar with the music they are about to hear.
For its inaugural Saturday Classics concert on Oct. 23, 2021, FCS will perform “Passion, Faith, and Fate,” a program of magnificent works by master composers including Carnival Overture, op. 92 by Antonin Dvořák, George Bizet’s passionate Carmen Suite no. 1, and Russian romantic Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s dramatic and heartfelt Fourth Symphony (Symphony no. 4, op. 36 in F minor).
On Nov. 20, 2021, FCS will present “Mendelssohn and Mozart,” where FCS Principal Flute, Emma Koi, will perform Mozart’s timeless first Flute Concerto (Flute Concerto no. 1 in G, K. 313). The concert will also feature Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Variants of “Dives and Lazarus” for strings and harp, as well as Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 3 in A minor, “Scottish,” which FCS Music Director Carter Simmons calls “perhaps the most beautiful of Felix Mendelssohn’s symphonies.”
On March 5, 2022, FCS will perform “From Many, One,” featuring the music of great American composers. The performance will begin with George W. Chadwick’s festive Symphonic Sketches, I. Jubilee, followed by Symphony no. 4 (Autochthonous) written by William Grant Still, who is regarded as the Dean of African American composers. According to Simmons, “William Grant Still wrote his Fourth Symphony to evoke the sense of nobility present in all Americans, and to celebrate the best in our country’s people.” The concert will conclude with Aaron Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo, which Simmons called “a reflection of America’s can-do spirit.”
FCS will conclude its inaugural season in the Bradley Symphony Center on April 9, 2022, with “Season Finale.” The concert will begin with Franz Schubert’s Overture to Rosamunde, D. 644, followed by Edward Elgar’s masterpiece, Enigma Variations, op. 36, including the majestic “Nimrod” variation. The showcase event of the afternoon will be Antonin Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, op. 104 in B minor performed by FCS Principal Cello, Stefan Kartman.
- 22, 2021, 7:00 p.m. “Fall Pajama Jamboree”
- 1, 2021, 7:00 p.m. “Holiday Pajama Jamboree”
- May 4, 2022, 7:00 p.m. “Spring Pajama Jamboree”
Pajama Jamborees will be held in the Bradley Pavilion of the Marcus Performing Arts Center at 929 N. Water Street in Milwaukee. This informal series of free classical “pops” concerts, each one hour in length, aims to make music fun and interactive for children and their families. Dress is casual; pajamas, teddy bears, and blankets are welcome for the youngest audience members. Children may enjoy open space floor seating up close to “meet” the orchestra; conventional seating is also available. Reservations are not required.
On Sept. 22, 2021, FCS will perform the free “Fall Pajama Jamboree,” a concert all about “Why We Love the Orchestra.” Music Director Carter Simmons will host as the orchestra performs lively music perfect for young and not-so-young concert-goers alike.
On Dec. 1, 2021, FCS will perform the free “Holiday Pajama Jamboree,” a concert featuring traditional holiday favorites, and concluding with Leroy Anderson’s beloved A Christmas Festival. FCS encourages attendees to bring a nonperishable food donation for Milwaukee’s HUNGER TASK FORCE.
FCS will conclude its concert season on May 4, 2022, with the free “Spring Pajama Jamboree.” The program will include patriotic tunes and lively melodies to welcome spring. As always, FCS will close its season with the orchestral finale The Stars and Stripes Forever.
Concert information is subject to change. To reserve seats for the Saturday Classics concert series, tickets will be available soon through the Bradley Symphony Center Box Office and at festivalcitysymphony.org. The suggested donation will be $14 per adult per concert; the suggested donation for children age 12 and under, students with school ID, and seniors age 65 and over is $8 each per concert.
Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony, the oldest performing symphony orchestra in the area, showcases area professional musicians. Its mission is to extend the reach of classical music in the community with reasonable pricing and informative formats that embrace people of all ages. For more information, visit festivalcitysymphony.org or call 262-853-6085.