The Lonesome Train
An Illinois Premiere by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra
The Illinois Symphony Orchestra led by dynamic Music Director Alastair Willis will perform the Illinois premiere of the re-constructed orchestra version of Earl Robinson’s The Lonesome Train by Maurice Peress with text by Millard Lampell. The Lonesome Train includes narration, dramatized readings and song while the listener takes an illustrated musical journey across the United States. The narration depicts the mixed emotions of a country that was mourning their beloved 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, even though some could not believe that he had actually been shot. The Lonesome Train celebrates Lincoln’s Legacy as Music Director Alastair Willis creatively and musically brings a community together for an amazing performance as part of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition Re-enactment.
The Lonesome Train is known for its wonderfully entertaining and riveting story as it depicts Lincoln’s final train ride through narration, dramatized readings, and song with chorus, orchestra and banjo. For this special performance, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is joined by the newly formed ISO Festival Chorus led by Dale Rogers. The one hundred plus chorus includes members of the Springfield, and Bloomington-Normal, Illinois’ communities and will be joined by The Heritage Ensemble, a gospel chorus under the direction of Artistic Director and Founder, Sharon Reed of Peoria, Illinois. The piece will include many more community members including: Ralph Shank as the Balladeer, Calvin Hightower as the Preacher, Robert Weldon as the Square Dance Caller, Tom Mindock as the Soldier, John O’Connor as Abraham Lincoln, and Square Dancers from the Springfield International Folk Dancers. In addition to all community involvement, The Lonesome Train will be narrated by Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, Frank Williams.
The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is honored to be a part of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition re-enactment commemoration and we invite you to be a part of this historic moment as we celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln! Concert will also include Copland’s John Henry, Honegger’s Pacific 231, and Gerswhin’s Porgy & Bess Suite.
The Lincoln Train
Friday, May 1, 2015 | 7:30 PM | Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Bloomington, IL
Saturday, May 2, 2015 | 7:30 PM | Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, Springfield, IL
Buy Your Ticket Today for this Historic Evening!
Tickets for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s concerts may be purchased in Springfield through the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217-206-6160 and in Bloomington through the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Office at 309-434-2777. Single ticket prices range from $5 for students (6 years +) to $60 for premium seating. Tickets for youth (5 and under) are free with a paying adult. Senior discounts are also available.
Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis is the Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series and Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony. In the past few seasons, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, China National Orchestra (Beijing), and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma) among others. Born in Acton, Massachusetts, Willis received his bachelor’s degree with honors from England’s Bristol University, an Education degree from Kingston University, and a Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Dale Rogers, Choral Director
Dale Thomas Rogers has served as the Director of Music and the Arts at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield since 1986. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from I