RSO hosts ‘Instrument Petting Zoo’ ahead of September concert

Artistic and music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra joins the RSO in their...
Artistic and music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra joins the RSO in their search for a new conductor.(RSO)
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 2:59 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rockford Symphony Orchestra wants to help families introduce orchestral instruments to children who are interested in playing music.

A special family rehearsal on September 24 will showcase an Instrument Petting Zoo hosted by The Music Academy of Rockford from 2 to 3:00 p.m. followed by rehearsal from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

RSO is offering this great opportunity to introduce children to symphonic music and instruments as a free event. RSVP’s can be made at to accommodate limited space.

The RSO continues its search for a new music director by welcoming finalist Radu Paponiu for the September RSO concert at 7:30 p.m. on September 24 in the Coronado Performing Arts Center.

The guest conductor will introduce the program titled “New Horizons” an hour before showtime during a pre-concert lecture.

Folk music, improvisation, and birdsong are the three main themes of “New Horizons,” with The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals, and classics such as Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 included in the program.

To listen to excerpts from the concert, visit the RSO website.

Paponiu is the artistic and music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, associate conductor of the Naples Philharmonic, and music director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

His musical studies of the violin began at age 7 in his home country of Romania, where he went on to earn a master’s in orchestral conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music, and two degrees in violin at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles.

Those interested in learning more about Paponiu are welcomed to join him for a conversational interview session at “SoundBites,” a free lunchtime event at noon on Friday, September 23 at The Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Club, 5151 Guilford Road in Rockford. Food and drinks will sold during the event.

The September concert features guest artist violinist and vocalist Charles Yang, a Julliard graduate who is a member of the crossover string-band Time for Three. Yang will be accompanying the RSO in his own arrangement of “Blackbird” by The Beatles and “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals.

Tickets are available at the RSO website for the live performance and digital performance, which can be viewed from home at a later date. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 815-965-0049 or visiting the RSO office.