Conductor—Dr. Lev Ivanov
The 2014-2015 year marks the Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra's 30th season. Founded in 1984 by Steven W. Eggleston, the ensemble has performed with many esteemed soloists and is made up of students from all disciplines.
Guests the ensemble has hosted throughout its tenure include Armando Ghitalla, former principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, baritone Roger Roloff, a critically acclaimed soloist with the Chicago Lyric Opera, and Laszlo Varga, former principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic.
In addition to such opportunities, the ensemble has also been honored with the privilege of performing alongside contemporary musicians such as Awadagin Pratt, a pianist who challenges the confines of Classical music, Sir Edward Heath, former British Prime Minister, the Volograd Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Edward Serov, Peter Schickele, celebrated composer of the comic oratorio, Oedipus Tex, and "transcriber/impersonator" of P.D.Q. Bach, a fictitious composer abandoned by the famous Bach family for his comic compositional flare. In 2006, the IWCO performed with Dawn Upshaw, a Grammy Award winning soprano who is also an Illinois Wesleyan alumnus.
The IWCO also boasts many esteemed performance opportunities, including appearing on CBS's Sunday Morning, and engaging in frequent tours throughout the US. In addition, the annual Concerto-Aria concert showcases the school's finest musicians, presenting talented students with the honor to perform with the IWCO through multiple auditions.