Megan Callison


Madz Negro


Michelle Riechers

Celia Williams

Celia Williams



Michael Olson

Concerto Aria Concert to Feature Student Soloists

Feb. 12, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra (IWCO) will present the annual Henry Charles Memorial Concerto-Aria Concert Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington.

The concert will feature five students who were chosen as winners of the School of Music’s Concerto-Aria competition. Each year music students are selected to perform solos after a competitive audition process. This year’s soloists are Megan Callison ’16 (Aurora, Ill.), voice; Madz Negro ’16 (New Berlin, Ill.), violin; Michael Olson ’17 (Bloomington), tuba; Michelle Riechers ’16 (Grant Park, Ill.), trumpet; and Celia Williams ’17 (Homer, Ill.), voice.

For Williams, competing for a solo in the Concerto-Aria Concert was a goal she set for herself the first time she attended the concert as a first-year student at Illinois Wesleyan. “I practiced numerous hours on this aria, both by myself and with my voice teacher,” said Williams, a voice major. “I felt absolute joy when I heard I was one of the students chosen to perform. I am so honored to be performing with such amazing musicians. Not just the other soloists, but also the IWCO and conductor Lev Ivanov.”

The program includes Williams’ vocal selection, “Una voce poco fa,” from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville; Negro performing the first movement of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto; Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Tuba Concerto in F minor, performed by Olson; Riechers presenting Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major; and Callison singing “Air de Zima” from Rameau’s Les Indes galantes.

Olson also set the goal of performing solo at the Concerto-Aria Concert when he saw an upperclassman perform the same tuba concerto in 2011. When he learned he was selected as a soloist, Olson said he felt “all of my hard work and dedication had finally paid off.” After graduation from IWU he plans to pursue a graduate degree in tuba performance and play professionally in an orchestra.

The Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra is conducted by Lev Ivanov, visiting assistant professor of music. The Feb. 26 program will also include Pentamerous Calamity, a composition written by Illinois Wesleyan student Jeremy Gruner ’16 (Mahomet, Ill.); Sibelius’ Finlandia Op. 26; and Dvořk’s Slavonic Dances Op. 48, No. 8.

The Concerto-Aria Concert is named in memory of the late Henry Charles, a professor of voice at IWU for 42 years and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national music fraternity. The concert is free and open to the public.