Music & Entertainment
Quad Cities Band Top 10 Finalist to Play World's Largest Music Festival PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Tiffany Thorne   
Tuesday, 03 May 2011 13:03

Quad Cities band – Three Years Hollow – has been voted into the Top 10 Finalists to play the World’s Largest Music Festival, Summerfest in Milwaukee in July.  Band members are from the Quad Cities, Geneseo and Milan, Illinois.

The band is competing in the Briggs & Stratton Battle of the Bands, an international online contest on Facebook at  The Top 10 Finalists are currently being narrowed to the top three and online voting will re-open to determine a winner starting on May 13.

Iowa State Fair Grandstand, Admission Tickets on Sale Saturday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Lori Chappell   
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 12:16

DES MOINES, IA (04/26/2011)(readMedia)-- Tickets for the much-anticipated Iowa State Fair Grandstand shows go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. through all Ticketmaster outlets. The 2011 line-up is presented by U.S. Cellular.

In addition to the previously-announced star-studded line-up, Gavin DeGraw will open for Train and Maroon 5. DeGraw is known for numerous chart-toppers like "In Love With A Girl" and "I Don't Want To Be."

Print at home discounted admission tickets are on sale now through the Fair's website For the first time, Fairgoers can purchase gate admission tickets online and immediately print their own tickets at no extra charge. Food coupons, Fair Play Packs, midway tickets and 11-day punch cards will also be available to order online beginning Saturday.

Tickets for all concert and track events will go on sale Saturday, April 30 at 10 a.m. through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. All concert events are reserved seating; track events are general admission. Beginning July 11, the Fair's Ticket Office will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays - Fridays and 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturdays for walk-up orders only (no mail, phone or fax orders). Convenience charges will apply to all tickets. Grandstand tickets do not include Fair admission.

A complete listing of event dates, times and ticket prices follows:

2011 Iowa State Fair Grandstand Line-up

presented by U.S. Cellular

Thursday, August 11 Casting Crowns with Sanctus Real, 8 p.m., $30

Friday, August 12 Jason Aldean with special guests Chris Young and Thompson Square, 8 p.m., $45

Saturday, August 13 Def Leppard with very special guest Heart, 8 p.m. $49

Sunday, August 14 The Incredible Machine Tour featuring Sugarland and Sara Bareilles, 8 p.m., $46

Monday, August 15 Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models, 5:30 p.m. Hot Laps, 6 p.m. Races, $15 adults, $5 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Tuesday, August 16 Lynyrd Skynyrd and Doobie Brothers, 8 p.m., $46

Wednesday, August 17 Grand Outlaw National Tractor and Truck Pull, 2 p.m. $20 Adults, $10 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Thursday, August 18 Ronnie Dunn with special guest Steel Magnolia, 8 p.m., $35

Friday, August 19 Train and Maroon 5 with special guest Gavin DeGraw, 8 p.m., $47

Saturday, August 20 Demolition Derby, 11:30 a.m., $12 adults, $5 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Saturday, August 20 REBA with special guest Jerrod Niemann, 8 p.m., $45

Sunday, August 21 An Evening with Janet Jackson, 8 p.m., $65 and $55

"Nothing Compares" to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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Music Director Mark Russell Smith contracted through 100th anniversary PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Jared Johnson   
Thursday, 21 April 2011 07:28
Davenport, IA - April 18, 2011 - On the heals of our exciting residency with violinist Midori and our best selling concert in over a decade, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has elected to renew the contract for Music Director Mark Russell Smith. Since Maestro Smith's arrival in 2008, the QCSO has witnessed season ticket sales climbing more than 25%.  Mark Russell Smith plays a critical role as the artistic leader of our organization and is key to maintaining this positive momentum. Maestro Smith has expressed gratitude for the privilege of serving as the orchestra's Music Director through the 100th Anniversary season, which will occur in 2014-15.

Whether conducting contemporary masterpieces or bringing fresh insights to the symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms, Mark Russell Smith demonstrates consummate musicianship and enthusiastic commitment to the art of music-making: qualities that have endeared him to audiences and musicians alike.  In June of 2007, Smith was appointed Director of New Music Projects of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, a combined post that enabled him to bring his commitment for excellence and passion for education to new audiences.  In March of 2008, he was named Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, effective September, 2008. As Music Director of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, a position he held from 1999 to 2009, Smith was praised for his innovative and approachable programming and is widely credited with fostering the orchestras unprecedented artistic growth.

As a guest conductor, Smith enjoys a burgeoning international reputation that has already brought him engagements and re-engagements with prestigious American orchestras, including the St. Louis Symphony, the Houston Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. With the Minnesota Orchestra, he made his critically-acclaimed Sommerfest debut in 2006 and made his subscription series debut in March of 2009.   In November 2007, he returned to his alma mater to lead the Symphony Orchestra of The Curtis Institute of Music in Verizon Hall, and will lead the orchestra on tour in China and Korea in the fall of 2011. Smith's debut at the Nomus Music Music Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia was met with critical and audience acclaim and led to immediate reengagement. Other recent and upcoming appearances include the Minnesota Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, Brazils Orquestra Sinfoniea da USP, the Hartford Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, the Phoenix Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Eugene Symphony, the Curtis Opera Theatre, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Berkshire Choral Festival, the Eastern Music Festival, the Tulsa Philharmonic, Orchestra London (Ontario), and the European Center for Opera and Vocal Art in Ghent, Belgium.

A champion of the music of our time, Smith led the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's Engine 408 series, working closely with living composers and added his unique perspective to enhance that orchestra's great tradition of fostering new works. He has collaborated with YoYo Ma and members of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota in Hun Qiao (Bridge of Souls), a concert of remembrance and reconciliation featuring world premieres by Korean, Japanese, Chinese and American composers. A firm believer in the use of technical innovation to reach world-wide audiences, he debuted in 2002 with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducting the final round of the first Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, where he led six concerto performances that were streamed live over the Internet. He has led the Minnesota Orchestra in the competition's final round since 2004 and returns each summer.

Smith grew up in a musical family in Phoenix, Arizona where he began the serious study of conducting while still in his teens. He is a graduate in cello performance of the Juilliard School, where he studied with Claus Adam, and of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with Max Rudolf and Otto-Werner Mueller. While at Curtis, Smith was first prize winner in the National Repertory Orchestra Conductors Competition, and upon graduation, was named Assistant Conductor of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Singers. From 1989 to 1994, Smith served as Associate Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and from 1992 through 1999 served as Music Director of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. His dynamic personality, creative programming, and focus on outreach helped revitalize the Springfield (MA) Symphony, where he served as Music Director from 1995 through 2000.

Smith resides in Minneapolis, where his wife, Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, is a horn player with the Minnesota Orchestra. They have two sons, Alexander and Noah.


Quad City Choral Arts Auditions for 2011-12 Season PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Meg Byrne   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 12:52

Basic Information
Quad City Choral Arts, under the direction of Jon Hurty, will hold auditions for the 2011-12 season on Tuesday, May 3 and Thursday, May 5 from 6 - 9 p.m. or by appointment. For more information and to schedule an audition time please e-mail Jon Hurty at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We are looking for trained singers that have had extensive experience singing in choral ensembles. Ability to sight read and learn music quickly and independently is required. Previous experience as a choral singer is required. For more detailed information about the audition process, please visit

About QCCA
Quad City Choral Arts was founded to provide the Quad City region with high quality choral music. Membership in the ensemble is by audition and many of the singers are music teachers or choir directors in the Quad City region.

About Artistic Director Jon Hurty
Jon Hurty is Artistic Director of Quad City Choral Arts, Director of Choral Activities at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and Chorale Director at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa. Before coming to Rock Island he was Director of Choral Activities at
Concordia University in Irvine, California. He has conducted school, church and community choirs for over thirty years. He completed his undergraduate degree in vocal performance at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, his master’s degree in choral conducting from California State University, Northridge, and his doctorate in choral conducting and literature from the University of Illinois. He has studied conducting with John Alexander, Don Moses, Chester Alwes and Ann Howard Jones. Active as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States, he has served in this capacity for the American Choral Directors Association, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and the Choral Conductors Guild as well as many churches and high schools.

Quad City Choral Arts presents Spring concert PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Meg Byrne   
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 11:50
Quad City Choral Arts, under the direction of Jon Hurty will present a Spring Choral Collage Concert on Sunday, May 1 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA. Tickets are $10.00 ($7.00 for seniors; student with ID are free) and can be purchased at the door.

The concert includes works that are from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Composers included on the concert are Palestrina, Byrd, Victoria, Mahler, Paulus, Gawthrop, Bertaux, Lightfoot, Naplan, Lekberg, Barnum, Mulholland, and Thompson.

The Augustana Youth Choir, under the direction of Mary Tallitsch, will also make a special guest appearance on the concert. They will be performing the works that they will be singing at Carnegie Hall at the end of May. This will be one of the few opportunities for the community to hear this fine choir of young local singers before their Carnegie Hall debut performance.

The Augustana Youth Choir will be presenting three solo works that feature the beautiful and refined sound of this treble voice ensemble. They will also be combining with the Choral Arts Ensemble for one piece – Wake Up in the Morning by Stephen Paulus. This work includes parts for youth choir, adult choir and Orff instruments.

A highlight of the concert will be a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, sung by Quad City Choral Arts. This work is a transcription of the original work for orchestra and soprano voice and is transcribed for 16-part choir. The work is sung in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of Mahler’s death. Mahler died in May of 1911 in Vienna, Austria.

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