This coming Wednesday your chance to meet Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith at Barnes and Noble, NorthPark Mall, Davenport. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is hosting a bookfair at Barnes and Noble on July 22 and a percentage of the proceeds from items purchased in the store that day - everything from CDs to coffee - will be directed to the QCSO.

Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith will be meeting with music lovers and hosting a presentation of next year's Masterworks repertoire starting at 5:30 PM. Barnes and Noble is also stocking recordings of much of next year's repertoire so you can spend more time with the music before hearing it live. Maestro Smith's presentation will last about a half-hour with time for questions and photos after the presentation. Present a voucher at check-out and a percentage of the proceeds from the items purchased will be directed to the QCSO. Vouchers can be downloaded at


String players, are you ready for your Quad City Youth Orchestra and Youth String Ensemble auditions? Will you be at your best?  Get professional coaching on musical excerpts and techniques. Learn the tips the pros use. Cost is $5.00, payable at the clinic. Space is limited. Reserve your spot today by calling Rich Stodd at the Quad City Symphony Orchestra office, 563.322.0931 x15, or email The sessions are 60-minutes long and be sure to bring your own music stand.

Date:  July 16
Location:  Grace Evangelical Free Church, 5520 Eastern Ave., Davenport

1:30 PM - String Ensemble excerpts for violin, viola, cello, bass.
3 PM - Youth Orchestra excerpts for violin, viola, cello, bass.


QCSO announces 2009-10 Pops season
Davenport, IA - Following on the heels of a sell-out Spring Pops concert, the QCSO has some exciting announcements regarding its Pops schedule for next year:

The Riverfront Pops returns to LeClaire Park - September 12th
The Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Mark Russell present Steve Lippia performing the music of Frank Sinatra as the 27th annual Riverfront Pops returns to LeClaire Park. Steve Lippia is one of the most prominent, in-demand vocalists and has quickly established his place among the finest interpreters of "standards" and traditional pop music in the nation. Steve's youthful, energetic talent and powerful show create a perfect blend of "classic" with "today." His show introduces a new generation to this timeless music, while appealing to long-time listeners. As is traditional, the concert will end with the 1812 Overture, Stars and Stripes Forever, and fireworks.

Cirque comes to Holiday Pops - November 21st
The QCSO and Quad City Arts take the Holiday Pops in an exciting new direction this year with Cirque de la Symphonie. Cirque is an exciting adaptation of the artistic performances widely seen in theaters and arenas everywhere. Artists include the most amazing veterans of exceptional cirque programs throughout the world - aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen. These artists include world-record holders, international competition gold-medal winners, and some of the most original talent seen anywhere. Conducted by Music Director Mark Russell Smith and featuring return engagements from the First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir and the Holiday Pops Children's Chorus, this year's concert promises to be the most spectacular Holiday Pops ever.

Another rockin' Spring Pops - June 5th
Conductor and arranger Brent Havens returns to the Adler Theatre with the Music of the Eagles, a program he scored to extend the listening experience of the Eagles' timeless tunes. Amplified by a full rock band and accompanied by singers Terry Brock, Randy Jackson, and John Hines, creator Brent Havens guest conducts the ensemble as they capture the Eagles' amazing vocal harmonies surrounded by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in a concert rich with lush melodies like you've never heard before. The 2-hour concert features 18 Eagles tunes, including Heartache Tonight, Desperado, New Kid in Town and Hotel California.


Organization Holds Fundraiser with Budget Questions Looming

MILAN, IL (June 12, 2009) - Just Kids Early Care & Education Centers is holding their second annual Trivia Night on Friday, June 19th at the Milan Community Center, US Highway 67, Milan, IL.  Doors open at 6pm, trivia starts at 7pm.  Teams of 8 can compete for cash and door prizes.  Food may be brought in and a cash bar will be available.

Just Kids Executive Director, Vera Hinrichsen, says "This fundraiser comes at an interesting time, as state funds for human services in Illinois could be cut by more than 50%.  In order for Just Kids to be efficient in serving families and children in the future, we need a great deal of support from our local community."

The proposed Illinois operations budget would cut child care by 63% and eliminate the Preschool for All program, which operates in the 3-5 year old classrooms at Just Kids.  In addition, funding assistance that is currently utilized by 175,000 Illinois families for early education services would only be available to 25,000 if the proposed budget goes into effect.

Proceeds from Trivia Night will benefit contingency funds and program development opportunities for Just Kids, a non-profit early childhood education organization that serves over 200 families annually.  Just Kids is a United Way partner and is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Just Kids has been providing services in Milan for over 30 years and employs over 45 early childhood professionals that educate young children, build public support for high-quality programs, improve professional practice and support area families.

Teams may register for Trivia Night by contacting Lisa Redecker at (309) 787-6303 or Teams may also register directly on the Just Kids website:

Just Kids Early Care & Education Centers, Milan, announces their second annual Trivia Night Fundraiser.  This fun and competitive event will take place on Friday, June 19th at the Milan Community Center, US Hwy 67, Milan IL.  Doors open at 6pm, trivia starts at 7pm.  Teams of 8 will compete for cash prizes and have a chance to win great door prizes throughout the night.  All proceeds benefit program expansions for Just Kids, a non-profit early childhood education organization serving 200 families annually.

Teams may register online at or by calling Lisa at (309) 787-6303.  Cost is $80 per table, and can be paid the night of the event.  Food may be brought in, and a cash bar will be available.
Spring cleaning? Donate your gently used treasures to the Volunteers for Symphony's 26th Annual Second Fiddle Sale!

Donations of used merchandise are requested for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Association's 2nd Fiddle Sale and will be accepted between May 23 and June 15 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from  8 AM to 4 PM and Mondays from 1 PM to 8 PM. 2nd Fiddle will not be open for drop-offs on Memorial Day, May 25. Donations can be made at the former Seasonal Concepts building, 3568 North Brady Street, Davenport, between BigLots and K-Mart. The sale accepts gently-used clothing, furniture, household items, linens, small appliances, books, children's clothing, sporting goods, toys, jewelry, antiques, collectibles and more! All donations are tax deductible and receipted at time of drop off.

The 2nd Fiddle Sale opens with a "first chance to buy" Opening Night on Thursday, June 18, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, with refreshments and live music. Tickets for this event are $8 and may be purchased in advance at the Symphony Office, 327 Brady Street, Davenport, (563) 322-QCSO (7276) or at the door on June 18. The sale continues with free admission on Friday and Saturday, June 19-20, from 7 AM - 6:00 PM.

Volunteers for Symphony organize and present this much anticipated annual sale of gently used items every year. Many volunteers are needed during the upcoming weeks for sorting merchandise, set-up, and selling during the Sale. Contact VfS by phone at (563) 322-0931, x12 or email at to help. All 2nd Fiddle Sale proceeds benefit the music education programs of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Association.

Davenport, IA - As the Music of Led Zeppelin Spring Pops concert reaches "must-see" status in the Quad Cities, the QCSO is announcing another way to enjoy the weekend - the Spring Pops Pre-Party. From 5 to 7 on May 30, the parking lot behind the Adler, on Brady Street between 3rd and 4th Street, will be blocked off and set aside for a pre-concert party. Attending the party will be Music of Led Zeppelin conductor/arranger Brent Havens, lead singer Randy Jackson, and Greg Dwyer from the 97X morning show Dwyer and Michaels.

Admission to the party is free and vendors will be selling grilled food from Sunshine Concessions and locally brewed beer from Great River Brewery. Great River Brewery, the Quad Cities' newest, tapped its first keg this spring. Their products are available on tap at establishments throughout the area and are coming soon in 16-ounce cans. Beer from Great River Brewery will also be available inside the Adler during the concert.

Performing at the Spring Pops Pre-Party will be one of the most contagious bands in the Quad Cities - Deadroots. Every Deadroots show is a collage of Rock, Funk, R & B, Bluegrass, Jam, and Jazz. Since it's birth in 1999, the band has evolved into the core line-up of Steve Braddy, Josh Long, John Bechtel, and Jared Hughes. Over the years, Deadroots has gained a reputation for its incredibly catchy and well-crafted original tunes as well as its original takes on cover tunes.

Tickets for the Music of Led Zeppelin Spring Pops concert start at $16 and can be purchased at, 800-745-3000, and all Ticketmaster outlets.


Davenport, IA - The Quad City Symphony Orchestra's annual Listening Olympics was held on Friday, April 24, at Asbury United Methodist Church. Nearly 50 fifth grade students, in teams of three from Quad City area schools, competed for gold, silver and bronze medals at this friendly competition that challenges students' knowledge of classical music.

Schools participating in this year's competition included Butterworth, Hamilton, Franklin, and Jane Addams from Moline; Matherville from Sherrard, and Colorado and Madison from Muscatine.

This year's winners were:

Gold (Pictured left to right; click on photo for print quality version.):
Franklin School, Moline
Emily Johnson
Noah Fabiano
Alexis Willey
Classroom Teacher: Maureen Dittmer
Music Specialist: Emily Roberts

Butterworth Elementary, Moline
Quinn Daley
Michael Dombrock
Zane Nelson
Music Specialist: Valeree Pieper

Jane Addams Elementary, Moline
Chase Austin
Divya Badri
Megan Medinger
Music Specialist: Valeree Pieper

"Listening Olympics" is offered annually at no cost to schools and participants and is supported by funding from Volunteers for Symphony.

Davenport, IA - The Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Youth Symphony Orchestra have been awarded a week-long residency by world-famous violinist Midori in the spring of 2011. The Orchestra Residencies Program was created by Midori to support American youth orchestras. The Orchestra Residencies Program is a collaborative project providing meaningful musical experiences for the next generation of classical musicians.

Over a period of five to seven days, Midori will participate in a wide range of activities tailored by the QCSO to optimize local involvement of the youth orchestra, including concerts with both the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Such activities include master classes and performance workshops, arts advocacy visits to local legislators, meals with Q&A sessions, and a discussion group with the staffs of both orchestras.

Violinist Midori maintains a blend of worldwide performances, expanding commitment to community engagement, devotion to her various roles at the prestigious University of Southern California, and enthusiastic exploration of new territory that fans, students, and media alike have come to expect from this brilliant and multi-faceted artist. Midori founded Midori & Friends in 1992 in response to serious cutbacks in music education in New York City schools; over the last 16 years, over 150,000 children have benefitted from this program. Midori has also founded a similar organization in Japan, Music Sharing. Music Sharing concentrates on music education for young people with a special focus on both Western classical music and traditional Japanese music, including instrument instruction for the disabled.

2004-05 marked the inauguration of Midori's Orchestra Residencies Program, which will bring Midori to the Quad Cities in 2011. Through this program Midori coaches young musicians, appears at benefits and subscription series concerts and works with both orchestras to raise arts awareness within the community. Orchestra Residencies Programs have been conducted in Alaska (Fairbanks and Anchorage), Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, Montana, South Dakota, North Carolina, and Des Moines, Iowa.

Midori was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1971 and began studying the violin with her mother, Setsu Goto, at a very early age. In 1982, when Zubin Mehta first heard her play, he was so impressed that he invited her to be a surprise guest soloist for the New York Philharmonic's traditional New Year's Eve concert, on which occasion she received a standing ovation and the impetus to begin a major career.

Midori made her first recording at the age of 14 for Philips - she played music of Bach and Vivaldi with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. She now records exclusively for Sony BMG, which issued two Midori releases in 2008 - an album joining sonatas of J. S. Bach (Unaccompanied No.2 in A minor) and Bartók (No.1 in C-sharp minor, with pianist Robert McDonald); and a 2-CD compilation of catalogue material, Essential Midori.

In 2004, Midori joined the ranks of published authors with the release in Germany of a memoir titled Einfach Midori (Simply Midori), for the publisher Henschel Verlag. In 2007 Midori was designated an official U.N. Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who cited her community engagement work as a model of exemplary commitment to worldwide goals shared by the U.N.

Midori lives in Los Angeles. In 2000, she received her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Gender Studies at the Gallatin School of New York University, graduating magna cum laude, and in 2005 received her Master's degree in Psychology. Away from school and the concert hall, Midori enjoys reading, writing and attending the theater. Her violin is the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesu "ex-Huberman", which is on lifetime loan to her from the Hayashibara Foundation. She uses three bows, two by Dominique Peccatte and the third by François Peccatte.


Davenport, IA - The ninth annual Quad City Symphony Orchestra Association music education program Listening Olympics will be held on Friday, April 24 at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1809 Mississippi Blvd., Bettendorf. Registration begins at 3:30 PM with preliminary rounds at 4:00 PM and final competition at 5:30 PM. More than 40 fifth-grade students, in teams of three, from Quad City area schools will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals at this friendly competition challenging students' knowledge of classical music.

Playing on the theme of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader, the QCSO will be fronting three adult teams to compete against the students in the final round. Three teams will represent the Orchestra members, the Board of Trustees and Volunteers for Symphony respectively. These exhibition teams cannot take home medals, but it should be great sport to watch them play.

Listening Olympics is a fun and interactive competition testing students' knowledge of classical music elements, including titles, composers, families of instruments, and style. Student participants have been studying music examples and answering questions like, "Who is the composer?" or "Is this music from the classical or romantic period?"

"Listening Olympics is a fun and wonderful way for fifth graders to become further acquainted with symphonic music!" said Laurie Skjerseth, QCSO Education Coordinator. "We're so excited to have these schools joining the competition." Currently confirmed participants at this year's competition include : Butterworth, Hamilton, Franklin, and Jane Addams from Moline; and Colorado and Madison from Muscatine.

Listening Olympics is offered at no cost to schools and participants through support and funding from Volunteers for Symphony. Photos and interviews can be arranged by calling the Symphony office, 563-322-0931.