Waukegan Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 50th Anniversary with 50th Birthday Bash

May 8
Wednesday, May 8th 2024

Waukegan, Illinois (May 8, 2024) – The Waukegan Symphony Orchestra will present a 50th Birthday Bash on Sunday, May 12, 2024 from 4pm to 6pm at the Orlin Trapp Auditorium, located at the Waukegan High School Brookside Campus, 2325 Brookside Avenue in Waukegan. The special concert will be a tribute to the 1974 inaugural concert that featured Jack Benny on the violin. Benny grew up in Waukegan and was an icon of Hollywood starring on the radio, television, and in movies. The Waukegan Symphony Orchestra, directed by Alexander Platt, will be joined by Stephen Blackwelder and Dr. Lynn Schornick, former music directors; Michael Kleinerman, former concertmaster; and the Waukegan High School Orchestra.

The concert will feature Yang Liu, a world-renowned violinist from Chicago. An advocate of cultural diversity, equality, and inclusion via classical music, Liu is a founder of the Yang and Olivia Arts Foundation and Momento Virtuosi, a chamber ensemble of diverse ethnicities and instrumentation. Liu tours with orchestras in North America, South America, and Asia.

The program for the concert is below:

  • Johannes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture
  • Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
  • François Schubert’s The Bee
  • Hector Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust
  • Finale of Johannes Brahm’s Symphony No. 2

Established in 1974, the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra is led by Music Director Alexander Platt. The Waukegan Symphony Orchestra provides a unique performance opportunity for more than 50 devoted musicians of varying ages and levels of musical experience. Throughout the season, concerts have featured guest soloists from around the country.

A ticket is required to attend the concert. The following ticket options are available:

  • Students and Children (18 years and younger): Free
  • Students (19 years and older): $10
  • Seniors (62 years and older)/Active Military Personnel/Veterans: $15
  • Adults: $20

The concert is supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Waukegan Arts Council, and sponsorships from Kaiser, Shepherd & Nakon, P.C., Harry E. Came, Doug Stiles, and Scott and Roxanne Swanson.

More information, including tickets, is available at waukeganparks.org/wsocc.

About the Waukegan Park District

Established on December 26, 1916, the Waukegan Park District (WPD) has 53 properties and more than 742 acres of land, including the 18-hole Bonnie Brook and 9-hole Greenshire Golf Courses. Properties are managed to the highest environmental and conservation standards. Facilities operated by the WPD include the Field House Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Center, Waukegan’s Greg Petry SportsPark, Waukegan Skate Park, BMX Track, SplashZone, Percussion Playground, recreational centers, disc golf course, dog exercise area and agility course, outdoor sports fields, picnic areas, playgrounds, splash pads, and sports courts including basketball, tennis and pickleball. A full range of programs and services are offered year-round for all ages, from infants to seniors, as well as special need populations. Healthy lifestyles, wellness initiatives, and a connection with the outdoors and nature are integrated throughout programs, services, and special events. Arts and cultural activities are provided by the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus, and the Waukegan History Museum. We offer something for everyone!

A member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), and the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA), the WPD employs 73 full-time and 219 part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees and is recognized by the IPRA as an Exceptional Workplace.

Nationally accredited by the NRPA Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and State accredited through the IAPD Distinguished Agency Accreditation, the WPD has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Triple Crown Award for receiving the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award, and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The WPD was awarded the NRPA National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2013, and was named a Gold Medal Finalist in 2012, 2013, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Media Contact
Josue Pasillas, MPA
Communications Supervisor
Waukegan Park District
(847) 360-4789