Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts for Kids Go to Paris!

Categorized: Press Releases

Post Date:

Contact Beth Wakefield
217-522-2838 x4

Grab your passport and sign your class up for a musical journey as the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and our two musical tour guides—George Gershwin and the Chevalier de Saint-Georges take us on Parisian adventure! With your passport in hand, we will head across the Atlantic to the jazzy grooves of Gershwin’s American in Paris.

Projections will guide us as we stroll the streets of the French capital, encountering a street singer, popping into the Paris Ballet to hear a rehearsal, and even joining a street parade on the Champs-Élysées. If we are lucky, the Chevalier may even give us a demonstration of his famed fencing prowess, to the tune of his own music.

And for the finale, we won’t just enjoy the sights and sounds of Paris but might even have a small taste. Bon voyage!

Listen LIVE! to your Illinois Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 10:00 AM at the UIS Performing Arts Center in Springfield, Illinois or Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 10:00 AM at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts in Bloomington, IL.

Order your tickets and we’ll see you there! Tickets may be purchased in Springfield through the UIS Ticket Office at 217-206-6160 or ONLINE and in Bloomington-Normal through the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Office at 309-434-2777. Tickets are $7 per person. For classrooms and/or schools attending the concert, there should be on chaperone for every 15 students; every 16th ticket is complimentary.

Financial assistance is available. If a student or class needs financial assistance, contact Beth Wakefield at (217) 522-2838 Ext. 4 or For more information, go to

Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts for Kids are funded through educational outreach and grant support from Memorial Health, Illinois Arts Council, the Illinois Symphony Guild of Bloomington-Normal, McLean County Arts Center*, National Endowment for the Arts, LRS, Illinois Prairie Community Foundation – Mirza Arts & Culture Fund, Pete & Melinda LaBarre, Harvey & Judy Stephens, Sandra & Kenneth Jesse Endowment for Schoolchildren, and Susan Cook House Educational Trust for Schoolchildren.

* This program was supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, an agency of the State of Illinois, the McLean County Arts Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jacobsen Woollen is a conductor, cellist, and tenor residing in Springfield, Illinois, where he serves as Assistant Conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Director of the Illinois Symphony Youth Orchestra, Director of the Springfield Choral Society, and Director of the UIS Orchestra.

An Indiana native, Jacobsen returns to the Midwest after spending six years in Vienna, Austria, where he completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Prof. Mark Stringer at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, conducted professional ensembles including the Polska Filharmonia Baltycka and Ensemble Ultreia, served as assistant conductor of the Vienna Opera Festival, and led the Schlosschor Hadersfeld. During his Vienna years, Jacobsen was frequently called back to the Midwest to work at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where he served as assistant conductor and led several workshops for new works, including Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones.

Jacobsen also maintains an active career as a tenor: he recently produced and performed a musical-theatrical concert evening, Lovelace Weave, which explores the father-daughter pair of Lord Byron and Ada Lovelace. As a member of the Grammy-winning Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Jacobsen has participated in opera productions at Theater an der Wien, as well as concerts in Europe’s most renowned venues, including Vienna’s Musikverein and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is central Illinois’ largest professional orchestra serving over 35,000 patrons in the communities of Bloomington-Normal, Springfield and the surrounding region with symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, and Concerts for Kids series in each community. In addition to concert performances, the Orchestra's music education and outreach programs serve pre-K and elementary schools through the Itsy Arts and Music Matters education programs and reach middle schools, high schools, universities, community organizations and senior centers through guest artist residencies and musician and ensemble performances. The ISO also has an active Around the Town Chamber Music Series and virtual Sunday at Six Recital Series. The Illinois Symphony Orchestra has a budget of approximately $1.3 million.

In July 2020, the ISO acquired the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony (SVYS) organization that was started in the early 1970s by parents, music teachers and musicians to keep string programs and youth orchestra in Springfield and surrounding communities following the elimination of all school orchestra programs. Now, the Illinois Symphony Youth Orchestras (ISYO) programs consist of Starter and Junior Strings, Preparatory Orchestra, Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra serving over 150 students. The ISO also has a partnership in education and community engagement (PEACE) with the UIS-School of Music and Illinois State University’s Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

Additional information about the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is available at

The ISO is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


Share Article

Get Involved with Illinois Symphony

Our patrons, donors, and sponsors are a large part of what makes our orchestra great and our concerts successful! If you'd like to take part in making a difference for our orchestra, click the button below to learn more. Thank you!