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Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra honors 19th century Romanticism Sunday afternoon

A performance combining poetry, music and songs will serve as a mini fundraiser for a local performing arts organization tomorrow.

The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is hosting a program titled “The Great Romantics: Poetry, Music and Song” Sunday, May 20th starting at 2 p.m. at the Thoresen Recital Hall, located inside the Putnam-Springer Center on the campus of MacMurray College.

Two of the program’s featured performers, Robert Suefert (SOO-FERT) and Sherri Mitchell, joined WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind” program Friday to discuss this weekend’s event. A professor emeritus of English at MacMurray College, Suefert provides some background regarding the title of Sunday’s program by explaining the artistic movement referred to as Romanticism.

“The Romantics constituted a movement from about 1800-1850 in America, Europe. It was a movement that featured: poetry, short stories, novels, music, songs, sculpture, painting. It emphasized things like the expression of emotion and self-expression, sincerety, spontaneity, and originality. It really was a revolutionary movement. It broke away from the neo-classical era, which was more ordered and restrained and rational. IT really wanted to go back to the individual, and it did that in the arts and was a very exciting movement.”

Suefert breaks down how the program will be formatted.

“What we decided is that most people know something about romanticism, but they don’t always understand where it came from. They associate it with romantic love exclusively, but there is so much more to the movement. So our plan was to give a sort of introductory lecture, some sort of facet of romanticism, and then illustrate in song, with a poem, or a piano composition to help people see in greater depth what it was the Romantics were exploring, and really how complex the movement really is. So there will be a preface of explanation to set the given circumstances and context, followed by a display of the art.”

All of the funds raised by the performance will go towards funding the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Suefert says that the local symphony orchestra is a rather unique group of local artists.

“This is really a cultural gem for Jacksonville: classical pieces, pop music, movie scores, they incorporate it all and they give people a full orchestral experience. They also do many things for the community. There’s the Talent Among Us show, where amateurs can compete for a cash prize and perform with the orchestra, and this is such a wonderful opportunity for aspiring musicians. They also have a youth concert, usually early in the year, and they bring in over a thousand students to listen to full, symphonic orchestral music.”

Tickets to “The Great Romantics: Poetry, Music and Song” are $20 per person, and can be purchased at the door. The Thoresen Recital Hall at the Putnam-Springer Center is located at the corner of East State and Clay, on the MacMurray College campus.

To hear more from Professor Emeritus and fellow featured performer Sherri Mitchell, head to the What’s On Your Mind tab right here at WLDS.com.