SEISO pops concert planned
Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra will kick off its 63rd season with fabulous music and a nod to 1920s Feathers and Fanfare. Under the baton of Robert McConnell, the orchestra will delight audiences with the fabulous music of George Gershwin, John Williams, Henry Mancini, Hoagy Carmichael and much more. Concerts will be held 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Auditorium in Burlington.
Headlining the event, guest pianist Michael Philipsen will perform Gershwin’s masterpiece “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Philipsen grew up in Des Moines, attended Simpson College where he earned his Bachelor of Music in piano performance and then received his Master of Music in piano performance at the University of Missouri, where he studied with the concert pianist Santiago Rodriguez.
From 1980 to 1986, Philipsen and wife Marva lived in Centerville, where he taught voice and piano privately. After leaving Centerville, he was the choral director and professor of music theory, piano and voice at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa for 27 years, recently retiring.
He took a choral group with an enrollment of 13 and built it into a very fine college choir of 50 members, and in the meantime, added the Camerata Singers who have specialized in Renaissance music and have represented the college in many venues.
Philipsen also has performed as a vocalist and a pianist, and most recently performed as piano soloist on Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra.
He also has performed the Gershwin Piano Concerto in F with both the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra and the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra.
Philipsen has composed music for piano, voice and chorus and is hoping to have more time in his retirement to continue working along this line. Several of his choral works have been performed by college, high school and church choirs and one of his works, “April Is in My Mistress’ Face” was one of six national finalists selected for Ithaca College’s annual Choral Composition Contest.
Pops committee members in Burlington will be taking reservations for dinner and concert until Friday. Tickets are $40 per person. In Burlington, call 319-754-6398. The deadline for dinner in Ottumwa has passed. Tickets for the concert, without dinner, do not require reservations and will be sold at the door of each venue. Adult admission is $15 and students age 12 and older are $10.
Complete information is available at www.seiso.us.