To mark a historical milestone in our university’s history, a special Sesquicentennial tour will visit Chicago, New York, and Champaign-Urbana in the spring of 2018. The concerts will be performed by two of the school’s flagship ensembles and will exemplify Illinois excellence, instill pride, and deepen engagement through a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The University of Illinois Wind Symphony and Chamber Singers, led by Director of Bands Dr. Stephen Peterson and Director of Choral Activities Dr. Andrew Megill, will be joined by soloists Nathan Gunn, Todd Payne, and Yvonne Redman for the debut of a newly commissioned work titled Gathering. However, long before the curtain raises, the journey of the tour started with the creation of this original work.

Gathering is being created collaboratively between composer Dominick DiOrio of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and National Book Award-winning writer and Professor Emeritus Richard Powers. Powers has assembled a text that blends speeches and writings by a diverse trio of University of Illinois alumni, including Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Van Doren (B.A., 1914), Nobel laureate in Physiology/Medicine Rosalyn Yalow (Ph.D., 1945), and pioneering architect and engineer Fazlur Khan (Ph.D., 1955). DiOrio was selected among many outstanding composers as a rising star in the music world and for his experience writing for voices and instruments. Few outstanding works exist for such a large musical force with band and choir combined, making this composition even more significant.

The Chicago and New York performances of the Gathering were made possible by a gift from the Corley family in loving memory of Dr. W. Gene Corley.


Sunday, February 11, 2018 – Chicago- 3:00 pm
Chicago Symphony Center | Featured soloists: Nathan Gunn and Yvonne Redman

Saturday, April 14, 2018 – New York City- 7:30 pm
Alice Tully Hall | Featured soloists: Yvonne Redman and Todd Payne

Saturday, April 21, 2018 – Urbana Campus- 7:30 pm
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts | Featured soloists: Yvonne Redman and Todd Payne