Hatheway Cultural Arts Center Alive with the Sound of Music


Alexander Gent

On Saturday, April 21st, Lewis and Clark Community College hosted the Alton Symphony Orchestra performing in its 73rd concert season. During the two hour show, the audience was treated to performances of Mozart’s “The Impresario”, “ The Norwegian Dances” by Edvard Grieg, Leroy Anderson’s “Irish Suite”,  “The Hebrides” by Felix Mendelssohn, and Amy Beach’s “Gaelic Symphony”.

The orchestra consisted of fifty members ranging in age and experience and was led by Maestro Wm. Shane Williams who has been the Music Director/Conductor since 2013. Mr. Williams has an extensive musical resume that includes, but is not limited to: conducting the St. Louis Philharmonic, the Illinois Symphony, as well as performances with Moody Blues and Burt Bacharach to name a few.

Also on the roster was Alton native, Vincent Piazza. Mr. Piazza is the Alton Symphony Orchestra (ASO) Concertmaster and has a long history with the ASO. As a member of the Alton Junior Youth Symphony, the Alton Youth Symphony, and, during high school, the Alton Symphony, he enjoyed playing in many ensembles.

“It is truly a privilege and honor to work with so many talented members of the music community,” Williams said.

Throughout the performance, the music did not ebb and flow, but it rather rose and receded like a boat in the water seems to rise and fall. The musician’s talents and their commitments to enriching them were undeniable, and although they performed with calculated precision, executing each piece with an expertise that could be described as “engineered”, it would be unfair to compare them to a well oiled machine, for machines may be able to invoke emotions, but they cannot perform with same passion.

ASO is currently looking for members who are passionate about music, would like to bring about change for the community, and would like to learn the skills of succeeding in such a role. Anyone interested in donating financially, joining the orchestra as a musician, becoming a member of the Board of Directors, finding the season schedule, or looking for information, in general, may do so by sending an email to  altonsymphony@gmail.com or visiting www.altonsymphonyorchestra.org.

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