PEORIA, IL – The Peoria Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is pleased to announce the ROMANCE concert on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM at the Peoria Civic Center Theater in Peoria, IL. This annual concert is a Valentine’s sampler of musical sweets with jazz, romantic music, comedy, and ballet—followed by an After Party in the Peoria Civic Center Lobby featuring renowned jazz artists.

Regarding this performance, Maestro George Stelluto says:

“Cupid has several musical arrows in his quill for this concert: romantic classical music, virtuoso soloists, jazz, ballet, and even stand-up comedy—sure to entertain and inspire you! Baby, it might be cold outside, but the stage inside will be smokin’!”

The concert will feature THE TODD KELLY QUINTET, comprised of some of the finest jazz musicians in the region. Dr. Todd Kelly is Professor of Trumpet and Director of Jazz Ensembles at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Dr. Kelly teaches trumpet, directs the Bradley Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Combos, teaches Jazz Improvisation, and serves as an advisor for the Music Business program. Dr. Kelly maintains a busy performing schedule in the Central Illinois area with the BraziLionaires, the Todd Kelly Jazz Quintet, the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra, Four Other Brothers, JC and the Redemption, Inner Light, and as a freelance jazz and classical musician. He has also performed with Wayne Newton, Jerry Lewis, Charo, the Fifth Dimension, Lesley Gore, Steve Lippia, Mannheim Steamroller, and the national touring companies of Hairspray, Wicked, Mary Poppins, The Rat Pack is Back, Billy Elliot, Chicago, White Christmas, Kinky Boots, and The Book of Mormon. THE TODD KELLY QUINTET is dedicated to performing contemporary jazz standards and original music written by members of the group. Members include TODD KELLY, trumpet and flugelhorn; STEPHEN HEINEMANN, saxophone; DEREL MONTEITH, piano; ANDY CRAWFORD, bass; and TOM MARKO, drums.

PSO’s 2018-19 Artist in Residence, pianist GEOFFREY DUCE, will perform Duke Ellington’s A New World A-Comin’ and Mendelssohn’s Rondo Brilliant. Duce has performed in Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall, across Europe, and in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Duce is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at Illinois State University.

The CENTRAL ILLINOIS BALLET joins the Peoria Symphony Orchestra once again. The Central Illinois Ballet began in 2015 under the direction of Artistic Director Rebekah von Rathonyi. This year marks the company’s third full season of performances from August through May. With a highly talented group of dancers, the company hopes to inspire collaboration by bringing excellence and creativity to the community.

Chicago comedian and native Peorian BUTLER RYAN will MC the concert. Butler studied standup, comedy writing, and improvisation at The Second City in Chicago. By day, Butler works in the financial services industry. He is a former volunteer for the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and passionately supports the musical arts in both education and the community.

Concert-goers are invited to attend the annual Romance AFTER PARTY following the concert in the Peoria Civic Center Lobby featuring music from THE JUDY PAGE PROJECT. Judy Page is a jazz artist who often performs with Preston Jackson and Friends. She was a back-up vocalist for Ike and Tina Turner, opened for Ray Charles, and was the lead vocalist for Kriss Kross. Performing with Page will be musicians DEREL MONTEITH, keyboards; DAVID HOFFMAN, trumpet; STEVE DEGENFORD, guitar; JASON BRANNON, percussion; ANDY CRAWFORD, bass; and DAVID PARKINSON, saxophone. This complimentary party is included with the concert ticket. Drinks and light snacks, including a wine bar and cheese plates, will be available for purchase.

ROMANCE is sponsored by Soderstrom Skin Institute, Meredith Foundation, and RLI; this program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Additional support for the 121st Symphony Season provided by PNC.

Tickets for ROMANCE start at $25 and student tickets are $10. Tickets are available by calling 309.671.1096, visiting the PSO Box Office located at 101 State Street, Peoria, IL or online at

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Founded in 1897, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate, and inspire through music. The PSO presents excellent live musical performances, innovative music education programs, and engaging community outreach efforts, which significantly impact the cultural and economic vitality of Central Illinois.

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Mae Gilliland Wright, PhD
Director of Marketing and Communications
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This season was made possible, in part, by leadership gifts from:
Peoria Symphony Foundation Soderstrom Skin Institute Illinois Arts Council Agency
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