Bradley Jazz Ensemble and PSO team up for successful show

April 4, 2012

By Ivy Hillman '12

Monday marked a big night for the Bradley Jazz Ensemble. They performed with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra at Five Points Washington.

The two groups were conducted by George Stelluto and Todd Kelly, director of the Jazz Ensemble. The group performed several pieces together, including pieces by faculty members at Western Illinois University and Bradley. "Spirals" by Dr. Stephen Heinemann was written especially for this performance and "Feeling Good" by Leslie Bricusse featured Bradley student and vocalist Cheryl Rodey. One song required both groups to sing in unison.

"The concert was a unique collaboration between the two groups," Kelly said.

This performance had been in the works for a while.

"I was approached by Mr. Stelluto a year ago with the idea of a collaborative concert, and I was excited about the idea," Kelly said.

But this is not the first time that the two groups have worked together. They collaborated three years ago on a concert entitled "Ellington Elegy." This year's concert was just as much of a success.

"The concert was a great success, with 600 people in attendance and a prolonged standing ovation for both groups at the end of the concert," Kelly said.

While there are no immediate plans for another collaboration, the Jazz Ensemble does have some big events coming up. Saturday, April 28 is their spring concert at Dingeldine. This summer, from July 8 to July 19 they will be touring Italy with six performances in ten days.