The Joliet Central Symphonic Band was selected to perform a concert on Monday, March 23, 2020, at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall), home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the most renowned concert halls in the world.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime performance for our students, and performing at Lincoln Center is on many musicians’ bucket list. The band was invited based on an audition submitted to the artistic committee in New York. Michael Adelson, conductor-clinician of the New York Philharmonic stated: “each season, we receive many audition videos of solo groups who wish to perform at Lincoln Center. Our selection process is exacting. Very few groups are of the superb quality required to perform at Lincoln Center. Joliet Central is one of those few: the band received unanimous approval from the Artistic Team.”

In order to attend, the Joliet Central band program must raise money to cover transportation, hotels, meals, registration, tickets, equipment rental, and other costs associated with the four day-three night trip to New York with over 115 band members. Band members are currently working towards fundraising for their trip with candy bar sales, mattress sales, and Charitymania ticket sales. The band will be also be hosting two music festivals in the fall to help raise money for the trip.

“To say that we are proud of our students is an understatement. Performing at Lincoln Center is an honor for the band, and we have some extremely hard-working students that have been awarded this opportunity,” said Joliet Central High School Band Director Don Stinson. “It will be a lot of work to get to New York, but we as a band are committed to representing our school and community by sharing our own musical culture in New York.”

The Joliet Central High School Symphonic Band is are asking for help from the community in this campaign to send the band to New York. A band is made up of many different instruments, and our sound comes from the combination of all of our unique parts. Our hope is to be able to fund or offset the cost enough for all of our symphonic band members to attend and participate in this performance.

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Repeating History
This is not the first time the Joliet band has performed in New York.  In the Joliet high school band’s 107 year history, records show that the band was invited to perform at Radio City Music Hall for the Rockettes in 1936, the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Opera House, and even on the steps of New York City Hall. The 1936 performance holds special significance; the president of U.S. Steel at that time, Charles S. Belsterling, heard the band perform. He and music editor Harry L. Alford, music arranger, created the “March of the Steelmen” for the Joliet Township High School Band. The piece received its world premiere in Joliet in 1937, and Joliet Township/Central is one of the few schools to have their own march.