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DECATUR — All of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra concerts are specially designed for the audience. The Labor Day Pops Concert was designed by the audience.

The free holiday concert will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3, in the Hickory Point Pavilion. Sergey Bogza will again conduct the orchestra. The soloist for the evening will be tenor Justin John Moniz.

For the second year, the music for the Labor Day Concert was selected by MDSO audiences during the previous season. “This event is special because all the pieces are chosen by the audience. It is fun to see the audience take ownership,” Bogza said. “It is a like a child that went into a candy store and was told they can have anything they want.”

Musical selections for the evening include scores from movies as well as marches. The audience chose popular pieces such as Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies,” a “West Side Story” medley by Leonard Bernstein, and “El Capitan,” a famous march by John Philip Sousa.

Bogza, an assistant professor of orchestra and music theory at Millikin University, will lead his third Labor Day concert. For nearly 20 years, the concert had been held in Nelson Park. Last year, the event was moved to Central Park while waiting for the construction of a new amphitheater to be completed. Due to bad weather, the concert was never performed in downtown Decatur, but was moved to Hickory Point Anne and Al Swartz Pavilion. The move turned out to be a blessing. Not only does the area provide a roof, but it also sounds better.

“Accustousically it worked out well for us,” Bogza said. “We didn’t need any microphones.”

For those who are unable to attend the concert, they will be able to view the show live through the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra Facebook page. Although the pavilion will have seats available under the roof, Bogza recommends audience members bring lawn chairs in case the seats fill up.

Throughout concert Bogza will discuss the upcoming MDSO season, which begins Saturday, Sept. 22, at Kirkland Fine Arts Center. “The Labor Day concert is a good time for those who have never experienced MDSO and (learn about) the plans for the year,” Bogza said.

Monday’s holiday concert has the audience in mind, designed to create a bond between the musicians and the crowd.

“They are songs where the audience can clap along,” Bogza said. “And it is fun interacting with the audience.”

Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR


"Together Decatur" Columnist and Food and Drink Reporter

“Together Decatur” columnist and food and drink reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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