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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Residents Can Still See Rockford Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert


An annual holiday concert will continue to bring Christmas cheer thanks to the help of one Rockford television station.

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert will air on WREX-TV Christmas Day.  

Steven Larsen is the music director of the orchestra. He said although the concert is still taking place, a few things needed to change due to COVID-19. 

“First of all, we are in the situation now where we can't have a live audience. So, our only chance to have a concert was to record it,” he explained. “Secondly, we can't have a full orchestra together.” 

Larsen said that this year they are using just the brass and percussion sections. This decreases the orchestra’s size by around half.  

The annual concert has taken place for over 25 years and Larsen said that he's talked to people who've shared that this is the only concert that they attend each year. 

“This is of course a year with extraordinary disruption that we can't do this, we can't come together the way that we've been before. So, I think it's particularly important that we be able to communicate with our audience in this way.” 

The 30-minute concert will air on the holiday at noon and 5:00 p.m. The recording takes place at Trinity Lutheran Church.  

Larsen said that a full hour concert will be available for the orchestra’s subscribers. The RSO will share those details at a later date. 

  • Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.
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