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A former Rockford musical director will lead a different band for the holidays

Kevin Jensen
The Rockford Symphony Orchestra https://www.facebook.com/RockfordSymphony
Kevin Jensen

A Rockford annual holiday concert is taking place this Saturday, but a new face will lead the band.

This is the Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s first “Holiday Pops” concert following the retirement of its longstanding maestro Steven Larsen.

Kevin Jensen, the former conductor and musical director of the Rockford Wind Ensemble is set to conduct this year’s Christmas concert. He said the orchestra is still determining who the next director will be but said it wouldn’t make sense to have one of the finalists lead this concert because their audition performances were quite different.

“They had to have a little bit of classical, a little bit of new music a little bit, maybe more popular music,” he said. So, we’re all following the same template. And you couldn't ask one of the finalists to ‘okay, you're going to play Jingle Bells and Sleigh Ride.’”

Jensen said somehow his name came and up he was happy to accept. He learned about the opportunity this summer.

“And when I got the call,” he said, “my reaction was the same as almost everybody I talked to like, ‘Oh, wow that's, that's great.’ I think that's exactly what I said.”

Holiday Pops will take place Saturday Dec. 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the orchestra’s website.

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.