Opening Night — American Visionaries @ Victory Theatre
Sep 25 @ 7:00 pm

Opening Night

Fei-Fei, Piano

Evansville Philharmonic Chorus

Roger Kalia, Conductor

  • Paul Dooley River City Re-Awakened
  • Gershwin  Rhapsody in Blue
  • Florence Price/Arr. Grant-Still   Dances in the Canebrakes
  • Bernstein   “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story

Let’s get together and celebrate the opening of our season with River City Re-Awakened, a world premiere by Paul Dooley written especially for the EPO!

You’ll enjoy hearing two of the most popular works for symphony orchestra, “Symphonic Dances” from Leonard Bernstein’s iconic West Side Story and Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue featuring pianist Fei-Fei — one of today’s most promising rising stars.

We will perform the lighthearted Dances in the Canebrakes, based on old-style ballroom dance music and Joplin-like rags. This work is written by Florence Price — a true pioneer of American classical music and the first African-American woman to earn national recognition for her symphonic work.

The concert features the Evansville Philharmonic Chorus in a moving, musical surprise honoring healthcare workers and people we lost to COVID-19.

Event Sponsor

Martha & Merritt deJong Foundation

Friends of the Chorus


Literature In Music @ Victory Theatre
Oct 16 @ 7:00 pm

Andrea Drury, Soprano
Tiffany Choe, Soprano
Evansville Civic Theatre, Kevin Roach, Director
Women of the Evansville Philharmonic Chorus
Roger Kalia, Conductor

  • Colin Jacobsen/Siamak Aghaei  Ascending Bird
  • Felix Mendelssohn  A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Semi-Staged)

This concert opens with the intoxicating, whirling Ascending Bird, co-written by American composer Colin Jacobsen and Persian composer Siamak Aghaei. It is based on an ancient Persian parable of spiritual transcendence.

The mischief, mythical fairies and innocent lovers that Shakespeare brought to life in his A Midsummer Night’s Dream are magically portrayed through Mendelssohn’s “incidental” music. You’ll recognize the “Overture,” “Nocturne” and of course, the “Wedding March.” We’re offering a semi-staged version, complete with props, lighting, costumes and actors.

Phil & Linda Palmer Fassett
Dr. Marcus Obeius & Mrs. Kelsi Pitylak

Friends of the Chorus


Famous Love Stories: Porgy & Bess and Romeo & Juliet @ Victory Theatre
Nov 14 @ 4:00 pm

Angela Brown, Soprano
Reginald Smith Jr., Baritone
Evansville Philharmonic Chorus
Roger Kalia, Conductor

  • Sergei Prokofiev Selections from Romeo & Juliet, Suites 1 & 2
  • George Gershwin  Porgy & Bess: A Concert of Songs

Experience two legendary and powerful love stories in one incredible night! Prokofiev’s electrifying and luscious music from Romeo & Juliet fuses with Gershwin’s poignant and quintessentially American Porgy & Bess to create an evening of sweeping emotion and drama.

Hear blues, jazz, spirituals, and classical music, in two radically different works that were surprisingly written in the same year!

Joined by the Evansville Philharmonic Chorus, our wonderful singers, Angela Brown and Reginald Smith, Jr. sing Gershwin’s classics like “Summertime” and “I Got Plenty of Nuttin’,” while Prokofiev’s “Balcony Scene” will move you to tears and “Death of Tybalt” will leave you speechless.

William E. Schmidt Foundation

Friends of the Chorus


Mozart, Beethoven, and Honegger @ Victory Theatre
Jan 22 @ 7:00 pm

Timothy Chooi, Violin
Roger Kalia, Conductor

  • Arthur Honegger Pastorale d’eté
  • W.A. Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5, “Turkish”
  • Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7

An evening of popular masterworks including Arthur Honegger’s musical impression of a peaceful early morning in the Swiss alps.

Internationally acclaimed violinist Timothy Chooi takes center stage to perform Mozart’s majestic Violin Concerto No. 5. The piece gets its nickname, “Turkish,” due to the sudden switch in the middle of a movement to what is meant to suggest wild Turkish music.

The concert concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which the composer himself thought of as one of his best works.

One writer describes what many musicians have felt about this piece:“… the final movement zips along at an irrepressible pace that threatens to sweep the entire orchestra off its feet and around the theater, caught up in the sheer joy of performing one of the most perfect symphonies ever written.”



Mahler’s “Titan” @ Victory Theatre
Apr 30 @ 7:00 pm

Roger Kalia, Conductor

  • Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 1, “Titan”

A monumental work written for an enormous orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (known as the “Titan”) is one of the most impressive and audacious first symphonies ever written.

The composer’s meshing of traditional and modernist ideas make the piece particularly innovative.

His use of bird calls, off-stage trumpets, and optimistic themes evoke youthful vitality, elegance and playfulness.

The foreboding harmonies, klezmer-like music, and a funeral procession using a minor version of “Frère Jacques” serve as a reminder that joy and sorrow both exist in life.

Chorale-like figures and fanfares suggest impending victory, but this combined with tension and angst-ridden melodies provide for an emotional ending complete with victorious horns and overwhelming jubilation.