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  • June 13, 2019 3:43 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Hello everyone! Last week I had the opportunity to speak with some of the cast members and creative directors of The Muddy River Opera Company’s rendition of Aaron Copeland’s, “The Tender Land”. The show will be performed by the company on June 14that 7:30 pm and June 16that 3:00 pm in the Orr Auditorium at John Wood Community College. “The Tender Land” follows the story of a maturing young woman named Laurie Moss who just graduated from high school. Laurie longs to venture out of her comfort zone and explore the real world. The plot emphasizes the importance of family and friends. Several of the cast members and creative directors in this production have participated in other MROC performances over the years. Let’s meet the dedicated people who are bringing “The Tender Land” to life right here in Quincy, IL…

    Mark Gilgallon has been performing with the Muddy River Opera Company since 1990 and is returning to MROC for the first time since 1998. He will be playing the role of Grandpa Moss in “The Tender Land”. This character in particular is one that Gilgallon is very familiar with; he has performed it 2 other times, the last of which was in Quincy in 1995. Gilgallon is delighted to be playing Grandpa Moss for a third time, as he is one of the oldest in the cast and now a grandfather himself. These experiences have helped him to better understand the role, and he is looking forward to performing for you this weekend.

    “The Tender Land” not only has amazing returning cast members, but the show also features a musical team that is experienced with The Muddy River Opera Company. The choral director for the show is longtime MROC chorus master Paul Shelor. Shelor said, “It is a delight to be a part of the musical side of a show with the right people, and this opera has lots of talented, enthusiastic, and quick learners in its cast”. The conductor for “The Tender Land” is Dr. David Galant. He said that his job is to bring music to the forefront of the show as well as to make the music flow with the storytelling. Galant strives to make the music and the acting 50/50 in all of his shows at MROC, “The Tender Land” included. This will be Galant’s fourth year with the Muddy River Opera Company. 

    If you have never seen an opera before, this production is a great first opera experience because the show is in English and the cast has great enunciation. Gilgallon says, “‘The Tender Land’ is a real-life story with lots of action in the second act of the show. The score by Copeland screams Americana as well”. Be sure to come see MROC’s production of “The Tender Land” on June 14that 7:30 pm or June 16that 3:00 pm in the Orr Auditorium at John Wood Community College. 

  • June 10, 2019 4:48 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Tweedell, and I am back for another incredible summer with Arts Quincy! I'm so thankful for the lessons that I learned from this awesome organization last summer, and am looking forward to gaining more new skills throughout the next couple months. This past school year, I was able to apply last summer's experiences in my college coursework, and further build my knowledge base. I am very excited to bring my newly-acquired expertise to Arts Quincy.

    One of the most exciting things that happened to me this past school year was declaring a Dance Management major. This degree allows me to not only take dance courses, but also technical theatre, non-profit, and for-profit business classes. This is a degree and career path that was heavily influenced by my time with Arts Quincy last summer! I am very grateful for the opportunity to come back and work with this dedicated team once again. This fall I'm looking forward to learning more about backstage responsibilities and non-profit management when I return to school.

    Until then, if you see me at events this summer please be sure to come say hi! I would love to meet all of you. I will not only be writing blogs, but also writing pieces for the AQ magazines that will be published within the next year. I am also looking forward to running the Arts Quincy Instagram this summer, so be sure to tag Arts Quincy in your posts as you enjoy a summer full of artistic opportunities here in the Q. If you're on Facebook, be sure to follow Arts Quincy so you can catch me live at fun arts events around town. I am so ready to get to work with this amazing organization again this summer. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  • June 04, 2019 10:05 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The Quincy Park Band, under the direction of Keith Wiemelt and Director Emeritus Pam Potter, kicked off its 71st season of summer concerts in Madison Park on Memorial Day.

    The hour-long programs are geared to entertain audiences of all ages. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. People often bring a picnic supper and drinks as they enjoy the concerts.

    Don't miss concerts on Sunday and Wednesday evenings in June at 6:30 pm at Madison Park.

    Themed concerts include the annual Flag Day Concert on Wednesday, June 12 with patriotic music. The Father’s Day Concert on Sunday, June 16 will feature selections geared towards the fathers in the audience. The Big Band Concert will be Wednesday, June 19 and the month of June will round out with the annual Pops Concert on Wednesday, June 26.

    The July concerts will begin with patriotic music and fireworks at the annual Independence Day Celebration on Thursday, July 4 on the beautiful grounds of the Illinois Veteran’s Home. This concert begins at 7:30 pm and will be followed by a fireworks display.

    The band will return to Madison Park on Sunday for concerts on July 7 with the crowd favorite, the Nauvoo Pageant Bagpipe Band. The last two summer concerts will be on July 14 and a bonus concert on July 21.

    In December, the band performs an indoor show of holiday songs at The Salvation Army Kroc Center.

    Musicians interested in playing in the band should call 617-299-7153 for details. For general information, visit

    In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held in the Kroc Center Worship Theatre at 405 Vermont St. Rainout announcements will be posted on the group's Facebook page and are available by phone at 573-312-0637.

  • May 20, 2019 4:29 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Quincy Sister City Commission is celebrating over 30 years of cross-cultural outreach with Germanfest! The event will take place from 5-11:30 pm in Quincy's South Park on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 2 from 3-11:30 pm.

    Dance to German music including waltzes, polkas and foxtrots with the Heidelberg German Band on Friday from 5–8 pm. Then stay for local favorites Raised on Radio. On Saturday, the Waterloo German Band will start things off at 3 pm with their traditional German style and Raised on Radio will be back to finish out the festivities.

    In addition to traditional German food, and fun family activities, the festival features specialty craft beers and wine in the new beer and wine tasting garden. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available. Bring your appetite because some of your favorite menu items including thueringer, weisswurst, kraut and potatoes, and brats will be available for purchase.

    Children will be entertained with free games and activities during Kinderplatz on Saturday from 3–7 pm.

    Attendees are welcome to use the shuttle service from the parking lot at Quincy Notre Dame High School to and from the festival at the park.

    Proceeds from the event support the German language classes at Quincy High School and Quincy Notre Dame as well as Quincy University's Soccer team's Quadrennial trip to Herford, Germany and this summer's Quincy University Chamber Choir German concert tour. The festival also supports activities for adult and student guest programs.

    You are invited to bring the family, raise a stein, polka the night away and discover your German heritage to make the festival YOUR family tradition!

  • May 02, 2019 11:29 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Arts Quincy honored the recipients of the 2018-19 George M. Irwin Art Awards during its annual meeting with an award ceremony on Wednesday, May 1 at Quincy Museum.

    “Quincy is full of talented artists and performers enhancing our daily experiences with arts and culture across the city,” said Executive Director Laura Sievert. “Through the work of these dedicated and inspiring individuals and groups, the arts have become more accessible, visible, interactive and integrated into the lives of our residents and visitors.”

    These awards are designed to recognize the hard work and dedication of these outstanding individuals and organizations. This year, several new categories were added to recognize the many roles each person or organization plays in the promotion of the fine arts.

    Winners of the George M. Irwin Art Awards are chosen by a committee based on criteria that demonstrates impact, leadership, engagement, and innovation throughout the community.

    George M Irwin Art Awards: Sponsored by WGEM, The Quincy Herald Whig and the Oakley Lindsay Foundation

    Outstanding Fine Arts Teacher of the Year: City of Quincy
    Keith Wiemelt – The Salvation Army Kroc Center: This award is given to an educator that has made a significant contribution in any artistic discipline through outstanding educational programming and other leadership activities. Keith Wiemelt is a native of Quincy and graduated from Quincy Notre Dame High School in 1997 and received a Bachelors of Science degree from Quincy University in Music Education in 2002.  

    Keith was hired as the Education and Fine Arts Specialist at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in June of 2018. He was previously the director of Bands at Quincy Notre Dame High School from 2011-2018. He taught from 2002-2011 at the Ralls County R-II School District in Center, Missouri. Besides teaching, Keith can be seen conducting the Quincy Park Band, playing with the Heidelberg German Band, Quincy Community Theatre, 12th Street Brass Quintet and the Muddy River Opera Company.  

    Keith and his wife Bonnie have been married 10 years are the proud parents of 9 -year-old son Emmett, 7-year-old daughter Belle and 2 year old son Gideon.

    Outstanding Fine Arts Teacher of the Year: Adams County
    Lexi Brumbaugh: This award is given to an educator that has made a significant contribution in any artistic discipline through outstanding educational programming and other leadership activities. Lexi has taught art at Unity High School in Mendon for 10 years. She has served as cheer coach, dance coach, class sponsor and is currently the yearbook sponsor and art club sponsor. Lexi has applied for and won numerous grants that have been used to purchase art supplies, a kiln and take field trips. Lexi is involved with Quincy Art Center as a member and instructor and has volunteered with Q-Fest. She is married and has two children and resides in Quincy.

    Arts Access Leader of the Year
    Carlos Fernandez – WGEM/QMI: This award is given to a person making a significant effort to increase fine arts access and connect existing programs with people in under-served parts of the community including those who are living below the poverty line, the differently-abled, military veterans, the elderly and minorities. Carlos has 45 years of experience in broadcasting. As the Vice-President and General Manager for Quincy Broadcasting, he oversees the day to day operations of the WGEM stations including NBC, FOX, CW and MeTV, 105FM and ESPN 1440/98.9FM, as well as a website and mobile platforms. He has resided in Quincy since 2007. His career began in 1974 as a studio camera operator in Topeka, KS. Over 13 years he was promoted and led to become the station manager in Columbia, MO. He served as a television consultant for several stations in the US and abroad. Carlos was also a lead sports cinematographer for NCAA for 11 years and worked on a number of live events for the top US TV networks.

    Carlos has been actively involved in professional and community organizations throughout his career including terms on the ABC Affiliates Board, President of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Executive Board Member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, President of the Missouri and Illinois Broadcasters Association. In his years in Quincy, he has been a co-founder and the Chairman of the Great River Honor Flight Board, served and serves on a number of boards including Quincy Community Theatre, Chaddock, American Red Cross, Advocacy Network for Children, United Way, Quincy Chamber of Commerce, GREDF, Quincy Parks Foundation, Junior Achievement, Looking for Lincoln, Quincy’s Fourth of July celebration and Arts Quincy.

    Arts Volunteer of the Year
    Kelsey Deters – The District: This award is given to a volunteer who has consistently supported the arts through a commitment of personal time, energy and devotion. Kelsey is the Assistant Director of The District in Quincy. Thanks to her mother, Beth, Kelsey has been involved at Quincy Community Theatre almost since birth, volunteering backstage, on stage, and in front of house roles. Kelsey attended Quincy Senior High School where she was an active member of everything she could be that had to do with theatre and music. She is on the Board of Directors for the Quincy Civic Music Association, the Steering Committee and Marketing Committee for Q-FEST, and in fall of 2018 she competed for in the Battle for the Baton Fundraiser to benefit Encore Quincy and the Quincy Symphony. Kelsey also loves to volunteer for Arts Quincy. “AQ is such a wonderful organization that helps make sure that everyone in our community has access to the arts,” she said.

    In her free time, Kelsey enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends, family, dogs, and boyfriend, Brodie (who she met at the Arts Quincy Annual Meeting last year). 

    “I am so proud of the thriving arts community in Quincy,” she said. “I would not be the person I am today without the tremendous amount of exposure to the arts I have received my entire life in Quincy.” 

    Arts Nonprofit of the Year
    Washington Theater:  This award is given to a nonprofit organization that has made a substantial impact on the cultural development of this area demonstrated through exceptional artistic achievement, outstanding programming or other leadership activities. Named for the historic park which it faces, the Washington Theater opened in 1924 in downtown Quincy. It was one of many vaudeville and movie houses on Hampshire Street, and the only one that is still standing. Over the years, the theater was sold, fell into disrepair and was eventually donated to the City of Quincy. The Washington Theater Redevelopment Commission, established in 2004, created Friends of The Washington Theater, a volunteer nonprofit organization, to help raise money to return the landmark movie palace to its former splendor.

    With financial support from the Quincy community and others interested in the preservation of historical theaters, the commission is actively generating funds to enable the project to move forward. The theater hosts special events throughout the year to raise funds.

    Today, the commission is working toward the goal of commissioning an architectural plan that will reveal the intended use, design, calculation of cost, building process and other important documentation. Once in-hand, major fundraising will begin. Projected costs are estimated between 5 and 8 million dollars depending on the scope of the project.

    Major fundraisers this year include Free Fallin: Tom Petty Tribute Concert on May 4, Music to Remember on September 27, Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 27 and a Trivia Night scheduled for September.

    To learn more about the Washington Theater visit

    Philanthropic Leader of the Year
    Exchange Club of Quincy: This award is given to a local business or individual making a financial commitment to the arts in Adams County. The Exchange Club of Quincy was vital to the success of Arts Quincy’s Made in America Veterans Art Program in 2018 and 2019. The Quincy Exchange Club sponsor activities under the organization’s Program of Service: Americanism, Youth Programs, Community Service, and its National Project, the prevention of child abuse. Each year, Quincy benefits from the promotion of pride in our great country, college scholarships, youth mentoring, service to the underprivileged, and other services tailored to serve the needs of its citizens.

    The Quincy Exchange Club’s Flags of Honor Program helps promote the proper and more frequent flying of the flag in our community. Recently you may have seen their 1000 Flag Field of Honor display in Madison Park on Veterans Day. It’s through the funds raised through this program that they donated to help underwrite Arts Quincy’s Made in America: Veterans Art Program.

  • April 24, 2019 9:07 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Quincy Concert Band would like to introduce you to its president John Schneider. Here is a Q & A, submitted by Susan Deege.

    You have been serving as the President of the Quincy Concert Band for a couple of years. What motivated you to get involved beyond being a musician? I have been performing with the Quincy Concert Band for 16 years, and I have always thought that our band was a hidden gem in our community, with a loyal audience. I wanted to see what we could do to expand our reach and make more people aware of the fabulous free concerts the band performs twice each year. We have long been confused with the Quincy Park Band (which is a separate organization) and many people often presume that our concerts are traditional community band fare like show tunes and marches. In reality, we are performing elaborate and challenging symphonic works, and many weeks of rehearsal go into each concert. We have won awards on a national level for the quality of our performances. As the QCB president, I have worked to improve our visibility in the community, improve our organizational structure, and enhance our financial base. Fortunately, I am enjoying the support of a great board of directors and so I believe we are succeeding on all levels.

    When did you start playing the trombone? Do you play any other instruments? When I was eleven, my family moved into a house where the previous owners had left behind an old upright piano. I started tinkering on the piano, which encouraged my parents to invest in piano lessons. I then also began playing the trombone when I was in junior high school. I belonged to the school band and a drum and bugle corps during my high school years.

    I don't play the piano much anymore, but I really do enjoy making music with my friends on the trombone. Actually, I think both instruments were important to my development. Nothing teaches you basic music and chord theory as well as a piano, but it's mostly a solo instrument. On the other hand, playing in a band or orchestra teaches you collaboration and teamwork. In a 70-piece concert band, no one is a star.

    With what other groups do you play? Locally, I have played with the Quincy Park Band and the Big River Swing Machine, and also led a group called the Dixie Dads until we disbanded last year. This past winter, I enjoyed playing Christmas music with Band on a Bus, a new brass band in collaboration between Arts Quincy and the Salvation Army. Additionally, I spend a lot of time in Michigan during the summer, where I play at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, with the Holland Legion Band and also with a German band called Ein Prosit. I also love to play traditional Dixieland music and I have made many trips to New Orleans to play at a jazz camp there.

    You have combined your love of playing music with travel. What are some of your most memorable music experiences during your travels? I made three trips to Europe to perform with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Adult Band, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. Our performances were always enthusiastically received by local audiences and we stayed in the homes of musicians from the community bands that sponsored our visits. My most memorable performances were playing beneath the statue of Michelangelo's "David" in the main piazza in Florence, and performing in front of the national palace in Brussels. But I think my greatest memories are of friendships with our host families. I still keep in touch with several people there!

    Who has influenced you musically? Is your family musical? My immediate family was not musical. My greatest mentors have been Quincy trombonist Bob Havens; Trent Hollinger, the Quincy Concert Band's talented conductor; and the amazing professional jazz musicians who are instructors at the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp.

    What advice would you give a person thinking about pulling his or her instrument out of the closet after a long break? They need to be patient, and allow their skills to come back slowly. It will take time. I stopped playing the trombone after college because there was no place to perform and life got in the way. After I moved from the West Coast to Quincy (which is an amazing musical town) I was encouraged by a friend to start playing again, and she even lent me a trombone. When I joined the Concert Band, my first reaction was that it was so far beyond my skill level that I couldn't do it. But I stuck with it, improved little by little, and have since gone far beyond my college years in my skill set and musical knowledge. The Quincy Concert Band does not hold auditions, and any adult who wants to play is welcome. That opportunity doesn't exist in most communities, and so local residents should take advantage of it if they're interested!

    Other than playing, what are some other ways that people can get involved with QCB? Fundraising is a continuous challenge. It costs about $13,000 a year to operate the band, and this is entirely funded by community donations and fundraising events. We do not charge admission to any of our concerts and there is no cost to the musicians for performing, so all our revenue must come voluntarily from the community. Fortunately, band members are stepping up to help when needed. But we would also welcome any non-musicians who want to become a volunteer for our fundraising events, or can offer special skill sets such as legal, accounting, publicity or website development.

    Are there any changes in the works for the Quincy Concert Band? Yes, we are looking towards growth and expansion. Since its formation in 1982, the band has performed only two concerts a year. We are now talking about giving additional concerts in nearby communities, and of forming smaller ensembles drawn from our musicians that can perform a variety of musical styles at smaller public and private events. We have already entertained at a few events with low brass and woodwind ensembles, and we hope to make this a regular activity!

  • April 09, 2019 8:00 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Area military veterans are invited to participate in Arts Quincy's Made in America: Veterans Art Program this spring!

    In 2019 the program has changed to offer more veterans the opportunity to participate in the program by offering more options for classes, concerts or other performances.

    This Saturday, April 13, Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association invites the public to join and honor the rich heritage expressed in great American orchestral music during the, "American Salute," concert at 7:30 pm at Quincy Junior High School's Morrison Auditorium. Arts Quincy would like to send area veterans to this concert through the Made in America program. For tickets, call 217-222-3432 or email

    "Arts Quincy has partnered with arts organizations to offer community veterans a wider variety of classes or performances to choose from," said Laura Sievert, Executive Director of Arts Quincy. "This will allow them to choose something that interests them and easily fits into their schedule."

    If you are a veteran or know one who should participate in arts programs, classes or activities, contact the Arts Quincy office at 217-222-3432 for more details.

    This program is sponsored by the Exchange Club of Quincy's Flags of Honor Program, a grant from Al Beck through the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeastern Missouri and members of Arts Quincy.

  • April 01, 2019 9:17 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The Quincy Senior High production of New Faces 2019 will come to life on April 4, 5, 6, at 7:30 pm and April 7 at 2 pm in the Quincy Senior High School Theatre, located at 3322 Maine Street. 

    Started in 1955 by band director Dan Perrino, the 64th edition of this annual variety show will feature the talents of more than 150 Quincy Senior High students. The theme of this year’s show, “The Defining Moment,” will highlight the multi-talented instrumentalists, singers, dancers and actors of QHS.

    The QHS Jazz Bands and the QHS Show Choirs will anchor the production with many individual acts complementing the two-act presentation. The QHS Jazz Band, under the direction of Matthew Gabriel, will open the show with selections including “Hay Burner,” and “God Bless the Child” featuring junior Dallas Will on trombone.  

    The QHS Show Choir, “Electric Blue,” directed by Kathleen Dooley and Paul Shelor will begin the second act with “Come Alive” from the “Greatest Showman” and “For Good” from the Broadway musical, “Wicked.”  Company Blue, directed by Ben Dombroski, will perform “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady and “One Night Only” featuring soloist, Camlynn Taylor. 

    The QHS Madrigal Choir will perform a medley of songs by FUN, and the Varsity Singers, directed by Kathleen Dooley, will return to the stage with “Walkin’ On Sunshine” and a medley of songs by the rock group Queen.

    Rock bands, contemporary Christian songs and dances, Magic Acts and SKA Bands will also perform in individual acts. Dance ensembles will include Heinze Dance Academy, Q Dance, QHS Q-City Pommers and the QHS Colorguard.       

    Reserved seats are available by calling the QHS Music Department at 217-224-3774 from 8:30–3:30 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. 

    “The Defining Moment” will include entertainment for all ages as the students of QHS present the 64th presentation of “New Faces 2019” at Quincy Senior High School.

  • March 26, 2019 2:14 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Looking for Lincoln will host a new program featuring Lincoln impersonator George Buss and Illinois folk musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo in the premier of their new show, Lincoln The Great Communicator.

    The program combines live period music with conversation and narrative by President Lincoln (using Lincoln’s own words) to explore Lincoln’s use of communication as a personal and political tool.

    You're invited to see this exceptional program this Friday, March 29 at the History Museum. The program will begin at 6:30 pm followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are highly recommended.

    This theatrical style program is presented as a casual conversation between President Lincoln and Vallillo discussing Lincoln's gifts as a communicator and way he used those skills for the betterment of mankind throughout his lifetime. In the midst of the conversation, Vallillo will perform period music on guitar, bottleneck slide Dobro, banjo and jaw harp to illustrate Lincoln’s point and the President will quote passages from some of his favorite speeches.

    The program will also be used to increase awareness of Looking for Lincoln and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. The event is presented by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

    The program is a designated Looking for Lincoln (LFL) event hosted in all six of the LFL Gateway Communities, presented by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition. Information about the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area will be provided. The program is cosponsored by Quincy's Lincoln Legacy and the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County and by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

    For more information, call 217-222-1835 or visit

  • March 26, 2019 12:47 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    It was Arts Quincy's great honor to remember the late Ben Bumbry and his lasting impact in the arts community with a posthumous "George M. Irwin Arts Quincy Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Music," in recognition and remembrance of an incredible legacy of musical contributions in Quincy and the surrounding area.

    The Arts Quincy board and staff presented the award to his wife Helen in March during the third annual Jackson-Lincoln Ben Bumbry Memorial Banquet at Quincy University.

    "We hope it will serve as a reminder to his friends, family and all those who knew and loved him, of one of the great joys of his life, his music," said Laura Sievert, Executive Director.

    Mr. Bumbry was an extraordinary figure. Of course, many music fans will have known him as the drummer and face of Ben Bumbry and the Messengers. He performed all over the area for more than 60 years and was a regular performer on the Mark Twain Riverboat in Hannibal. Among his many other musical contributions, Mr. Bumbry helped organize the Mississippi Muddy Water Blues Society and made other performances of African drums at local schools.­

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