HFO and David Commanday Honored

MARCH 22, 2011




In a press release dated March 18, 2011, The Illinois Council of Orchestras announced the winners of its 2011 awards:

The Illinois Council of Orchestras is pleased to announce the 2011 recipients of its annual awards for excellence in the field of music performance and for support of musical organizations. An awards panel that included judges from the Illinois Council of Orchestras Board of Directors and from independent arts organizations reviewed nominations representing orchestras, youth orchestras, and chamber ensembles from throughout Illinois.

The Heartland Festival Orchestra was named Professional Orchestra of the Year, and HFO Artistic Director David Commanday was named Professional Orchestra Conductor of the Year.

The Illinois Council of Orchestras has over 158 member organizations from throughout Illinois, and

Its Press Release continues:

The Illinois Council of Orchestras was founded in 1974 with a mission:

• to encourage, promote, and assist orchestras throughout the State of Illinois

• to promote an exchange of information among members, including providing consultants and speakers

• to hold educational conferences for member organizations, including musicians, staff: boards, volunteers, and audiences.

Presentation of the ICO Awards will take place during March through July 2011 at local concerts and other events of the winning orchestras.

HFO President Jim Kidder commented:
Working with David Commanday, board members, volunteers, musicians, and audience members during the past two seasons has been a tremendously gratifying experience.  These awards are a validation of a new vision for the orchestra experience, and we are all tremendously grateful for the wonderful recognition.

HFO Administrative Director Laura Evancho made this statement:
These awards honor our many communities which have strongly supported the Heartland Festival Orchestra since its creation in 2009.  This recognition of excellence, coming so early in the existence of the HFO, underscores the high value of fine music in the lives of people here.  Even more, the orchestra’s support of area charities in our partnership program has further endeared the HFO to the people of Central Illinois.  All connected with the orchestra are justifiably proud that Maestro David Commanday and the HFO were selected for these prestigious awards.

Artistic Director David Commanday commented:
I am deeply grateful for and honored by the recognition the HFO and I have received from our peers in the Illinois Council of Orchestras.  This is an affirmation not merely of personal achievement, but of the team which created and sustains the Heartland Festival Orchestra.  Outstanding musicians, visionary staff and board members, and a generous audience and community all deserve recognition and credit for these awards.  These honors will always be a source of great pride for me and the HFO.


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