LA SALLE - Dr. Daniel Sommerville, director of orchestral activities at Wheaton College, has been named conductor of the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra. He will become the 18th conductor to direct the orchestra since its first season in 1949-50. Sommerville will endeavor to fulfil the mission of IVSO: to entertain and inspire the community by performing live orchestral music.
Sommerville is an active guest conductor in the Chicago area. Under his leadership, the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra has received many accolades, including being awarded third place in the American Prize (college and university orchestra division), performing at the 2018 Illinois Music Education Association annual conference in Peoria, being named one of the “twenty most impressive college orchestras in America” by the Online Schools Centers, and performing at the National College Orchestra Directors Association annual conference at Northwestern University.
During Somerville’s tenure, the college orchestra has also appeared on Wheaton College’s professional Artist Series, collaborating with artists such as Marvin Hamlisch, Joel Grey, Sylvia McNair, Hubbard Street Dance Company (Chicago), Lawrence Brownlee, and singers from Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center. He has also prepared the orchestra for large choral-orchestral works conducted by the eminent conductor John Nelson, including Berlioz’s Requiem and Britten’s War Requiem, among many others. Under Summerville’s direction, the orchestra also performs children’s concerts for over 4,000 students annually and performs at the Wheaton College Christmas Festival, which is broadcast nationwide over PBS.
His conducting teachers include Sir Georg Solti, Herbert Blomstedt, Franz Allers, and John P. Paynter. At Wheaton College, Sommerville is Professor of Music and teaches conducting, orchestration, and score reading, in addition to his work with the orchestra.
The 2019-20 season concerts will be held at the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg IVCC Cultural Centre, LaSalle-Peru Township High School Matthiessen Auditorium, and Ottawa Township High School Auditorium. Program information will be available soon at ivso.org.