Elgin Symphony Orchestra hosting Blizzard Bash Concert on Father’s Day
From Staff Reports June 12, 2012 2:32PM
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:09AM
The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will celebrate an honored volunteer and supporter, Harry Blizzard of Elgin, as it hosts a special “Blizzard Bash” concert at 7:30 p.m. on Father’s Day in the Visual Performing Arts Center/Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive in Elgin.
This special concert is a celebration of Harry Blizzard’s 85th birthday and his wife, Phyllis, “the woman behind the man,” and will be highlighted with a two-man performance by internationally recognized pianist Rich Ridenour and his son Brandon Ridenour, a trumpeter with the prestigious Canadian Brass.
The duo will perform such well-known pieces as Gershwin’s “Three Preludes” and “Rhapsody in Blue,” Del Staigers’ “Carnival of Venice” and the ever-famous “Chopsticks.” Proceeds of the event will benefit the ESO.
“The Blizzard Bash originally began with an idea from Rich Ridenour himself,” said Jerry Cain, president of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra board of directors. “Rich and his family have developed a close friendship over the years with Harry and Phyllis, whom they met when Rich has performed with the ESO. Rich wanted to salute Harry and Phyllis, ‘the woman behind the man,’ for their complete dedication to the ESO and its artists.”
The Blizzard Bash will truly be a family celebration. Attending the concert will be Richard and Lorraine Ridenour, Rich Ridenour’s parents who reside in Michigan; as well as Harry and Phyllis Blizzard’s four children, spouses and three grandchildren. In addition, Dr. David Sam, president of Elgin Community College, will say a few words mid-concert in appreciation of the Blizzards’ dedication to the community, the arts, education and ECC.
“Our relationship over the years has been wonderful,” said Rich Ridenour. “Phyllis with her warm smile always providing snacks for us during rehearsal breaks and Harry with his playful demeanor always questioning if I have practiced enough and up to my old ways (e.g. Corner Bar). Yes, there’s always been a little tension, but I always remind Harry that the greatest performance of all was one night many years ago when we had a snowstorm that began just prior to our performance. It was a sellout, yet one harry blizzard.”
Harry Blizzard has been associated with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra as a charter member of its board when the ESO was incorporated as a not-for-profit since 1981. Having the event held at the Blizzard Theatre at the Visual Performing Arts Center at Elgin Community College is also notable; Harry Blizzard was a founding board member of Elgin Community College in 1949.
Concert tickets are priced at $30 and $42.50 per person. Tickets may be purchased over the phone at 847-888-0404, ext. 234; or online at www.elginsymphony.org.