Accordionist Mike Alongi featured at Jan. 13 SoundBites

Mike Alongi

• Lunchtime discussion with Alongi complements Jan. 14 ‘Tales from the Mideast’ performance by Rockford Symphony Orchestra

Staff Report

Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) welcomes Rockford accordionist Mike Alongi as the guest artist for the noon, Friday, Jan. 13, SoundBites lunchtime discussion series hosted by RSO Music Director Steven Larsen.

Alongi will join the RSO in a performance of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, op. 308 by Alan Hovanhess. The performance is part of the RSO’s “Tales from the Mideast” performance at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St.

Alongi’s virtuosic skills on the accordion and diverse performance résumé have made him a well-known musician in the Rockford region. While it is unusual for accordion to perform with a full symphony orchestra, Hovaness was known for eclectic instrumentation in his compositions.

SoundBites is an engaging and entertaining prelude to the RSO concert experience. The discussions begin at noon the Friday before each RSO Classics Series concert at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club, 5151 Guilford Road, Rockford.

The SoundBites lunchtime series includes informal discussions featuring Larsen and a variety of guest musicians who will perform with the RSO on concerts throughout the season.

SoundBites is free, although reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by calling (815) 972-2939. SoundBites guests may bring their own lunch and beverage, or order from the club’s menu. Cash or checks only are accepted for lunch orders.

The topics for each SoundBites vary, offering a personal perspective by the particular guest musician featured at the discussion. Insights into the performers’ backgrounds and their reflections on the music they will perform with the RSO are major features of the series. Ample opportunity is provided for those attending the discussions to join in with questions or comments.

For more about the RSO and concerts, call (815) 965-0049 or visit

From the Jan. 11-17, 2012, issue

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