Rockford Symphony to present Guilford grad’s ‘Dreams of the Fallen’

Jake Runestad
Jake Runestad

Staff Report

Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) presents the next performance in the ComEd Classics Series, titled “Dreams of the Fallen,” at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford.

Pianist and RSO favorite Jeffrey Biegel and the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s Mendelssohn Chorale will perform composer and Rockford native Jake Runestad’s orchestral work “Dreams of the Fallen.” Called “a musical response to war,” “Dreams of the Fallen” seeks to express life through the eyes of a soldier, both during combat and after returning home. The RSO has co-commissioned this powerful work with five other orchestras across the country. Runestad is a 2004 graduate of Rockford Guilford High School.

While in town, Runestad will participate in a general assembly with students at Guilford at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 7.

I had an extremely positive experience as a student at Guilford High School,” Runestad said. “I was lucky to have teachers that supported me in my learning and challenged me to do my best work. Having a well-rounded education, with the arts as a vital part of my academic work, was crucial to my development as a young adult.”

Barber’s Adagio for Strings, written in 1936 and a familiar icon of mourning and cathartic pathos, opens the Nov. 8 program. Dvořák’s Fifth Symphony offers a bucolic and cheerful antipode, displaying the young Czech composer’s emerging confidence in his talent.

Tickets for this concert are available online at or by calling the RSO Box Office at (815) 965-0049. Concert ticket prices range from $22 to $60. Student tickets are $7. Veterans of the armed forces are invited to attend “Dreams of the Fallen” for free.

Concert goers can enhance the concert experience with dinner before the performance. Guests will enjoy a meal in the third-floor lobby of the Coronado Performing Arts Center. Dinners include appetizer, salad, entree and live entertainment. The cost is $50 for adults, $25 for children 12 and younger. Reserve seating online at or by calling the RSO Box Office at (815) 965-0049.

Biegel and Runestad will also be the guests for SoundBites, the lunchtime discussion series hosted by RSO Music Director Steven Larsen. SoundBites will be held at noon, Friday, Nov. 7, at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club, 5151 Guilford Road, Rockford. SoundBites is free, although reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by calling (815) 965-0049. SoundBites guests may order from the club’s menu. Cash or checks only are accepted for lunch orders.

The RSO is in its 80th year of offering vibrant music experiences that enlighten, educate and entertain. The RSO is composed of 65 professional musicians who perform 15 performances this year.

From the Nov. 5-11, 2014, issue

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