RSO Valentine’s Day concert with soprano Amy Conn

Staff Report

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than an evening with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) under the stars of the Coronado Theatre? Even better, how about a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, just prior to the concert, served at the Coronado Performing Arts Center?

“This concert is special for several reasons,” said Michele McAffee, RSO marketing director. “First, we have a wonderful guest artist, soprano Amy Conn, who’ll perform three pieces with the orchestra. Also, we’re offering a special Prelude Dinner for Valentine’s Day, a romantic meal that includes live entertainment and champagne so couples can have a full evening of dinner and entertainment all in one place.”

The Valentine’s Day Prelude Dinner, which begins at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14, includes Caesar salad; entrée choice of grilled Norwegian salmon with lemon beurre blanc sauce or pork tenderloin with port demi glaze; sides of cilantro lime rice and fresh vegetables; and petit fours and chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert.

“The dinner comes with a complimentary glass of champagne and romantic loves songs performed by Rich & Nola — Rich Hillard and Nola Addante,” McAffee said.

Also, the Sterling String Quartet, a group of talented musicians from the Rockford Youth Symphony Orchestra, will play in the theater’s mezzanine before the concert.

“We have another special little romantic twist,” McAffee added. “We’re looking for a couple that’s getting engaged on Valentine’s Day, and we’d like to share that moment with them. The pair will get front-row seats, flowers, photographs and a champagne toast at the end of the concert.

“The community is helping us to locate this couple,” McAffee said. “Ideally, we hope to find a guy with a ring and no plan who’ll agree to propose at the performance. We would be thrilled to have a couple get engaged at this concert.”

Tickets for the prelude dinner are $50 per person, $25 for ages 12 and younger, and reservations are required. Concert tickets start at $22, student tickets are $7.

The concert program, “Memories from Times of War,” follows through on this season’s theme of War & Remembrance.

Steven Larsen, RSO music director, added: “I’ve been looking forward to this concert since the moment the RSO’s 2014-2015 season was finalized. It has everything that excites me in a concert program: a little personal nostalgia, a new discovery, a work I’ve always loved but never conducted, a favorite piece that I’m excited to revisit, a novelty work that people will talk about, and the chance to work for the first time with a wonderful soloist.”

Tickets are available online at or by calling the RSO office at (815) 965-0049 (9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). Tickets may also be purchased at the RSO box office, inside Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., or at the BMO Harris Bank Center box office, 300 Elm St. Those wishing to purchase tickets the day of the concert are encouraged to contact the Coronado box office at (815) 968-0595.

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