“The South Bend Symphony Orchestra’s annual community play-along concert Saturday will feature one of the newest members of the community: Maestro Alastair Willis,” writes Andrew Hughes in Wednesday’s (8/21) South Bend Tribune (IN). “Now on the cusp of his third season as the SBSO’s sixth music director, he and his family moved from Seattle to South Bend in June…. The reduction in [time spent] traveling also will reduce the stress in his life and allow him to ‘focus more on the orchestra.’ And … ‘I want to spend more time with my daughter as she grows up. Moving here allows me to do that,’ he says…. Willis’ contract with the SBSO requires him to be in South Bend for 20 weeks of the year …. On Saturday, his family will attend the SBSO’s annual concert at Potawatomi Park that wraps up the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County’s summer Performing Arts Series. The community play-along concludes the first half of the concert [with 65] community musicians signed up…. The rest of Saturday’s program revolves around the theme of dance… He says …’It’s always a wonderful event to experience an orchestra and classical music in summer outdoors.’ ”

Posted August 22, 2019

In photo: Alastair Willis conducts the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, on stage, and the community play-along musicians, front, in 2018. Photo by Peter Ringenberg