Bancks’ Rock Island Line on Performance Today Aug. 29, 2014

The performance by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Mark Russell Smith, Music Director and Conductor, of Jacob Bancks’ Rock Island Line will be featured Friday, August 29, 2014, on Performance Today, a nationally syndicated radio program by American Public Media. The QCSO commissioned Bancks, an assistant professor of music at Augustana College, to write a piece in memory of Isador, Ruth Evelyn and Judith Katz that was premiered last season on March 8, 2014. PT Host Fred Child will also lead a short interview of Bancks.

APM’s Performance Today is America’s most popular classical music radio program and a winner of the 2014 Gabriel Award for artistic achievement.  The show is broadcast on 292 public radio stations across the country, and reaches approximately 1.4 million listeners each week.  The QCSO is honored to have its performance selected for broadcast through a competitive process.

"Bringing a new orchestral piece to life is always challenging, exciting and satisfying,” commented Mark Russell Smith, QCSO Music Director and Conductor. "Jacob has created an incredible new work that fits this orchestra and its community in a unique way. He is a skilled and sensitive composer who knows how to make an orchestra sound great and a first-class musician and colleague — one of the new treasures here in the Quad Cities. I look forward to collaborating with him for many years to come,”

Aside from Rock Island Line, Bancks many performances and commissions include works for the United States Marine Band, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra alum and Oberlin violin professor David Bowlin and QCSO Executive Director Benjamin Loeb will premiere a chamber piece by Bancks on the WVIK/QCSO Signature Series on October 19.

"I'm humbled and thrilled that a national audience will be able to share in the excitement of last March's premiere of Rock Island Line. The performance shows everybody what we in the Quad Cities already know: Maestro Smith and the QCSO are leading the way in supporting local composers with absolutely top-notch performances,” said Bancks. A recording of the live performance is available for download at

Dedicated to the effort to keep classical music alive, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 100th year by opening each 2014-15 Masterworks performance with pieces commissioned by the QCSO including 5 World Premieres. Composers commissioned include John Frantzen, James Romig, David Gompper, Michael Torke, William Campbell and James Stephenson.  Other season highlights include an appearance by Garrick Ohlsson in Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3, Beethoven Symphony #9 and a Gala performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.

The broadcast will air locally on Friday, August 29 at 8 p.m. on WVIK, Quad Cities NPR, at 90.3 FM.

QCSO 100th Season

Subscriptions are available for this milestone season.  Contact the QCSO Box Office at 563.322.7276 or online at to purchase tickets.  Currently, only subscribers may purchase tickets to once-in-a-lifetime performance by classic superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma on May 14 at the Adler Theatre.