Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra Timeline

 
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1960s

• 
The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra  (CUSO) is founded (as the Champaign-Urbana Civic Symphony Orchestra) on February 13.
•  The first CUSO concert is performed in Smith Music Hall by its first music director/conductor Bernard Goodman on October 20. Renowned pianist, Theodore Lettvin, is the soloist of the evening, joining the orchestra to play Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. The News-Gazette calls it “a magnificent success.”
•  John Dimond is the first CUSO president.


•  The Guild of the CUSO is organized. Its first president is Jean Edwards. Today, the Guild is composed of more than 150 members. This group of dedicated volunteers raises funds in support of the CUSO and works to promote music education through its In-School Concerts and Illinois Summer Youth Music (ISYM) scholarship programs. The Guild donates funds to the CUSO, raised through its In Good Taste parties.                                                 
•  W. J. Roberts is the second president of the CUSO.                                                                   
•  The CUSO holds its first gala, a Viennese Ball at the Champaign Country Club.


•  The CUSO embarks on a South American Tour.                                                             
•  The first Young People’s Concert and KinderKonzerts are performed in the University Auditorium.                                                 
•  Hugh Wales is president of the CUSO.

•  Richard B. Cogdal is president of the CUSO.

•  Earl Finder is president of the CUSO.

•  The CUSO begins performing in the newly constructed Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

1970s

•  Kurt Schmidt is president of the CUSO.

•  The CUSO performs its first ‘Pops’ concert. 


•  Richard Tryon is president of the CUSO. 
•  The CUSO performs its first concert with a full chorus.

•  Leonard Slatkin guest conducts the CUSO. He is now the music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

•  Paul Vermel becomes the second CUSO music director/conductor.

•  Case Sprenkle is president of the CUSO.

•  Edwin A. Scharlau, II is president of the CUSO.

•  Daniel Richards is president of the CUSO. Famed violinist Shlomo Mintz performs with the CUSO.

1980s

•  Carl Altstetter is president of the CUSO. 
•  Oboist Blaine Edlefson is the first musician to celebrate 20 continuous years with the CUSO.

• 
Jack Waaler is president of the CUSO.       
•  The CUSO performs Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana for the first time.

•  The CUSO celebrates 25 years.                  
•  Judi Hoffman is the first woman president of the CUSO.                                          
•  Theodore Lettvin, the first soloist to perform with the CUSO, returns to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

  The CUSO performs Handel’s Messiah in its entirety for the first time.

  The CUSO performs its 100th concert.          
  Acclaimed violinist, Nadja Salerno, performs with the CUSO.

  The CUSO is designated as the professional orchestra in residence at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.                                     
  David Thies is president of the CUSO.
 

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2014
 1990s

  John Kemp is president of the CUSO.

  The CUSO is honored with an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award for “Adventuresome Programming.”                                                   
   The CUSO performance “Celebration” is broadcast nationally on NPR.

  James Kaler is president of the CUSO.

  Jane Brockway is president of the CUSO.     
  Kenneth Kiesler is a CUSO guest conductor.

  Steven Larsen joins the CUSO as its third music director/conductor.                                   
  Peter Baksa is president of the CUSO.

  Jeffrey Farlow-Cornell is president of the CUSO.

  Steven Larsen is the winner of the Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO) “Conductor of the Year” award.                                                          
  The CUSO performs its first outdoor “Symphony at Sunset” concert.

2000s

  Bill Volk is president of the CUSO.                 
  The first percussion soloist performs with the CUSO.

  The CUSO is the winner of the ICO “Community Relations of the Year” award.

  The first tuba soloist performs with the CUSO.

  The CUSO performs its 200th concert.         
  Sam Krug is president of the CUSO.

  Steven Larsen is the winner of the ICO “Conductor of the Year” award for the second time.                                                                   
                                  
  Howard Osborn, the last remaining musician from the first CUSO performance, retires.         
  The CUSO performs Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah—in German.                      
  S. Byron Balbach, Jr. is president of the CUSO.

  The CUSO Guild is the winner of the ICO “Guild of the Year” award.
  Garrison Keillor performs with the CUSO in its benefit concert.                                              
  The News-Gazette calls the CUSO “a community resource worth supporting and enjoying.”

  Seven-year-old piano prodigy Emily Bear performs with the CUSO.                                   
  Gilbert Papp and Ruth Youngerman—both founding members of the CUSO Board of Directors—are named honorary chairs of the Anniversary Committee.                                   
  The CUSO celebrates its 50th anniversary season! As part of the celebration, the CUSO commissions four original fanfares by Illinois composers.

2010s
                                      
•  The CUSO holds a gala, A Viennese Ball, at the iHotel, in remembrance of its first gala and to mark the end of its 50th season.
  Kip Pope is president of the CUSO.

 Maestro Steven Larsen retires after having served as music director/conductor of the CUSO for 17 years.
 Kip Pope is the winner of the ICO "Board President of the Year" award.

 Stephen Alltop becomes the fourth music director/conductor of the CUSO.
 Jeffrey Farlow-Cornell is the winner of the ICO "Executive Director of the Year" award.
 The CUSO Guild is the winner of the ICO "Guild of the Year" award


 Associate Principal violist, Lois Gullerud, completes her 48th (2013–2014) season as the longest-playing member of the CUSO.
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