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ESO named 2017 Community Orchestra of the Year

ESO named 2017 Community Orchestra of the Year


For immediate release March 15, 2017

For additional information, contact:


ICO Awards Committee

Gregory Clemons, Chair


Illinois Council of Orchestras Announces Annual Awards


The Illinois Council of Orchestras is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of its annual awards for excellence in the field of music performance and for support of musical organizations. An awards panel of judges drawn from the Illinois Council of Orchestras Board of Directors and independent professional conductors and musicians reviewed nominations representing orchestras, youth orchestras, and chamber ensembles from throughout Illinois.


The 2017 ICO Awards:

Professional Orchestra of the Year

New Philharmonic
Kirk Muspratt, Music Director & Conductor

Community Orchestra of the Year 

Evanston Symphony Orchestra
Lawrence Eckerling, Music Director

Conductor of the Year (community orchestra category)

Jay Friedman, Music Director & Conductor
The Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest

Executive Director or General Manager of the Year  

Lucas D. Wood, Executive Director
Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra

Board President of the Year 

Jim Kidder
Heartland Festival Orchestra

Programming of the Year Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

   Allen Tinkham, Music Director

Community Relations of the Year  Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra

   Russell Vinick, Music Director & Conductor

Volunteer of the Year  

Sterling (Stu) Ainsworth
Elgin Symphony Orchestra

The Illinois Council of Orchestras was founded in 1974 with a mission:

  • to encourage, promote, and assist orchestras throughout the State of Illinois
  • to promote an exchange of information among members, including providing consultants and speakers
  • to hold educational conferences for member organizations, including musicians, staff, boards, volunteers, and audiences.


Presentation of the ICO Awards will take place during March through July 2017 at local concerts and other events of the winning orchestras.


Information about the Illinois Council of Orchestras is available at: