November 7, 2016

Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Amanda Nelson

Interview Conducted by: Jessica Hicks – Egyptian Theatre Intern

The Kishwakee Symphony Orchestra will be hosting their annual Kids Concert at the Egyptian Theatre on November 17th at 10 am. I recently sat down with Amanda Nelson, the general manager of the orchestra to get more information about both the upcoming show as well as the orchestra itself.


Jessica: Tell me about the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra?

Amanda: The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit community orchestra which provides a place for area musicians to use their talents in an orchestral setting. The orchestra consists of professional, student, and dedicated amateur musicians. It began informally in 1976 and now engages in weekly rehearsals and an annual series of concerts. We are celebrating our 40th season currently and have a fabulous season you can check out at!

Jessica: How did you get involved with the Orchestra? How long have you been involved?

Amanda: Our music director, Linc Smelser, was my middle school/high school cello teacher. When I moved back to the area after college, he invited me to play! I have been involved ever since! I play cello in the orchestra and also serve as the general manager. I have been an orchestra member for 11 years and general manager for 10 years.

Jessica: What has been the most memorable part about being involved in the Orchestra?

Amanda: I love that this orchestra is one big family! It has been so fun to watch my kids grow up coming to concerts since they were newborns!


Jessica: The Orchestra will be having their Kids Concert at the Egyptian Theatre on November 17th, tell me about that?

Amanda: The KSO children’s concert is not open to the general public. We invite elementary and middle schools in the area to come enjoy an educational concert during the school day. This year our theme is “Stories in Music Without Words.” The morning will start out with our orchestra members demonstrating their instruments in the crowd as the children come in to be seated. Then starting at 10 am our music director, Linc Smelser, will take us all on a journey through time looking at different pieces of music that tell different stories.

Jessica: Why do you choose to host this concert at the Egyptian Theatre?

Amanda: We know that many of the kids have never been to the Egyptian and love that our location can be an educational experience for them as well!!!