WASHINGTON, IL -- The Heartland Festival Orchestra's March 18 Symphony Idol concert at Five Points auditorium wowed the audience as it pushed the envelope to the edge.
It presented an entire concert of pop music -- not Gershwin or Cole Porter -- but the Beatles, The Bee Gees, "Proud Mary," a medley from "Evita," jazz, blues, soul, rock, all scored for the full orchestra, and featuring three winning singers from TV's American Idol. It was quite a show.
The singers, Matt Girauld, LaKisha Jones and Haley Scarnato, were show-biz performers, with costume changes and plenty of personality. They are also fine singers. Jones has an operatic voice, giving an extra punch to her numbers.
Peoria's Heritage Ensemble, directed by Sharon Reed, provided backup on many of the songs.
Though the Heartland's audience is accustomed to classical music, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, it gave a standing ovation to the orchestra and performers. It was a memorable evening, not soon forgotten.
-- Elaine Hopkins