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ISO makes triumphant return to in-person concerts

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

They’re calling it a comeback season.

The International Symphony Orchestra makes its triumphant return to in-person concerts this fall, with an upcoming show at Great Lakes High School Auditorium in Sarnia, Saturday Nov. 12, and at Port Huron Northern Auditorium Nov. 11.

The concert, ‘Mysterious Mountain’ marks the second concert series in the cross-border community orchestra’s new season, and will feature guest conductor Jerome Summers.

“It’s great to be back with the ISO,” said Summers, who led the ISO for 14 years before retiring in 2012. “I haven’t had a chance to guest-conduct the orchestra since the Diamond anniversary year, so I was excited at the opportunity to program challenging works.”

Maestro Summers chose an ambitious program centered on the monumental Brahms’ 4th Symphony, the ISO noted. Also on the program will be Hovhannes’ Mysterious Mountain Symphony, Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, and Dvorak Romance for Violin & Orchestra, featuring Michigan soloist Florina Petrescu.

A full season of shows, led by Maestro Douglas Bianchi in both Sarnia and Port Huron are slated for the 2022-2023 season. Founded in 1958 as a cross-border community orchestra, the ISO has evolved into a semipro organization with membership between London and Detroit.

The group went virtual after the onset of the pandemic, launching the Nexus Chamber Series — online concerts filmed on both sides of the border.

Summers came out of retirement to work with Sarnia musicians who were filmed performing without audiences at various venues, including the former sanctuary of Central United Church its new owners have renamed 220 Genesis.

And they’re keeping the virtual option for viewers: a livestream will be available for each ISO concert of the season.

For more information, including tickets and schedule info, visit

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