Our Next Concert: June 12

We’re so pleased to announce our first concert back in person! The concert will take place on June 12, 2022, at the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse.

Attendance is free, but space is limited and standing room will not be available. Register on the Chicago Park District Website.

Concert Program

Orchestral Suite No. 1 from Carmen (arr. Ernest Guiraud)

Georges Bizet (1838 – 1875)

  • I. Prélude                                                   
  • II. Aragonaise
  • III. Intermezzo 
  • IV. Séguedille
  • V. Les Dragons d’Alcala 
  • VI. Final (Les Toréadors) 

Chicago, Grande Valse à l’Américaine

Edmond Dédé (1827 – 1901) 

Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
  • I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio               
  • II. Andante cantabile con moto
  • III. Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace
  • IV. Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace 


Music Director: Michael Pecak
Associate Conductor: Jennifer Huang


  • Martha Ash, Concertmaster
  • Amy Barker
  • Carly Bartman
  • Sarah Barton
  • Kenneth Chaklos
  • Alicia Chandler
  • Hajar Habbal
  • Meghan Hassett
  • Maren Menefee
  • Julia Morlock
  • Jacob Parker
  • Serina Sota
  • Cordelia Wang
  • Alysee Wayment


  • Ashley Brown
  • Chelsea Dvorchak
  • Grace Kachan
  • Shreyas Mohan


  • Marnie Goodfriend
  • Tiago Silva
  • Howard Zhang


  • Steve Graff
  • Kevin Doyle


Jennifer Entwhistle


  • Clentice Smith
  • Phil Bullimore


  • Kristen Gorski
  • Lori Willer
  • Shannon Yap
  • Debra Ziegler


  • Mary-Beth Chong
  • Ethan Derda


Robin Herber


  • Heather Sears
  • TJ Sullivan
  • Emily Quinlan


  • Lee Haas
  • Jessica Zaluka


  • Niko Kyriacou
  • Michael Pugh


Jarrod Routh


  • Felix Desposorio
  • Jeff Evans
  • Stephan Metzger
  • Ian Orr

Interested in Joining the CWSO?

The CWSO is open to any musicians who want to play—no auditions needed! Learn more about joining and come to the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse on Monday evenings to join us at rehearsal.

Meet the Orchestra: Flutes

We’ve got four very talented flautists.  Far-left is Shannon, a law student who plays both flute and the Chinese Harp, the Konghou. Next to her at middle-left is Deb, who has started with the Orchestra three times in the past few years, each time to be interrupted by life and a big pandemic pause. We’re so happy she’s playing with us—third time’s a charm, right?  Middle right is Lori, who has been looking for a group to play with for a while.  Lori is especially suited for our current repertoire, the Carmen Suite. She is a Spanish teacher by day, but she can also dance Flamenco and play castanets. To the far right is Kristen, an elementary music teacher. Kristen not only plays flute but is self-taught in 9 other instruments—saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, piano, oboe, French horn, trombone, tuba, and snare drum. Say hello to one of these super friendly and talented folks at rehearsal next week! 

Interested in Joining?

The CWSO is open to any musicians who want to play—no auditions needed! Learn more about joining and come to the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse on Monday evenings to join us at rehearsal.

Meet the Orchestra: Second Violins

This week it’s the sometimes overlooked but oh so important second violins. First stand left is Meghan, who is the President of our orchestra, and is thrilled to be leading such a robust section of second violins. She started playing when she was 5 and through college, but then her focus shifted to singing in her 20s. She has been with the orchestra for several years when she decided to pick up her instrument again. First stand right is Maren, who says she has an electric violin at home. Second stand left is Hajar, who played in her first orchestra in college. Next to Hajar, at second stand right is Serina, who played violin until the end of college, and after a 17-year break has just picked up her instrument again to join our orchestra. She missed music and is happy to be playing again. Third stand left is Alicia, who joined the orchestra in 2019. Alicia says she is a pharmaceutical chemist by day and violinist by night. Third stand right is Georgina. Georgina has two kids and speaks Korean, as she has lived abroad, and her husband is Korean. (She is in good company, as one of our cellists is raising a tri-lingual child) Sarah is hiding behind her stand in this picture in the back left, but has a very fun fact: she has performed in Carnegie Hall with her high school orchestra!

If you have a little downtime before rehearsal begins next week, say hello to one of our wonderful second violins.

Interested in Joining?

The CWSO is open to any musicians who want to play—no auditions needed! Learn more about joining and come to the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse on Monday evenings to join us at rehearsal.

Meet the Orchestra: Trumpets

Let’s meet the trumpets this week. Phil, left, was in his high school marching band and says he’s very happy to pick up his instrument after a long hiatus to make music again. He’s also about to start raising chickens in his backyard. Clentice, right, has been with the orchestra for 13 years.  He also has a marching band background at Purdue University. In fact, he still plays with the Purdue Alumni marching band when they meet up every two years. 

Interested in Joining?

The CWSO is open to any musicians who want to play—no auditions needed! Learn more about joining and come to the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse on Monday evenings to join us at rehearsal.

Meet the Orchestra: Trombones

Meet the Orchestra! This week it’s dem bones, dem bones, dem Trombones. Michael (left) says he used to play trombone in a ska band. Niko Kyriacou (middle) has played in the Michigan Marching Band. Kris Kay (right) taught music and band for 17 years. They are a fun bunch. Say hello to Michael, Niko, and Kris next Monday at rehearsal!

Interested in Joining?

The CWSO is open to any musicians who want to play—no auditions needed! Learn more about joining and come to the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse on Monday evenings to join us at rehearsal.

Meet the Orchestra: Oboes

We are so excited to see so many old faces we haven’t seen since pre-pandemic times, and lots of wonderful new faces too. This week let’s meet the Oboes. Ethan Dylan Derda has been with the orchestra for many years and is currently working on a degree in oboe performance. He organizes a reed-ing circle, where you can learn how to make your own reeds.  Mary Beth dusted off her oboe for the first time since she graduated college to join the orchestra this past month and is very happy to be making music again. She says she is playing on her 6th-grade oboe, and it still works great.

Say hello to Ethan and Mary Beth next Monday at rehearsal!

Interested in Joining?

The CWSO is open to any musicians who want to play—no auditions needed! Learn more about joining and come to the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse on Monday evenings to join us at rehearsal.

Rehearsals are back on!

We’re excited to announce that the Chicago City-Wide Orchestra is resuming rehearsals, effective January 2022. Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings in the Jefferson Memorial Fieldhouse, just off the Jefferson Park Blue Line station.

Participants should plan to attend from 6:45-8:45 pm, with rehearsal beginning promptly at 7 pm. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, proof of vaccination is required for all players. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Board of Directors at citywidesymphony@gmail.com.

To participate, please sign up with the Chicago Park District and bring your proof of vaccination to the next rehearsal you attend to record it with Park District staff.

Thinking about joining us for the first time?

We’re open to musicians of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels, we do not require auditions, and we encourage anyone who wants to play music to join us as you are and as you’re able. If you’d like to get more information about the orchestra, rehearsals, or your section, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Anthony Arnone, Cellist

Professor Anthony Arnone joins the orchestra in a performance of Joseph Haydn’s “Cello Concerto No.1 in C Major”. The concerto was presumed lost until a score was discovered by musicologist Oldrich Pulkert at the Prague National Museum in 1961.

Called “A cellist with rich tonal resources, fine subtlety and a keen sense of phrasing” (Gramophone magazine), cellist Anthony Arnone is an active soloist, chamber musician, conductor and teacher throughout the country and around the world. Mr. Arnone is currently associate professor of cello at The University of Iowa School of Music. He is on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he teaches, conducts, and performs chamber and orchestral music during the summers. He is also on the faculty of the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, where he conducts the Preucil School String Orchestra. An active clinician as well, Mr. Arnone has given master classes throughout the country. Recent master classes include Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, University of New Mexico, Oklahoma State University, Texas Christian University, and the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

As a cello soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Arnone was a founding member of the Meridien Trio and the Sedgewick String Quartet, which performed regularly at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. More recently, he has been part of the Matisse Trio, faculty trio at the University of Iowa. The Matisse Trio has played throughout the United States and at international conferences. Mr. Arnone also has performed as soloist with orchestras including the Madison Symphony, Muscatine Symphony, Clinton Symphony, Newton/Mid-Kansas Symphony, and the Wichita State University Orchestra, and regularly performs solo and chamber music recitals around the country.

A native of Honolulu, Mr. Arnone received his bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Colin Carr. He left graduate studies with Bonnie Hampton at the San Francisco Conservatory to accept a position with the Orchestré Philharmonique de Nice, France, where he remained for 2 years, continuing his studies with Paul and Maude Tortelier. He later returned to the United States to complete his master’s degree in conducting at Wichita State University.

In addition to the Orchestré Philharmonique de Nice, Mr. Arnone was the principal cellist of the Madison Symphony in Wisconsin. He was also a member of the New World Symphony and the Wichita Symphony, as well as principal cello in the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Charleston, South Carolina and the Festival dei due Mondi in Italy.

Before coming to The University of Iowa, Mr. Arnone was professor of cello and conducting at Ripon College in Ripon, WI, in addition to being principal cellist of the Madison Symphony. Mr. Arnone started the Iowa Cello Society in 2002, and has had yearly “Cello Daze” weekends with such prominent guests as Colin Carr, Bonnie Hampton, Richard Aaron, Hans Jensen, and Tanya Carey.

Lindsay Mecher, Mezzo-Soprano

Lindsay Mecher, a Chicago native and graduate of Loyola Academy, is a frequent guest soloist with the Chicago Citywide Symphony Orchestra. At North Park University, she has been a member of the Lady Vikings Dance Team, the Chambers Singers, and currently is a member of University Choir. Lindsay recently won 1st place in the College Classical Division of the Chicago National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition.

Also this season she was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Bel Canto Foundation Opera Contest, and received her third Bravo Award for Outstanding Performance. In 2012 she was the first place winner of the North Park University Music Performance Awards, and was also a semi-finalist in the Classical Singer Competition. Lindsay is also a winner of the Des Plaines Idol, and the Norwood Park Idol. Roles performed include the third spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and The Mistress of the Novices and The Abbess in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.

She has performed in the North Park Opera Scenes program in scenes from Little Women, The Rape of Lucretia, Rodrigo and Così fan tutte. She was an alto soloist in Messiah this past April with the North Park University Choir. Lindsay looks forward to the opera scenes program at North Park this fall, where she will be in scenes from The Crucible, Eugene Onegin, Into the Woods, Falstaff, and The Barber of Seville. Lindsay currently studies Vocal Performance on scholarship at North Park University with Dr. Philip Kraus of Northwestern University, who has been on the artistic roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for over 20 years.

Philip Kraus, Baritone

Philip Kraus is currently one of the most versatile artists on the American music scene today, having appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States in a wide variety of standard and adventurous repertoire.

Mr. Kraus has been on the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1990 performing numerous roles including Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’amore, Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Harashta in The Cunning Little Vixen, the Sacristan in Tosca, Elder MacLean in Susannah, Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme, Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby, Baron Duphol in La Traviata, Ratcliffe in Billy Budd, Abe Kaplan in Street Scene, and the Mayor in Jenufa as well as featured roles in The Gambler, Candide, The Bartered Bride, Tristan und Isolde, and Andrea Chenier. Additionally he created the role of southern Senator John Calhoun in the world premiere of Anthony Davies’ Amistad at Lyric.

Mr. Kraus made his debut with the Minnesota Opera in 1995 in the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto and made his Cleveland Opera debut in 1994 as the Vicar in Albert Herring. Most recently he joined the roster of the Los Angeles Opera repeating Duphol in La Traviata opposite René Fleming and Elizabeth Futral. The performance with Ms. Fleming will receive a Decca DVD release. Additionally, he has performed Germont in Traviata and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Missouri Symphony, Scarpia in Tosca with Chamber Opera Chicago and the Battle Creek Symphony, the title role Gianni Schicchi in both the Puccini Opera and Michael Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost at Chicago Opera Theater and Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri with both the Hawaii Opera Theater and the Pamiro Opera.

Comfortable in both the serious and comic repertoires, Mr. Kraus has made a specialty of two title roles, Verdi’s Falstaff and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, performing both roles on numerous ocassions to enthusiastic reviews. No stranger to unusual repertoire, Mr. Kraus performed Mangus in the American premiere of Sir Michael Tippett’s The Knot Garden and portrayed the tortured Salieri in Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri with Concertante di Chicago and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Also comfortable in the Baroque repertoire, Mr.Kraus has made yearly appearances with the Handel Week Festival singing solo work in The Dettingen Te Deum, Esther, Judas Maccabaeus, and the roles of Cosroe in Siroe and Varo in Ezio. Kraus has also made a specialty of the Purcell masques appearing in The Fairy Queen and King Arthur with Music of the Baroque.

Mr. Kraus is equally at home in the light opera and Broadway repertoire. Considered a specialist in Gilbert and Sullivan, Mr. Kraus received high accolades from the press for his performances of Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore at the Cleveland Opera and Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance at Michigan Opera Theater. Also adept in the Viennese repertory, Mr. Kraus has portrayed leading roles in The Gypsy Baron, Weiner Blut, The Merry Widow, and One Night in Venice. He scored a critical coup in 1989 with his acclaimed portrayal of Russell Paxton in the first major revival of Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark at Light Opera Works. Mr. Kraus has also been featured on numerous pops concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra featuring the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Stephen Sondheim.

Solo engagements with conductor Margaret Hillis led to his Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in 1975 in Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum and Russell Woollen’s In Martyrium Memoriam after which Sir Georg Solti engaged him for Carnegie Hall performances and recording of Fidelio. A frequent concert artist, Mr. Kraus has appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas, Milwaukee, Omaha, Colorado, Santa Barbara, Richmond, Roanoke, Grant Park, South Bend, Owensboro, Jacksonville, and Madison Symphonies, and the Rochester and Fort Wayne Philharmonics under conductors Erich Leinsdorf, Eduardo Mata, Zdenek Macal, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, James Paul, Mark Elder, Anton Coppola, Gisele Ben-Dor, Eduard Tchivzhel and Marin Alsop. His wide concert repertoire includes a quartet of Requiems; the Verdi, Brahms, Faure and Mozart; Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Bach’s B Minor Mass and Magnificat, Vaughan Williams’ The Sea Symphony and Shostokovitch’s Fourteenth Symphony.

Mr. Kraus has also been a frequent guest of choral ensembles including the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, Chicago’s Apollo Chorus, the Bach Festival of Winter Park, Music of the Baroque, the Handel Week Festival and the Calvin College Oratorio Society.

Mr. Kraus holds three degrees including a Doctor of Music from Northwestern University. He taught both in the voice and opera programs at De Paul University. Additionally, he headed the opera department at Roosevelt University. Mr. Kraus is also a highly regarded stage director and composer. He founded Light Opera Works in 1980, a professional company devoted to operetta and was Artistic Director for 19 seasons. He also served as resident stage director of Pamiro Opera from 1988 through 1996.