About the Symphony / Awards 

In 1951, the Knox-Galesburg Symphony presented its first subscription season of three concerts at Beecher Chapel in Galesburg. As the Symphony audience grew, concerts moved to Central Congregational Church, then to Harbach Theatre, and finally found a home at the historic Orpheum Theatre. Over time, the Symphony added two subscription concerts and non-subscription events such as the annual Pops concert, and every spring since 1984, the Symphony has presented a free concert on the lawn of Old Main on the historic Knox College campus. Committed to arts engagement, the Symphony provides youth and adult education programs such as Music Mornings at the Galesburg Public Library, Music Memories for students at the Orpheum Theatre, the annual Young Pianists Festival, in-school tours, and more.

The Knox-Galesburg Symphony’s mission is “to foster, promote and increase the musical knowledge and appreciation of the public.” Drawing outstanding musicians from west-central Illinois and beyond, and featuring regionally, nationally, and internationally acclaimed guest artists, the KGS maintains a commitment to excellence, presenting performances that inspire and astound audiences. In addition to standard repertoire, the Symphony supports contemporary music through performance and commission of works by composers throughout the world.


Symphony Awards

  • 2016 Illinois Council of Orchestras Executive Director of the Year: Lucas Wood
  • 2015 Illinois Council of Orchestras Orchestra of the Year (Fourth Time Received)
  • 2010, 2004,1998 Ill. Council of Orchestras Conductor of the Year: Bruce Polay
  • 2009 Illinois Honorary Volunteer of the Year: Robert Clark
  • 2006 Illinois Council of Orchestras Programming of the Year
  • 2005 Illinois Council of Orchestras Illinois Board President of the Year: Robert Clark
  • 2001 Illinois Council of Orchestras Illinois Volunteer of the Year: Paul Keser (posthumous)
Homeward Bound
Side by Side
East Meets West
On Our Way
Meeting in the Middle
First Chairs Forward
Keys in the Wind
Old Friends