It will be an afternoon of George Gershwin favorites on Sunday, when the Eastern Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Richard Robert Rossi will present “Stagestruck II: An American in Paris.” The program will take place at 4 p.m. in the McAfee South Auditorium, Charleston, Ill.

Joining the orchestra will be special guest pianist Thomas McElwee of Charleston. McElwee is one of the 2006 winners of the Concerto Competition and will perform Gershwin’s much loved masterpiece “Rhapsody in Blue.”

McElwee is a senior at Eastern Illinois University majoring in music education/instrumental focus and history. He began studying piano at a young age through the EIU Preparatory Program, then at 13 began taking lessons with W. David Hobbs. Eight years later, he continues those lessons. He very recently began his accompanying career with the Kappa Delta sorority for its annual Greek Sing competition.

McElwee also plays piano for the St. John’s Lutheran Church Chancel Choir during its Sunday services. His future career plans are to teach high school music.

The ESO also will feature selections from Broadway musicals such as “Crazy for you” and “South Pacific.”

Tickets for ESO’s Starstruck II are $10 for general admission, $8 for senior citizens and $5 for youth 17 and under. EIU faculty, staff and students admitted free with EIU ID.

Presented by the EIU Department of Music, the Eastern Symphony Orchestra is sponsored in part by the Charleston Area Charitable Foundation. McAfee Auditorium is accessible for those who need assistance.

For more information, call (217) 581-3010.

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