Quad Cities - Culture


Since 1916, the region has supported the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, which presents a year-round schedule of concerts at the Adler Theatre in Davenport and Centennial Hall in Rock Island. The Handel Oratorio Society, dating to 1880, is the second-oldest organization of its kind in the nation and presents annual performances of "Messiah" along with another major work for choir and orchestra. The Augustana Choir, founded at Rock Island's Augustana College in 1934, is one of the nation's leading collegiate choruses. Nova Singers, a professional 20-voice chorus, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011. Major outdoor summer music festivals include the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival and IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. The Quad-Cities' three traditional community theaters – Playcrafters (founded in 1920, comedies and dramas) and Quad City Music Guild (1948, musicals) in Moline, and Genesius guild (1957, outdoor Shakespeare and Greek comedies and tragedies) in Rock Island – were joined in 1976 by Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, a professional dinner theater in downtown Rock Island's historic Fort Theatre. In recent years the theater scene has burgeoned, adding three small professional companies in Davenport – New Ground, Harrison Hilltop and the Curtainbox – plus a resident professional ballet company, Ballet Quad Cities. Other area community theaters included the itinerant Prenzie Players, who specialize in nontraditional productions of Shakespeare and other verse theater, the Richmond Hill Players in Geneseo, Ill., and Countryside Community Theatre in Eldridge, Iowa. St. Ambrose University in Davenport hosts the leading theater company on the collegiate scene, which also includes active programs at Augustana College, Black Hawk College in Moline and Scott Community College in Bettendorf. The city of Davenport's Junior Theatre program has been in operation since the 1950s. ComedySportz Quad Cities recently celebrated their 21st anniversary of bringing family-friendly improv comedy to the area at their new landmark home, The Establishment Theatre (formally The Rocket Theater) in The District of Rock Island.Bluebox Limited is a Bettendorf-based film production company, and many outside productions companies have filmed movies in the Quad Cities in recent years. Great River Digital Production Studios is located In Rock Island. Historic buildings and sites listed on state and the National Register of Historic Places interpret the history of people's settlement and lives in the area.

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