Peoria Civic Center

This week, Nathan Irwin talks with George Stelluto, conductor of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra; and with violinist Catherine Cho. The PSO opens its new season with a concert that includes the "Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra" by Max Bruch, a piece that incorporates Scottish folk songs. The program also includes the Seventh Symphony by Antonin Dvorak. Stelluto says that the composers represent a trend in the late Romantic era, to draw on the influences of traditional folk music.

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

Figure skaters from eight states will take to the ice in Peoria next month. The Upper Great Lakes Regional Figure Skating Championship is set for October 3-7 at the Peoria Civic Center’s Carver Arena.

We're joined this week by Kelleen Nitsche and Joe Spanier, to talk about Ignite! Peoria. The annual event spotlights the range of artistic and creative opportunities in central Illinois. Along with booths for artists and performing groups, the event includes two stages with performances throughout the day; and creation stations, where attendees can engage in hands-on activities.

Mark Steele/Creative Commons

Streets in portions of downtown Peoria will close Saturday afternoon as the St. Jude Runners return from Memphis.

This week, we're talking with George Stelluto, conductor of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and soloist Naomi Louisa O'Connell about the PSO's upcoming concert. "Great Cities: Rome" features Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony, Respighi's "Pines of Rome," and "The Song of Memories" by Giuseppe Martucci.

They talk about the works on the program, and about O'Connell's earlier trip to Peoria last month, which included a number of appearances at local schools.

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra presents "Great Cities: Rome" Saturday night at 7:30 in the Peoria Civic Center Theater.

IHSA March Madness Celebrates The Irish in Peoria

Mar 14, 2018


  The final weekend of IHSA March Madness is this weekend in Peoria. It's the 23rd year for the boy’s basketball tournament at the Peoria Civic Center.

It coincides with the FIRST Robotic Championship happening at Bradley’s Renaissance Coliseum as well as the St Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday.

CityLink is offering shuttles in 20-30 minute increments from participating hotels. The mass-transit buses are running continually from 9:30 a.m. through 11:00 p.m.



Tanya Koonce

It’s IHSA March Madness kickoff weekend in Peoria. The two weekend run of the event started Friday. It’s the 23rd year the boy’s basketball tournament is being hosted in Peoria. 

Peoria Pere and Courtyard Hotels In Foreclosure

Feb 14, 2018
Daryl Scott / Peoria Public Radio

  Pere Marquette and Courtyard Hotels in downtown Peoria are in foreclosure. The hotel properties were placed in receivership Wednesday by the emergency order of Judge Kate Gorman.


Efforts to refinance fell through Tuesday when the finance company Yam withdrew from negotiations. The hotel will eventually be sold at sheriff’s auction. That is a fairly standard practice in such foreclosures.

Hall Headlines MLK Luncheon

Jan 15, 2018

Award-winning broadcaster and former NBC anchor Tamron Hall headlined the Martin Luther King Day Luncheon in Peoria. More than 1,100 people attended the 26th annual event.


Hall told those attending the luncheon even after 25-years in broadcast news she was nervous. The Texas native recounted humble beginnings speaking about the value of bringing dignity to any challenge.


This week, we're talking with George Stelluto, conductor of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Their next concert represents a departure for the orchestra; they will playing live to accompany a screening of the film "la La Land." Stelluto talks about what concert-goers can expect from the performance, and about the different demands this concert places on him and the orchestra. He also explains the "click track" which keeps the musicians and the film in sync.

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra presents its next concert Saturday night at 7:30 in the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.

Our guests this week are George Stelluto, conductor of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra; and Gary Roberts, President of Bradley University. The Peoria Symphony begins it's 120th season this weekend. They talk about the shared history of the orchestra and the university (which celebrates it's own 120th anniversary this year). The concert recognizes other notable anniversaries, of Johannes Brahms and Leonard Bernstein.

We talk with Kelleen Nitsche and Sarah Marie Dillard about this year's Ignite Peoria event. Nitsche is the coordinator of the main performance stage, which features appearances from local performing arts groups -- theatre, dance, even magic. There are also musical theatre and improv workshops for young performers, and a "ticket booth" with special offers from area performers.

IHSA March Madness Returns to Peoria

Mar 9, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The next two weekends in Peoria mean big bucks for the city’s tourism and hospitality business.

Peoria's State of the City Speech

Feb 3, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis gave the State of the City speech Wednesday, February 1, before a record 625 business and civic leaders.

Peoria Convenes 2nd Black Life Meeting

Jan 18, 2017

A second meeting on African American quality of life in Peoria is scheduled for January 31st.

Tanya Koonce

The 25th annual MLK Day luncheon at the Peoria Civic Center drew more than 2,100 people for the meal and concert with Patti LaBelle. LaBelle was this year’s keynote speaker but rather than a traditional luncheon speech, LaBelle offered a full concert in the Civic Center Arena.  

Peoria Ballet

This week, we're talking with Wendy Thomasson and Eric Otto, from the Peoria Ballet. They're presenting their annual production of "The Nutcracker," with performances Saturday and Sunday at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre. Otto stepped in as Artistic Director of the production earlier this fall, when another director had to drop out. He talks about how production of the holiday standard differ from company to company, about the advantages of performing with a live orchestra, and about his own transition from professional dancer to choreographer.

This week, we're talking with Tengku Irfan. The young pianist is  the featured soloist in the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's concert this weekend. Called "American Classics," the program features works by George Antheil, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein. We talk a little bit about the three pieces, each of which incorporates elements of jazz. We also talk about balancing a busy concert schedule with academic commitments, and about Irfan's double interest in performing and composing.

Ted Cruz to Hold Rally in Peoria Monday

Mar 14, 2016
Gage Skidmore / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria is one of five stops for U.S. Senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz this afternoon.

Cruz has also scheduled visits today to Springfield, Decatur, Glen Ellyn and Rockford, ahead of tomorrow’s primary election.

He's scheduled to speak at the Peoria Civic Center at 4pm, with doors opening at 3pm. The rally is free and open to the public.

The 21st annual IHSA Boy’s Basketball March Madness tournament takes place in Peoria for the new two weekends. 

This week, we're talking with soprano Marisa Buchheit, and with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's George Stelluto. Buchheit is the featured soloist in their concert, "Romance." Along with works of Rachmaninoff and Ravel, the concert features a selection of love songs from opera and musical theatre. Buchheit also performed with the PSO at its outdoor concert on the Peoria Riverfront back in September.

The concert is Saturday night at 8:00 at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.

Peoria Civic Center’s interim general manager is now in the permanent position.  Anne Clayton was the Civic Center’s Finance Director when she was appointed to the interim manager role in May.  The move follows a national search to find a  permanent replacement for Jim Wetherington, who stepped down after 25 years with the Civic Center.

George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony, is with us this week to talk about the orchestra's upcoming concert. It features a performance by Tony and Grammy Award winner Audra McDonald. Stelluto talks about the logistics of finding artists for the PSO's World Artist series, about the repertoire that will be featured on the program, and about McDonald's unique artistry. The concert is Saturday night at 8:00 at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.

This week, we're talking with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's George Stelluto, and with violinist Charles Yang, who performs with the PSO in their upcoming concert. They talk about some of the pieces on the program, which includes music from John Corigliano's "The Red Violin" and a piece by Edward Jospeh Collins inspired by Mardi Gras. They also talk about some of Yang's appearances and activities, in conjunction with the PSO's Resident Artist Week initiative.

The concert will be presented Saturday night at 8:00 at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.


On a hot, sultry summer’s day, the Peoria Civic Center announced  that a corner of downtown will become an ice skating rink this winter. It’s part of the Center’s inaugural Winterfest, a 39-day event that organizers hope becomes an annual tradition.

Peoria City Councilman Ryan Spain says the goal is to attract residents downtown during the chillier months.

Preparations under way for Peoria Pride festival

Aug 18, 2015
Cesar Vargas

In what has been a momentous year for the LGBTQ community, Peoria will revive a pride festival downtown. Peoria native Cesar Vargas is planning this year’s event.

Vargas says he wanted to put together something that would encourage youth to feel confident and embraced by the community.

“I hope people are inspired and see wow, if he’s doing it, I can do something too,” Vargas said. “I feel like if that energizes people, we could all be doing something fabulous.”

Vargas says the city hasn’t had a large-scale gay pride event in six years.

Lizz Barnes / Ear in the Envelope

This week, we're talking with Lizz Barnes, from Ear in the Envelope Studios in Peoria. She's one of the artists participating in Ignite! Peoria on Saturday. Attendees will be able to visit her table in the Creation Station and try their hand at metal-stamping. She talks about the history behind her studio, which has become a venue for showcasing local artists and performers. She talks about last year's Ignite event, and its importance to local artists and creators.

We're talking with Kaci Osborne and Megan Pedigo about Ignite! Peoria. The event returns to the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday, August 8th. The event features individual artists, a Creation Station, fashion and a car show. We talk about some of the elements that will be new for this year's event, and about what the organizers want it to achieve - both for the artists and for the Peoria community.

Illinois GOP selects Peoria for convention in 2016

Jul 9, 2015
Tanya Koonce / WCBU News

Peoria will host the Illinois GOP Convention next year. It’s the first time the Republican Convention is coming to the city.

Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Don Welch says they’re expecting around 1,500 to fill the Peoria Civic Center and Marriott Pere Marquette hotel complex.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity to showcase Peoria to the state Republican officials, elected officials," Welch said. "So we’re really looking forward to that, and hopefully it will lead to additional state business.”

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Famous acts are escaping recognition in central Illinois while they rehearse for upcoming tours. Country music star Luke Bryan rehearsed for two days at the Peoria Civic Center.