QUINCY — Saturday night time will see the highlight land as soon as once more on Les Fonza, a stalwart of each the music and training scenes in Quincy.
At its seventy fifth Anniversary Gala, Arts Quincy will current Fonza with the George M. Irwin Lifetime Achievement Award. This would be the first time the Irwin Award has been introduced since 2019.
“Les is what I’d name a first-balloter,” stated Arts Quincy Govt Director Laura Sievert. “There is no such thing as a doubt in anyway that he’s deserving of this recognition.
After graduating from Quincy Excessive College in 1963, Fonza earned a music training diploma from Western Illinois College. He started his instructing profession in Dwight after which in Jacksonville earlier than becoming a member of the QHS music college in 1988. Since that point, each out and in of the classroom, Fonza has been a pressure within the Quincy music scene, from main the Marching Blue Devils to his time as a part of the legendary Ben Bumbry and the Messengers.
“He is only a titan of the humanities in Quincy,” Sievert stated. “His contributions to each training and native music are numerous, and it may be seen within the 1000’s of scholars he impressed in his time as an educator.”
A couple of notable credit for Fonza embody the Quincy Park and Live performance bands, the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Huge River Swing Machine, Jacksonville Symphony, and the Quincy Group Theatre pit orchestra.
“Les has made an unbelievable mark on Quincy’s younger musicians, and has continued to share his presents together with his hometown,” Sievert stated.
“I am honored and humbled to obtain this award,” Fonza stated. “I am undecided I am the one who deserves it, although. Once you have a look at the scholars we’ve got that undergo the highschool, they go on to be musicians and docs, legal professionals and stage performers, they go on to all walks of life. That is a credit score to all the music program.
“The humanities in Quincy are second to none. You’d should go to Chicago or St. Louis to seek out something prefer it.”
Sievert famous that Fonza is a big a part of that outcome, even when he is not the primary to see it.
“Personally, I am touched to have the ability to current him with this award,” she stated. “I can actually say if it wasn’t for him, I do not know if I’d be working within the arts at present.”
The award will probably be introduced Saturday on the black-tie gala for Arts Quincy. Marking the seventy fifth yr, Arts Quincy — often known as the Quincy Society of Effective Arts — is America’s first group arts council. The group promotes music, dance, visible arts, theater, literacy, historical past and humanities applications. Named after the founding father of Arts Quincy, the George M. Irwin Award is the group’s most prestigious accolade.