Published April 12, 2024

MSO Presents Season finale on April 27th

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

Minot Symphony Orchestra release

MINOT – The Minot Symphony Orchestra presents their 98th season finale on Saturday, April 27th with Musicology (the study of music) at 6 pm and music at 7pm in MSU’s Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. Our Town will feature a world premiere as well as a live film experience.
Maestro Efraín Amaya, Music Director and Conductor of the Minot Symphony Orchestra, will be premiering his last composition, a cycle of songs titled “The four seasons in North Dakota.” This work is a world premiere and was made possible thanks to an Individual Fellowship from North Dakota Council of the Arts, given to Maestro Amaya in the summer of 2022. It is written for soprano voice and orchestra; this performance will feature soprano Bethany Jelinek.

Bethany Jelinek (Photo: submitted)

This work was inspired by the uniqueness of North Dakota as a state that is defined by beautiful prairies and bold weather patterns, with a special mix of peoples. Efraín’s wife, Susana Amundaraín, who is a visual artist and librettist, was responsible for writing the lyrics of the songs. She refers to them as “love letters describing spaces and temperatures to those loved ones who can’t be with us to share the experience of a place we call home,” in Efraín and Susana’s case, a beloved adopted home. A limited number of digital prints featuring the text and original watercolor artwork by Amundaraín will be available for sale at the performance.
Concertgoers also will experience two films where live orchestral music is paired with big screen film projections, “Our Town” and “One Small Step,” both with music by American composer Aaron Copland. These live films are an innovative concept providing audiences with a unique visual experience they will never forget.
A film adaptation of Thorton Wilder’s popular play, “Our Town,” like the play itself, was set in the fictional community of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. Its story revolves around an average town’s citizens in the early twentieth century, highlighting the trivial events of their everyday lives. American composer Aaron Copland was commissioned to write a score to accompany director Sam Wood’s film adaptation. The film became a beautiful canvas for Copland’s candid, succinct style and earned him his first Academy Award nomination as he successfully created an intimate musical journey across Wilder’s fictional landscape. Copland brought a brevity and scope to the main theme that is as epic as it is simple. It’s pure sound, untarnished by the layers of life’s scars is met with a wisdom that only comes from a life long-lived. Even if you’ve never heard this music before, it feels familiar and warm. For a composer whose music was far-reaching, Aaron Copland’s score for the film “Our Town” feels right at home. The audience will be moved by the live film accompaniment by local musicians.
The film “One Small Step,” The History of Space Flight, tells the dramatic story of the history of space flight by combining the music of composer Aaron Copland, with archival NASA photographs and film footage. The journey begins on earth with "Fanfare for the Common Man," when the ancient explorers' thirst for exploration takes them beyond the mountains and the oceans and finally the skies. Then, Kennedy's challenge to be the first to land on the moon signals the "Appalachian Spring" and the great Space Race. From the development of NASA to Neil Armstrong's historical moon landing, from tragic disaster to momentous achievement, Copland's magnificent themes propel the story forward.
Tickets start at $25 for adults with active military, senior, and student discounts available. All tickets are available at www.minotsymphony.com or through the box office at 701-858-4228. Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.
Musicology, the study of music, will begin at 6pm. Concertgoers are encouraged to attend this 30-minute engaging overview of the works being performed, the story behind the music, the composer, and historical context. The concert will begin at 7pm and is approximately two hours with a 20-min. intermission.
The Minot Symphony Orchestra is a unique blend of student, community, and professional musicians from the Minot area. The symphony is directed by Maestro Efraín Amaya, Associate Professor of Performing Arts at Minot State University.

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