Compositions By SD Youth To Be Performed By Musicians Of SDSO

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Compositions By SD Youth To Be Performed By Musicians Of SDSO

Musical compositions from twenty participants of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra's Music Composition Academies will feature on a concert that is free to the public, played by the musicians of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, on Thursday, March 7.

As part of the SDSO's Lakota Music Project, the academies began in 2017 and brought together high school musicians from Sisseton, Pine Ridge, Oelrichs, Mission, and Rapid City for week-long periods in the summer. Professional composers Theodore Wiprud, Jeffrey Paul, Michael Begay, and Paul Lombardi worked with the young composers in both group workshops to awaken creativity, and individual composing sessions. Each student worked to compose a piece for either string quartet or woodwind quintet. This year the academy was expanded to include members of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra; five of whose compositions will be premiered on the March 7 program.

The performance is the first time the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra has performed all 20 works in one concert, bringing together the minds and voices of students of the Academies in Spearfish, Sisseton, and Sioux Falls.

"The world of Symphonic Classical Music needs new voices, we need to hear what's in the minds of young people today to refresh our music and continue its evolution," says SDSO Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Theodore Wiprud, who recently served as the Vice President for Education with the New York Philharmonic. "This has been a great opportunity to reach into the minds of young students to find out what kind of music they imagine, what's important to them, what's going on in their minds and in their lives."

Baylie Her Many Horses, a student of Oelrichs High School, created a piece titled "Human Error: A Story of Corruption" in which she clues into elements of her Native heritage and also her understanding of life. "I wanted to make something beautiful and eerie because I think that's just how life is; it can be really pretty and it can be really bad and scary, so I wanted to make something to represent that."

Support for the performance comes from the Gilchrist Foundation, New Music USA, the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research, and 2018 South Dakota Symphony Gala donors.

The Music Composition Academy Concert is Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 pm in the Belbas Theater of the Washington Pavilion. For more information, visit

About Music Alive

The Residency of Theodore Wiprud is made possible through Music Alive, a residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. This national program prioritizes collaborative work and immersive experiences for composers, orchestra musicians, artistic leadership, and community members. Music Alive hopes to demonstrate-through active partnership with the participating residency pairings-the power and value of living composers working at the center of American orchestras. Major funding for Music Alive comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a vibrant and growing community serving a 125-mile region that touches five states. Known for innovative programming and statewide outreach, the SDSO has a strong heritage upon which to build an even stronger future. SDSO was the 2016 winner of the Bush Prize for Community Innovation, which is given by the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Bush Foundation and recognizes organizations for their innovative work in community engagement.

SDSO is the region's premiere performing arts organization with the Washington Pavilion as its home. Artistically, SDSO is led by Maestro Delta David Gier, who has guided the orchestra to new musical heights. The core of SDSO is comprised of nine full-time professional musicians that make up the Dakota String Quartet and the Dakota Wind Quintet. Musically, SDSO performs well above its $2.3 million budget.

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