ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony invites you to its 2023-24 season finale concert at 7:30 p.m. Apr. 20 at Northern State University’s Johnson Fine Arts Center Jewett Theater. Additionally, a pre-concert conversation is scheduled for 6:45-7:15 p.m. in JFAC Berggren Recital Hall.

Christopher Stanichar, director of the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony, will lead the orchestra. The show, titled “Voices of Freedom,” features music by Florence Price and Dmitry Shostakovich, along with performances by student winners of this year’s NSU Concerto/Aria Competition.

Florence Price was an African American composer who wrote a prodigious amount of music, much of it reflecting her own African American experiences. “Dances of the Canebrakes” is one of her last compositions and evokes the ragtime era of Scott Joplin with jaunty rhythms and nostalgic harmonies. The other main orchestral selection on the program is Dmitry Shostakovich’s monumental Symphony No. 5. Composed in 1937, the work is both lyric and tragic, expressing Shostakovich’s deep political and artistic conflicts in the Stalin era.

Along with these two orchestral gems, the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony is pleased to present student performances by mezzo-soprano Hannah Gasperich  and pianist Cameron Gauger.

Hannah will sing Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Lullaby,” from his opera “The Consul.” An Aberdeen native, Hannah is currently completing her junior year as a music education major, and studies voice with Michael Skyles, NSU instructor of voice.

Cameron will perform the first movement of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major, Hob. XVIII: 11.

A Mitchell native, Cameron is also completing his junior year as a music education major. He studies piano with Dr. Kenneth Boulton, dean of the NSU School of Fine Arts.

Celebrating its 104th season, AUCS is the oldest continuous orchestra in South Dakota, attracting musicians from Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and the surrounding area. Stanichar, assistant professor of music at Northern State University, is the 17th conductor of the orchestra.

Ticket Information

All tickets to the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony are general admission and will be available at the door. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and NSU faculty/staff. Students will be admitted for free. Payment will be cash or check only; debit or credit cards will not be accepted. There will be no advance or online ticket sales.  The concert will be livestreamed on the NSU music department Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MusicNSU

For more information, contact the NSU School of Fine Arts at 605-626-2497 or visit https://www.northern.edu/artsnsu.