Maestro excited about orchestra’s performance here

Maestro excited about orchestra's performance here by David Lias Maestro Susan Haig of the South Dakota Symphony stepped into the new Vermillion High School Performing Arts Center, viewed its large stage and ample seating, and was delighted.

"It's a very beautiful hall," she said. "It's handsomely designed, the audience has a great connection to the stage, the thrust, having a big apron is wonderful for music because you can bring the orchestra right out to the front of the stage.

"So I'm looking forward to our performance here very much," she added. "And there's plenty of room."

The South Dakota Symphony Chamber Orchestra will be performing in the hall on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. Corporate sponsors for the event include Community First State Bank, CorTrust State Bank, First Dakota National Bank, First National Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $6 general admission at Nook 'n Cranny, Davis Pharmacy, Jones' Food Center, Hy-Vee and the VHS Music Department.

Tickets will cost $8 the night of the performance. All proceeds from the concert will be used to purchase equipment for the Performing Arts Center and the VHS Music Department.

Haig, who took the reins as conductor of the South Dakota Symphony in Sioux Falls last September, wants to expose as many South Dakotans to excellent symphonic music as possible.

"Our goal is for as many South Dakotans as possible to enjoy their orchestra, which means we need to go to where the people are," she said. "We also need to program a variety of music because people do have different styles that they relate to. But I do think the live performances are key, and getting around the state, becoming more mobile, is one way to do that."

The chamber orchestra consists of 18 to 25 musicians, including strings, woodwinds, and brass. The core of the chamber orchestra is the Dakota String Quartet and Dakota Wind Quintet � the two professional touring ensembles of the South Dakota Symphony. Members of the quartet and quintet audition from around the country for their positions in the symphony. All members have extensive training on their instruments and were chosen not only because of their expertise, but also for their ability to educate and work as team players. They have performed in schools and communities throughout South Dakota and surrounding areas.

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