Conductor Dennis Simons characterized the music chosen for the Minot Symphony Orchestra concert this weekend as "thrilling."
The concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at Minot State University, has a mixture of music ranging from the dance rhythms and folk music influence from Bohemia in Antonin Dvorak's "Carnaval" through a Scots wedding, complete with a bagpipe solo.
The second half attraction is four movements from Symphony No. 2, Op. 73, D Major by Johannes Brahms, which Simons calls "one of Brahms' most beautiful symphonies, a sunshine masterpiece warm, lyrical and with radiant beauty."
"The gorgeous acoustics in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall make the music glow," he said. "The Copland fanfare really shows off the sound of the hall."
The first half of the spring concert opens with Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," commissioned in 1942 for brass and percussion.
Dvorak's exciting, tuneful "Carnaval" overture follows and the final choice for the first half is "An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise."
At 6:30 p.m., Erik Anderson will present a pre-concert talk which offers background on the music chosen for the spring concert. Admission to his talk, which is free to season ticket-holders, costs $5 per person or $10 for families who do not have season tickets.
Through the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, music listeners travel to Scotland for all-night wedding festivities that conclude with a lone bagpiper serenading the sunrise.
Modern technology gave an answer to the symphony's need for that bagpiper, Norwood BayBridge of Sioux Falls, S.D., who enters at the back of the hall and makes his way to the stage with the unusual solo.
"We put out a plea for a piper on Facebook," the conductor said. BayBridge, who began as a bassist with the Sioux Falls Symphony in 1966, has become renowned for his playing. He is the founding Pipe Major of the Aberdeen Fire and Rescue Pipe and Drums and has been soloist in ceremonies across the country, including the opening of he Vietnam War Memorial.
Concert-goers who wonder how one can top a bagpipe solo need only look at the post-intermission program: Brahms' Symphony No. 2, which Simons describes as "rich, emotional and lyrical."
"I'm just thrilled with the music," Simons said. "This can surely be billed as a night to remember."
Paulette Dailey, symphony publicist, noted the concert is also military appreciation night, when those with military identification get a free admission with each paid one.