The University of South Dakota Symphony Orchestra will host a Spring Orchestra Festival for area high school students March 2.
The students will spend the day rehearsing and will then give a concert that evening, music professor Richard Rognstad said.
“We sent invitations to about 30 area high schools, and we have students from five high schools who will be joining us,” Rognstad said.
Students from Watertown, S.D., Yankton, S.D., Brookings, S.D., East Sioux City, Iowa, and Norfolk, Neb., will make up the group of 70 students who will be working with USD music professors and students throughout the day.
“I’ll help Dr. Rognstad however I can that day,” graduate student Andrew Paa said. “I’ll also run a sectional rehearsal for second violins to help them with the music and smooth it out for that night.”
Each year, the concert has a theme, Rognstad said, and this year’s theme is music from the British Isles, with pieces ranging from the 1600s to 2010.
“We’ll mix all the students up so they get to meet other orchestra students and then we’ll help them get to know the string faculty, so we use it as a recruiting event,” Rognstad said. “It’s always fun to put together a concert in one day.”
Paa said he’s looking forward to getting to work with the students.
“This is my third year helping with this and I always enjoy helping them understand the music,” Paa said. “I like when they get excited for the music.”
Assistant professor Eunho Kim said she will be helping with sectional rehearsals.
“I always look forward to the final concert,” Kim said. “It’s a very intensive day. Every part is important and it is always interesting to see how the high school students get along with each other in a university setting. But the highlight is definitely the concert.”
The festival concert will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre.
“It’s a grueling day, but there’s always a surge of energy for the concert,” Rognstad said. “The concert is the payoff.”
Reach reporter Kayla Prasek at Kayla.M.Prasek@usd.edu