Orchestra celebrates 55 years

Millie Masse and Jiuhoon Shin practice Handel's "Water Story," during the Austin Symphony Orchestra's practice earlier this year. -- Herald file photo

The Austin Symphony Orchestra is going to get bigger and better this season.

Celebrating 55 years, the ASO began its ticket sales campaign this week.

“For a town this size, it’s quite amazing that the symphony has been able to continue for this long,” Dick Smaby, member of ASO’s board of directors said. “I don’t think there are many symphony orchestras of towns this size that have been able to continue.”

The orchestra has a few surprises for its 55th season. The first concert on Oct. 30 features a piece called “The Fable of Old Turtle.” Linda Tutas Haugen has set a book, “The Old Turtle,” written by Doug Wood, to music. The music will feature Native American flute player Keith Bear from Montana. Also on the program is music by Gould, Saint-Saens, and Gounod.

“It’s Christmastime!”, the second concert on Dec. 11, 2011, will feature Austin’s own male quartet called “Forte.” This concert will include an audience sing-a-long and a featured work by St. Olaf College’s Steven Amundson along with many Christmas favorites.

The “Gala 55th Anniversary Celebration,” is highlighted by the return of pianist Roberto Plano to the concert stage Feb. 26 with Schumann’s famous piano concerto. Dvorak’s “Te Deum” and “Slavonic Dances” will complete the program.

For the final concert of the season, “Homecoming,” former members of the

Austin Symphony Orchestra are invited to return and join the ASO on stage April 15 to perform Sibelius “Symphony No. 2.” In addition, the winner of our third annual Young Artists Competition will perform.

Season tickets are $50 for adults, $40 for college students and seniors and can be purchased through Marge Dunlap, ASO business manager at 433-5647.

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