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South Dakota Symphony Orchestra
From Delta David Gier

Dear SDSO family,

Welcome to the next century! As we begin our 101st season, we look forward to building upon our significant successes over the past several years, including those of last year’s centennial season.

Wonderful instrumental and vocal soloists adorn this season, beginning with acclaimed pianists Conrad Tao and Orion Weiss. It is always a privilege to highlight our own musicians; this year features SDSO principal violist Yi-Chun Lin in her debut as soloist. The long-awaited reprogramming of Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (postponed because of Covid), along with our annual performances of Händel’s Messiah, allow us to hear twelve vocal soloists during the course of this season, all with our SDSO Chorus.

In keeping with our mission to reach deeply into the community, several of this year’s programs are surrounded by educational and engagement activities. For example, our performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 will bring many university students into our concert hall, following their focused study of the siege of Leningrad during World War II. The Beethoven finale will be part of our Bridging Cultures program; the first half of that program will feature music written by two women composers, one Indian-American and the other Iranian-American. This music will help us to reach into the South Asian and Middle Eastern communities in our region, inviting all of us to experience Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and its message of the universal brotherhood of man.

Delta David Gier

From the SDSO Board President

David HeadshotWelcome to the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s 2022-23 season! At 100 years old, the SDSO is now at the dawn of its second century of bringing live orchestra performances into our community. It’s an exciting time, and I’m delighted you are here.

I am very proud of the SDSO’s accomplishments and impact since it began in 1922. The SDSO’s roots are planted deeply in our community, having begun as an orchestra at Augustana for students and community members to perform together. The SDSO has blossomed over the last century into in an orchestra that writer New Yorker magazine’s Alex Ross has called “one of America’s boldest orchestras.” Under the leadership of maestro Delta David Gier, the SDSO is a national leader in community engagement with programming like the Lakota Music Project and Bridging Cultures, which both bring together different cultures to celebrate what makes us unique and demonstrates a commitment to connecting with the variety of cultures in our region by building classical music programs together. The result is a wide diversity in concert programming and impactful outreach that takes the music out of the Mary W. Sommervold concert hall and into schools, hospitals, retirement centers, and institutions like LifeScape, DakotAbilities, and the Children’s Home Society. 

These programs are particularly important to me and my colleagues at Avera. I am a strong proponent of the healing power of music and its ability to address health issues. We frequently hear feedback from our patients about the connection music can make through SDSO performances at the Avera Cancer Institute, Avera McKennan Hospital, and Avera Behavioral Health Hospital.

I am grateful for the many great leaders who have stewarded the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and extend my heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated board members. My special appreciation goes to my immediate predecessor, Scott Lawrence, for his nine years of board leadership. The SDSO is a successful organization today because of all of you who support it – through your concert attendance, volunteerism, and philanthropic gifts. In fact, ticket revenue is only 25% of the symphony’s total annual revenue, which makes individual and corporate donor support a critical part of the SDSO’s financial stability. Thank you all for giving generously to South Dakota’s premier arts organization.

Thank you for being a part of the music making. Enjoy the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra season!

David Flicek
President, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer, Avera

From the Executive Director

Jennifer HeadshotThis is an auspicious time for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. With last year’s historic centennial season behind us, the SDSO finds itself at the dawn of a second century of making music in our great community. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of it. 

At its very core, the SDSO’s purpose is to create belonging through great music. I think back to the spring of 2020, when the SDSO cancelled its season finale performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 due to the pandemic. Beethoven’s masterpiece takes us from darkness into light and celebrates the power of universal fellowship. Now, three years later, when the SDSO performs Beethoven’s 9th at the end of this season, the SDSO Chorus will be joined by students from Sioux Falls’ high school choirs for a glorious collaboration and will demonstrate how we connect our community through the joy of performing together. 

This season we continue to connect more people to the music by livestreaming classical concerts, a program made possible through our partnership with South Dakota Public Broadcasting and sponsored by Avera. We are also embracing another form of digital innovation, which is in your hand right now. If you are reading this letter, you have mastered the new Digital Program! Getting your concert information digitally means you always have access to current content, with the added environmental benefit of reducing waste. 

The SDSO’s mission is to enrich people’s lives through music, whether in the concert hall or by bringing the music off the mainstage to audiences throughout our region and beyond. For example, the Dakota String Quartet and Dakota Wind Quintet perform throughout our community at Avera, Sanford, LifeScape, DakotAbilities, Children’s Home Society, and in senior living communities. The Lakota Music Project’s Music Composition Academies are now in their fourth year, and have served 52 students across the state, and produced 65 new student compositions. We are reaching students in our community through a variety of education programs including our very own South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra which is going on the road to Kansas City in June. 

Thank you for your support and advocacy of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. We’re here because of you!

Enjoy the music this season!
Jennifer Teisinger