‘A Romantic Frenchman’

MINOT, N.D. – The Minot Symphony Orchestra will present “A Romantic Frenchman” on Saturday, March 4 beginning with a pre-concert talk from 6-6:30 p.m. and concert at 7 p.m. in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, located inside Old Main on the campus of Minot State University.

The program will include a local MSU student soloist, a world premiere by a Minot young composer, and one of the most iconic romantic symphonies in the French repertoire by César Franck.

The evening will feature the winner of the annual Minot State University Division of Performing Arts Honors Competition, Danica Rumney. Rumney was chosen through a live audition and will perform “Première Rhapsodie” by Claude Debussy.

Clarinetist Rumney is a senior at Minot State University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a minor in art. She has studied with Charles Young, assistant professor of woodwinds and director of jazz studies, since 2017. She has performed concerts with the Minot Symphony Orchestra since 2018 and plans to attend graduate school following her graduation from Minot State.

“Danica Rumney’s clarinet playing is mature beyond her years, standing out as one of the hardest working and meticulous musicians since my time here at Minot State,” said Young. “She has been giving commanding performances for years at the Dakota Chamber Music workshop and more recently as a member of the Thalo Trio, winners of the inaugural Virginia Geesemann Internship at MSU. The audience is in for a treat as Danica steps onto the stage in her debut solo performance with symphony orchestra.

“Claude Debussy’s ‘Première Rhapsodie’ for clarinet and orchestra is a gem of the Impressionist movement from the early 20th century. As the name rhapsody implies, the clarinet weaves seamlessly from long, aching lines to quick, virtuosic flourishes and everything in between. Debussy’s harmonic language and rhythmic interplay evokes a dreamlike mysticism that is sure to captivate fans of the symphony.”

The symphony will premiere an original composition, “Moving On,” by Jordan Boehm.

Boehm is the 2022-2023 Young Composer Composition winner. The contest was started in 2018 and is open to composers aged 35 and under living or pursuing music studies in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, or Colorado. Entries were judged by composers Eddie Mora and John Stevens. Original compositions for symphony orchestra up to 10 minutes in length are accepted annually. The winner receives a $500 cash prize sponsored by descendants of Merritt and Annie Warner and their work premiered by the Minot Symphony Orchestra. “Moving On” is Boehm’s first work for a full symphony orchestra.

Boehm is a music teacher for Minot Public Schools and holds degrees in music education and trumpet performance from the University of Mary in Bismarck and a master’s in trumpet performance from the University of Northern Iowa. Boehm also plays trumpet in the Minot Symphony Orchestra.

“Everyone is faced with difficult decisions throughout their lives. Some people relish these opportunities, while others — the composer included — agonize over both sides, hoping to choose correctly,” explained Boehm. “This can be an arduous back and forth process full of second guesses and false starts, something that can be heard in the fast eighth note lines heard from the start of the piece. ‘Moving On’ encapsulates the emotions that I feel when faced with these instrumental choices — it can be exciting, terrifying, maddening. You will have moment where every option seems to lead to despair, but at some point, that decision has to be made. No matter the path chosen, for better or worse, we must follow through and come face to face with confidence or resignation.”

The performance will conclude with one of the most iconic romantic symphonies in the French repertoire, “Symphony in D Minor.” Franck described his symphony as an “energetic and warm” first movement; a “sweet and melancholic” Allegretto, inspired by the distant vision of a cortège (procession); and a “radiant, quasi luminous” finale.

The evening will start at 6 p.m. with a 30-minute pre-concert talk which will provide an engaging overview of the works being performed, the story behind the music, the composer, and historical context presented by Young. The music will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets start at $30 for adults with senior, military, and student discounts available. Live and livestream tickets are available at www.minotsymphony.com or through the box office at 701-858-4228. Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.

The MSO 97th season will conclude on April 29 and will feature Holst’s “The Planets” with an accompanying film that includes images, historical illustrations, animations, and space visualizations from NASA and ESA of the seven featured planets. Other composers include Haydn, Amaya, and Williams.

The Minot Symphony Orchestra is a unique blend of student, community, and professional musicians from the Minot area. The symphony is directed by Maestro Efraín Amaya, associate professor of music at Minot State University.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Minot Area Council of the Arts with funding by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 03/02/23   

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