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Heartland Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert Series October 12 in Little Falls, October 13 in Brainerd

Web posted October 8, 2019
Heartland Symphony Orchestra will present its 2019 Fall Concert Series, "Musique francaise", on Saturday October 12, 7:30 p.m. at the Little Falls High School Charles D. Martin Auditorium and again on Sunday, October 13, 2:30 p.m. at Brainerd's Tornstrom Auditorium under the direction of new conductor Ryan Webber.

This concert series will showcase the music of France, including works by Offenbach, Saint-Saens and Bizet. The concert will open with an exciting work by Jacques Offenbach: the Overture to his comic opera, "Orpheus in the Underworld”. 2019 celebrates the 200th anniversary of Offenbach's birth and this piece is full of catchy tunes and is the source of the famous melody, “Can-Can.”

Each Fall, HSO works with the orchestra students of St. Francis Music Center to prepare them to play with the HSO in the concert in Little Falls. This year, they have been working on a delightful arrangement of "The Carnival of the Animals,” the beloved suite by Camille Saint-Saens. The original was written for string orchestra, two pianos, and a handful of woodwind/percussion soloists, but this arrangement is a fully orchestrated one and appropriate for the entire instrumentation of the HSO. Each movement of the suite imitates the sounds of a specific animal, including a lion, donkey and dinosaur. This makes the work a lovely piece of program music, and also makes it the perfect work to collaborate with the young players of the St. Francis Music Center.

Next, the Heartland Symphony will perform two works by Georges Bizet. Before intermission, they will perform L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2. Afterwards, they will perform Suite No. 2 from one of the most recognizable operas in the repertoire, Carmen. Both suites feature many memorable melodies.

Conductor, Ryan Webber, will host "Conductor Chats" 45 minutes prior to each concert. For many, these informational programs make listening to classical music a much more enjoyable experience. Each selection on this program is based on something different: the Offenbach is from an opera, the Saint-Saens is about animals, and the Bizet is from a play. Because of these connections, the conductor will discuss the plots behind the music, giving the audience members something to listen for.

Heartland Symphony Orchestra’s fall concert series is made possible through a grant from Five Wings Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Tickets are free to youth and students K-12 or $12 for Adults and $10 for Seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the door, by mail, or online at www.HeartlandSymphony.com. Season tickets are also available. For more information about Heartland Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming season or to order tickets, please email HSO at HeartlandSymphony@gmail.com, call 1-800-826-1997 or visit the website: www.heartlandsymphony.com.

As the new conductor and music director of Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Ryan Webber says his goal is to make orchestra music as accessible as possible. “I will continue to develop our relationships in Little Falls and Brainerd as well as build new connections with the community.” As a pre-concert lecturer, he has enjoyed sharing his passion for music and interacting with patrons before Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony concerts.

Webber maintains an active schedule as a conductor in northern Minnesota. Since 2017, he has served as the music director and pit orchestra conductor of Northern Light Opera Company. He has been a part of the Bemidji State University faculty since 2017, where he teaches applied low brass, co-directs the trombone choir, and directs the BSU Pep Band. He is a rehearsal conductor for the BSU Symphonic Band and served as assistant music director for BSU’s production of Pirates of Penzance in 2018. Mr. Webber received a Bachelor of Music from the University of California, Irvine and a Master of Music from the University of Kansas.

He has led a successful career working with bands and orchestras around the country. He was the Assistant Conductor for the Lawrence Youth Symphony, which doubled in size during his tenure. Other groups he has worked with include the Symphonette Orchestra of the Youth Orchestras of Kansas City, La Primavera Youth Orchestra, and Community Youth Orchestra of Southern California.

Beyond his time on the podium, Mr. Webber is also known as a trombonist and educator. He has served as bass trombone in the Heartland Symphony since 2016. When not busy working on music, Mr. Webber enjoys reading, running by Lake Bemidji, and exploring the area with his wife, Miriam and dog, Bailey.

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