NI Symphony Orchestra presents spring concert


Courtesy Photo

The Northern Iowan Symphony Orchestra presented a spring concert performance in a socially-distanced GBPAC on Tuesday, April 20.


On Tuesday, April 20, the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra performed their 2021 spring concert under the direction of Dr. Erik Rohde. An assistant professor and director of orchestra activities, Rohde has a diverse career as a conductor, violinist and educator.

He expressed the orchestra’s excitement for the concert and his hope for a more traditional season next year.

“We feel so lucky that we get to do this, even during such a strong and difficult semester,” Rohde said. “I have to say, once all this goes away, we are going to really do some wild stuff and I am so excited for next year when, hopefully, we can go back to normal.”

The concert took place in the Great Hall at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) where only a small number of people were able to gather.

The general public, however, was able to view the concert through a livestream on the School of Music’s YouTube channel.

All orchestra members wore face masks for the hour-long concert while wind instrument players were separated by clear screens.

All of the pieces performed by the orchestra were contemporary ones. The concert included music composed by Joan Tower from her series called “Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman,” Elliot Miles McKinley’s “Two Moods,” Aaron Copland’s “Hoe-Down from ‘Rodeo’” and Arturo Márquez’ “Danzón No. 2.”

While describing the different pieces and the influences they showed, Rohde highlighted his friendship with the second composer, Elliott Miles McKinley, who was also viewing and positively reviewing the concert on the YouTube page.

“I thought it would be fitting to include (McKinley) on this program. (The piece) describes a very beautiful atmosphere. This one has all sorts of different influences, so it is a very cool multi-layered piece,” said Rohde.