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Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra to launch season

The Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra announces its 38th season of providing classical, orchestral music to communities across southeastern Minnesota. Dr. Paul Niemisto of St. Olaf College returns to the podium for all four programs after completing a successful Senior Fulbright Fellowship in Finland this past spring.

The first concerts in late October feature a lineup of classical music. Esther Wang, professor of music at Gustavus Adolphus College and a Northfield resident, joins the orchestra to play Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major. Also on the program is the French composer Adrien Boieldieu's "Overture to the Caliph of Bagdad," featuring high, metallic instruments (piccolos, triangle, cymbals) and the low bass drum that provides flavors of the Middle East, plus Swedish composer Franz Berwald's "Symphony No. 3," a work in three movements that did not premiere until 1905, 37 years after the composer's death. Performances are 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, in the Cathedral of our Merciful Saviour, Faribault, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct, 2m St. John's Hall, Northfield.

In collaboration with the Cannon Arts Board, the Cannon Falls School of Dance and the Guild's Dance Theater Company, the orchestra will offer family-friendly, one-hour concerts of highlights from Tchaikovsky's iconic Christmas classic. Prior to the concerts, enjoy a "Nutcracker" storytime featuring "Meet the Character" picture opportunities and nutcracker crafts. Story times will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Northfield Public Library and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Cannon Falls Library. Performances of "The Nutcracker" are 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in the, Northfield Middle School, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, in the Cannon Falls High School Auditorium.

The season's third set of concerts will celebrate the winners of Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra's first youth soloist contest. Youths from across Minnesota are invited to submit a three-to-five-minute audio recording of their proposed music selection by Oct. 10. A live audition will be held Nov. 18, and up to five soloists will be selected. More information, including how to register, is available online at The youth soloist concert will be 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11, in St. John's Hall.

The final concert of the year, "Latin Inspirations," will feature guest soloist Manny Laureano, principal trumpet for the Minnesota Orchestra, playing music written by 20th century Mexican trumpet virtuoso Rafael Méndez. Performances will be 7 p.m. Friday, May 11, at St. Dominic's Church, Northfield, and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at St. Ansgar's Lutheran Church, Cannon Falls.

Ticket prices vary by concert; please see the website for more details and to purchase tickets.