“Tuning Up” at the DSSO For the 2022-23 Season
The excitement of attending a live Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO) concert begins when the orchestra starts tuning up for the performance to follow and when Music Director Dirk Meyer raises his baton and the musical magic begins. Since 1931, when the DSSO was organized, they have been getting “in tune” and envisioning what they see as “a stronger community through the power of music and musician artistry.”
For their 2022-23 season and their 92nd year, the theme of the concerts is Lake Superior, “Gitche Gumee: Our Superior Home.” According to DSSO Executive Director Brandon VanWaeyenberghe, “We are honoring the lake this season through our visual designs, and you can see the lakeshore and waves with every concert.”
This 2022-23 season will perform seven Masterworks concerts and two Pops concerts. During this season, they will direct their focus to music by black composers. Five of their seven Masterworks concerts include compositions by black composers featuring an amazing variety of music.
From the contemporary voices of Adolphus Hailstork and Jessie Montgomery to the “classics” Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price and William Grant Still, these compositions promise to be full of life, energy and beauty.
“This year, the DSSO kicks off a three-year artistic initiative to celebrate the music that is heard all too seldom, music by composers of color, female composers and contemporary American voices,” explained VanWaeyenberghe “These are composers that might be less familiar, but they certainly have important things to say.”
To that end, 50 percent of the works across the seven Masterworks concerts will be first performed by the DSSO this season. They look forward to expanding the repertoire for both their musicians and their audiences.
DSSO Concertmaster Erin Aldridge is excited to perform a piece by Austrian composer Erich Korngold, one of the most influential film composers in the golden age of Hollywood cinema. Aldridge’s teacher, who she studied with up until college and has worked with in many summer camps since, recommended the Korngold piece to her.
“I am a huge film score fan, and I was encouraged by my teacher who said it would be a great piece for me to perform, and to consider for a DSSO concert. I listened, loved it and studied it, and recommended it to Dirk Meyer. I am happy that the piece is in our opening concert this season.”
For their first pop concert on December 3, the DSSO is planning another festival holiday program that combines both traditional works and new tunes, with the DSSO chorus joining the orchestra for several songs and even leading the audience in a sing-a-long. The DSSO will be partnering with the DECC and the Winter Village Marketing on December 3rd to encourage attendance to their 2 pm Casual Concerts.
The DSSO will have two Casual Concerts this Season - December 3 and February 25 at 2 pm followed by their full main performances at 7 pm
These hour-long concerts allow for a multigenerational audience to enjoy the concert experience in a family-friendly environment. Adult tickets are only $10 and children 17 and younger are free.
In February, audiences will enjoy the music of the most prolific film composer of our time: John Williams, including many of his classics, from “Superman” to “Star Wars”, but also rarities like his whirlwind “Cowboys Overture” and the jazzy Escapades based on music from “Catch Me If You Can.”
VanWaeyenberghe noted, “The DSSO acknowledges the past three years have been difficult for so many people due to the regulations and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The DSSO still exercises caution for its musicians and will encourage the same for audiences. We will not require masking at the start of the season but will continue to evaluate it with the help of medical officials.”
“One of the most visible adjustments we are making in the 2022-23 season is changing our ticket prices and map. We understand that price can be a barrier to participation, and we want to encourage our community to fill the hall to celebrate their neighbors onstage. This change adds 280 $20 seats into the hall, with most of them on the main floor. We have also simplified and reduced single ticket pricing for our Price Levels Two through Four, he said.
He added, “We also advertised a promotion for first-time subscribers this summer. This "9 for $90" program is an amazing deal - all nine concerts for $90. To date, we have added 335 new subscribers with this package, bringing us to over 1,000 subscribers before our first concert. We have been able to completely erase the subscriber loss from the pandemic, and then some!
“For those who do feel they do not know anything about classical music, I would encourage them to attend a concert and just experience live music being performed by their neighbors, who are such talented musicians,” said VanWaeyenberghe.
According to their website, “The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra evokes a mix between the beautiful consistency of classically trained musicians with an accessible experience for new and returning guests. Throughout your experience, you will notice the dedication of the musicians as they complement one another, weaving through a mix of delicate and powerful tempos. The power of music connects us all, and we are excited to welcome you to the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra!”
For more information or to purchase season tickets or tickets to an individual concert, call 218-623-DSSO (3776) or visit their website at dsso.com for a complete list of all 9 concerts.