Red Deer Symphony Orchestra kicks off new season

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra launches a brand new season this weekend with ‘Beethoven Blast’, set for Oct. 1st at the Red Deer College Arts Centre.

Featuring special guest Lucie Jones on flute, the concert begins at 8 p.m.

According to a release, “The apotheosis of the dance was Wagner’s description of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.”

Also featured during the performance are selections from Ibert (Flute Concerto) and Rossini (Il Signor Bruschino Overture).

Of course, the main feature is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which incidentally, was the last work that Beethoven conducted in public.

This year marks the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra’s 30th anniversary, and the staff is launching a new, distinct and modern identity that takes aim at making their music programs and value to the cultural landscape in Central Alberta more widely known and appreciated.

“The fact that we have to think a Little bit outside of the box makes us different,” said Claude Lapalme, RDSO music director, when asked about the challenges of working for a professional orchestra in a small city.

An accomplished conductor, Lapalme has made Red Deer his home while developing the RDSO to the point of offering a diverse seven concert season in addition to symphonic music based on education experiences such as Choir Kids, open dress rehearsals and the budding Music Plus program.

“The opportunities are there for anyone who wants to come and enjoy what we do as much as we do,” added Lapalme.

Next up for the RDSO is ‘Purcell Prowess’ on Nov. 5th at Gaetz Memorial United Church co-presented by the Early Music Voices Concert Society featuring Voicescapes and Prairie Baroque.

Audiences will enjoy an evening of baroque instrumental and choral music, directed by Lapalme and featuring a new period instrument ensemble. One of Bach’s greatest instrumental works, his Second Orchestral Suite, is on the program, followed by another great masterpiece – Purcell’s unforgettable Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, a Red Deer premiere.

‘Christmas With The Red Deer Royals’ follows on Dec. 10th at the Arts Centre.

Looking into 2017, things kick off with ‘Classical Mood’ on Jan. 14th at the RDC Arts Centre featuring Robert Uchida (violin).

“Beethoven’s monumental violin concerto will be presented with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster Robert Uchida as a soloist. We will keep the concert in a classical vein with music from Mozart and from one of Mozart’s teachers: Johann Christian Bach, better known as the London Bach.” Highlights include Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni, Bach’s Symphony No. 2 in E-flat and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

‘Great Canadian Songbook’ runs Feb. 18th at the Memorial Centre.

“A mixture of old and new, light and serious, popular and classical awaits you to celebrate the sesquicentennial of our home and native land with an all-Canadian Program.”

‘Spring Potpourri’ is set for March 11th at the Arts Centre, featuring harpist Gianetta Baril.

The evening will feature a, “Healthy mix from France, Canada and Italy. An evening full of happy sounds to celebrate the imminent arrival of the spring season.

“Beat the winter blues by refreshing yourself with a colourful musical palate that includes the premiere of a work composed by the talented local Red Deerian Cheryl Cooney as part of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s project: ‘Canada Mosaic.’

And finally, ‘Firebird’ wraps up the season on May 20th at the Arts Centre featuring Caleb Johnson on violin.

The RDSO will end the season in, “Blockbuster fashion with Stravinsky’s colourful, exotic and beloved music from his Firebird ballet.”

Enjoy the mix of bombastic overture with young Central Alberta talent, as this concert features the Red Deer Festival of the Performing Arts RDSO Class Winner from 2016 Johnson. Other musical gems include Brahms’ Academic Festival.

Meanwhile, tickets are available through the Black Knight Ticket Centre by calling 403-755-6626 or visiting