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Wyo Symphony opens new season with Beethoven’s 9th on Saturday in Casper

Christopher Dragon conducts a rehearsal with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra during his trial performance in 2019. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News File)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra is kicking off the 2022–23 concert season with arguably one of the most recognizable and beloved orchestral pieces ever written.

Beethoven’s massive 9th Symphony, often referred to as “Ode to Joy” for its final movement with chorus, opens the program this Saturday, Oct. 8. For the “Ode to Joy” movement, the orchestra will be joined by acclaimed vocal soloists, along with 120 chorus members assembled from groups across Wyoming, including Gillette, Sheridan, and Casper.

Along with a large choir, the final movement requires four soloists singing various parts. For that, the WSO enlisted soprano Veronica Turner and mezzo-soprano Emily Quintana, both of Casper; tenor Ryan Landis of Sheridan; and bass-baritone Jeff Keele of Lincoln, Nebraska.

“The Ninth Symphony symbolizes the struggles of night into light, and progress against reaction, to which Beethoven dedicated his entire life and work,” according to the WSO’s concert notes. “As such it is a fitting opening to Rise, our 73rd concert season.”

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 8. at the NCHS John F. Welsh Auditorium. Tickets range from $26 to $47 and can be purchased at the WSO’s office at 225 S. David St. or online at the orchestra’s website.