Symphony Orchestra Performs Series of Concerts in Argentina
Student musicians under the direction of Laurie Redmer Minner, orchestra conductor and associate professor for Southern’s School of Music, went to Argentina this May and provided 13 concerts in multiple locations over the span of two weeks. For many in audience, it was the first time they had occasion to experience a live symphony concert.
“I was thrilled to bring orchestral music to so many people who had never heard this type of performance before,” Minner said. “I was touched by the realization of this opportunity to share every time we went on stage.”
The orchestra traveled to locations such as the Universidad Adventista del Plata in Entre Rios, and various surrounding cities such as Paraná and Rosario. They performed at various Adventist schools and churches as well as venues ranging from a city civic center to a gymnasium.
And while the campus community in Collegedale, Tennessee, embraces classical music and these student performers, the group was not fully prepared for the enthusiastic response their music generated in Argentina. For example, Tyler Rand, senior music theory major, was the soloist for Haydn’s Concerto for Oboe during a performance in the gymnasium at the Universidad Adventista del Plata and was greeted with rapturous applause when finished.
“I’ve never had an audience cheer so enthusiastically before,” Rand said. “I’ve performed with an orchestra multiple times but the response in South America was unlike anything I’ve heard in the United States. Many times applause merely sounds polite, but the Argentines meant it. I really felt appreciated!”
The orchestra’s final concert on tour was held at the Iglesia Adventista de Florida in Buenos Aires. Local culture traditionally discourages clapping in church; however, at the end of the evening, audience members burst into applause, a display of affection that deeply touched the performers.
Student musicians at Southern enjoy, on a rotating basis for each group, one international tour per year. Traveling to Argentina with 70 musicians is an expensive endeavor; but with support from generous donors, Minner was able to raise $60,000 toward offsetting student expenses. These gifts, in addition to financial support provided by the university, allowed for a savings of $800 per student.