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Grand Forks symphony celebrates 110th anniversary

Tamara Auer, violinist, is the executive director of the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra, founded in 1908, is one of the oldest in the country. (Submitted photo)

The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, celebrating its 110th anniversary, is presenting the first concert of its 2018-19 season at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Empire Arts Center.

The concert will feature Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," with accompanying sonnets read by actor Darin Kerr, said Tamara Auer, the new executive director of the symphony.

Audience members also are invited to a pre-concert talk at 1:30 p.m. with the symphony's conductor and artistic director, Alejandro Drago, a globally-recognized maestro violinist and member of the music faculty at UND.

The Grand Forks symphony is one of the oldest in the country, Auer said. To commemorate this anniversary, audience members are invited to stay after the concert for a birthday celebration with a sparkling beverage, punch and cake.

A silent auction of specialty cakes, donated by area "celebrities," will be held, Auer said.

Tickets for Sunday's concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $15 for students and military, and $5 for children 15 and younger.

Single concert tickets or a set of season tickets, at $90 for four concerts, may be purchased online from the Empire Arts Center box office or by calling (701) 746-5500 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.

Members of the Symphony Guild also are selling raffle tickets, at $20 each, for a chance to win two tickets to the Hall of Fame Hockey Game between UND and the University of Minnesota, set for Oct. 27 in Las Vegas. The winner of the raffle will be announced during Sunday's post-concert party. The winner does not have to be present to win.

To purchase raffle tickets before the concert, call (612) 990-3348 or visit www.ggfso.org.

The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1908, when George Stout, director of the Bjarne Chorus, a local Norwegian male chorus, decided to add string instrumentalists and renamed the group "The Grand Forks Philharmonic."

The Empire Arts Center is located at 415 DeMers Ave.

For more information, call Auer at (701) 317-4897 or visit www.ggfso.org .

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