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North Dakota zoo orangutan plays with New York wind ensemble

Tal, Chahinkapa Zoo’s orangutan, waits patiently before joining in with the New York Kammermusiker. In addition to the notes he shared with the band and Lead Zookeeper Addy Paul, Tal also demonstrated his enthusiasm for clapping. Frank Stanko / Wahpeton Daily News

WAHPETON, N.D. -- A world-traveling double-reed chamber music ensemble from New York played one of its three concerts this week with an orangutan.

Tal, the orangutan. played the recorder  with the New York Kammermusiker during their Chahinkapa Zoo performance in the border town of Wahpeton in southeast North Dakota on Tuesday, Aug. 14. In addition to the notes Tai shared with the band, with the help of lead zookeeper Addy Paul, Tal also demonstrated his enthusiasm for clapping when he heard the ensemble playing.

“You never know what will happen,” Zoo Director Kathy Diekman said prior to the concert. “Even in the worst-case scenario, (audiences) still get to hear all this beautiful music.”

The New York Kammermusiker is known for its experimental and improvisatory performances. Those include performing music written for their own unique sound.

The New York group in its visit to the area also performed at West Acres Mall in Fargo and on the “North Dakota Today”  morning television program.