Student string quartet, orchestra plan outreach concerts eastern North Dakota
Alejandro Drago, director of the UND music string program, is organizing a series of special events to reconnect with select rural communities in eastern North Dakota.
The UND Student String Quartet and the UND Orchestra will play at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov.17, at Cankdeska Cikana Community College on the Spirit Lake Reservation, and from there, they will go to Cando to perform at 5:30 p.m., at the Cando Art Center Gallery. The next day, Nov. 18, the group will perform at 2 p.m., in Larimore, at the high school, and at 6 p.m., at the Mountain Community Center in Mountain.
Drago hopes that even though the concerts will be performed in rural communities they will attract regional audiences. With help from the Center for Community Engagement, the string quartet and the orchestra hope to visit one quadrant of the state every year. Since this is the first year, the group decided to stay close to home.
Drago said he intends bring more music, culture and arts to rural areas of the state, where access and opportunities to such things may not be abundant.
“I wondered if we, being a state university, could do something to bridge over that gap,” he said.
Drago also wants to strike a chord with rural music lovers and inspire an appreciation for music within these areas residents. He also is passionate about advocating for musical education in elementary, middle and high school music programs, particularly string and orchestral programs.
“I am a firm believer in the uplifting power of music in any society,” he said. “and I don't see why North Dakota should be an exception.”
-- Kate Menzies, University Relations student writer.