OSU Symphony Orchestra heads to Canada for national conference

 Courtesy of OSU Symphony Orchestra Oklahoma State University Symphony Orchestra students are all smiles after learning they will be performing in Vancouver, British Columbia, in February.  

It is an exciting time for the arts culture in Stillwater and at Oklahoma State University.

The opening of the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts in October will aid in the arts offerings on campus and in town, and the programs at OSU are also starting to make national and international attention.

The OSU Symphony Orchestra was selected as one of two U.S. orchestras that are set to perform at the 2020 College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference from Feb. 6-8 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The plan is to take all 80 members of the OSU Symphony Orchestra, which will perform in the opening ceremony for the conference.

“For me, it makes me feel very proud as the teacher, and how far the orchestra has come since I’ve been here,” Thomas Dickey, director of the OSUSO said. “It makes me even more excited to think about where the orchestra is going to be down the road. It’s been very satisfying, very gratifying, for me as the teacher.”

Dickey said he submitted recordings from OSU’s fall and spring concerts, which were then peer-reviewed then selected. With more than 300 orchestra programs at universities in the U.S., the fact OSU was one of only two selected speaks volumes about the hard work and effort put in by the students. It will also serve to represent the exciting times ahead for OSU arts.

“I’m really excited about the concert we’re going to be doing, because it’s going to be excerpts from our October and November cycles which will feature music written entirely by female composers and composers of color,” Dickey said. “So we’re looking forward to lifting up and musically celebrating some underrepresented composers while we’re there.

“I think people are going to recognize how hard all of our music students work, how excited they are to be here and I think it’s going to impact audience members who might want to come here.”

The OSU Symphony Orchestra was also recognized earlier this summer as a finalist for the American Prize in Orchestral Performance Competition. It is part of a series of new national competitions in the performing arts at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. OSU was a finalist for the American Prize last years, and Dickey won the American Prize for conducting.

“I think it’s going to help represent us as an orchestra, representing Oklahoma and certainly putting us on a stage for the whole country to see,” Dickey said.

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