Dakota Datebook

75th Anniversary of F-M Symphony

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

During this 2006-2007 performance season, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony is celebrating 75 years as an “official” orchestra. In 1931 Mrs. A.J. Jardine, along with other volunteers from the community, chartered the group, assembled the orchestra piece by piece, and selected Harry Rudd to be the first conductor of the new orchestra. The orchestra first performed as the “unofficial” F-M Symphony in 1912 when, under the direction of Mr. Rudd, a 40 piece group performed at a Norwegian “Saengerfest” celebration. The legendary Sigvald Thompson, son of a pioneer Lutheran minister, became conductor of the symphony in 1937 and served for the next 37 years; molding the orchestra into an extremely cohesive group, while molding its audience, the people of Fargo-Moorhead, into a loyal music-loving community.
F-M Symphony conductors must enjoy the job, because since officially forming back in 1931, other than an occasional guest conductor, there have only been five of them. In addition to Rudd and Thompson, Robert J. Hanson, Joel Revzen, and current conductor Bernard Rubenstein have led the orchestra. Now, in its 75th season, the F-M Symphony continues to grow musically and in popularity.
The F-M Symphony’s next “full orchestra” concert is Masterworks V-Ode to Freedom, Saturday night April 21st, 2007 and Sunday afternoon April 22nd at NDSU’s Festival Concert Hall.
Sources: Tastes and Traditions of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra

By Merrill Piepkorn

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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