Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra Spring Concerts May 12-13

The Last Century

The Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, conducted by Paul Niemisto, will present a concert of music of the 20th Century with Donna May, Northfield soprano, on Saturday, May 12, at the Paradise Center for the Performing Arts in Faribault at 7:00 p. m. and at the Kenyon-Wanamingo School Auditorium on Sunday, May 13, at 3:00 p. m. in Kenyon. Saturday's performance is presented by the Paradise Center for the Performing Arts in association with the Northfield Arts Guild, as part of the 2012 KGP Logistics Music Season. Sunday's concert is sponsored by the Kenyon-Wanamingo Education Foundation and The Kenyon Wanamingo Band Program.

The program will feature music of Copland (Fanfare for the Common Man, for brass and percussion), Barber (Adagio for Strings, Knoxville Summer of 1915), London Every Day Suite by Eric Coates, and American songs by popular composers. "Knoxville Summer of 1915" is a landmark piece by American composer Samuel Barber.  Soloist Donna May was touched by the nostalgic narrative of James Agee and mesmerized by Barber's rhapsodic melody.  She is reminded of her own reflections of childhood with lightning bugs, cloud pictures, smells of bread and cooking, and neighborhood gossip.  She hopes that this music sparks childhood memories of home for all who listen. Maywill also sing music of George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, and Irving Berlin.  An audience sing-along of Berlin's "God Bless America" will close the program.

Soprano Donna May has been a regular guest soloist with the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra for more than twenty years and recently sang in the 2009 production of Bizet's opera "Carmen."  She is a graduate of Kent State, St. Olaf College, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Karl Orff Institute.  She has sung professionally with many groups including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and churches throughout the Twin Cities.  May has taught for nearly 30 years in music, religion, and ancient history.  Currently she teaches at St. Agnes School in St. Paul where she conducts the children and high school choirs.  She is married to her high school sweetheart, Jim, professor of Classics at St. Olaf College.  They have two grown sons.   

Tickets are available at the Paradise Center for the Performing Arts by calling 507-332-7372 or information about the Kenyon-Wanamingo concert in Kenyon can be found at 507-789-6186.

Under the direction of Dr. Paul Niemisto since 1979, the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra draws players from a wide area including Northfield, New Prague, Faribault, Owatonna, and Red Wing. They are experienced amateurs who play for the love of orchestral music.  Visit for more information.

The Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra is sponsored by Community Resource Bank in Northfield, Frandsen Bank and Trust in Dundas, and Ferndale Markets in Cannon Falls. In addition, this concert is sponsored by Donna and James May, Security State Bank in Kenyon, and individuals and businesses in Kenyon. CVRO functions as an area orchestra under the auspices of the Northfield Arts Guild. Other funding comes through appropriations by the McKnight Foundation, Southeast Minnesota Arts Council, Legacy funding, and the MN State Legislature.