Airmen volunteer for the Minot Symphony Orchestra

MINOT, N.D. -- Airman 1st Class Danielle Vickman, a paralegal at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., hands a ticket stub back to a patron of the Minot Symphony Orchestra's annual family concert at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall here, Jan. 26. Ten Airmen from the base volunteered as ushers for the concert. Volunteers are still needed for the next concert, which is scheduled for March 2. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Jose Davis)

MINOT, N.D. -- Airman 1st Class Danielle Vickman, a paralegal at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., hands a ticket stub back to a patron of the Minot Symphony Orchestra's annual family concert at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall here, Jan. 26. Ten Airmen from the base volunteered as ushers for the concert. Volunteers are still needed for the next concert, which is scheduled for March 2. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Jose Davis)

MINOT, N.D. -- It was once astutely observed by the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that life without music would be an abysmal mistake. In implicit tribute to those wise words, Airmen here made no mistake in volunteering for the Minot Symphony Orchestra's annual family concert, held at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the campus of Minot State University, Jan. 26.

"The Minot Symphony is a treasure that is worth investing in," said Col. Bryan K. Haderlie, 91st Operations Group commander and active MSO Board of Directors' member. "It only survives with patronage and volunteer support."

Ten Airmen from Minot AFB volunteered as ushers at this past weekend's concert. For volunteering, Airmen were allowed to attend the concert for free. Tickets for a single concert range from $5 to $25, depending on age and status as a student.

"I heard about volunteering through email," said Senior Airman Aron Bris, a health services management technician for the 5th Medical Group. "I wanted to volunteer because music has always been a great part of my life; I've always had a passion for it."

The concert featured Russian compositions for adults and children alike, such as Pyotr Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and a narrated derivation of Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." The concert also featured a saxophone solo piece by a student from the local community who won MSO's High School Concerto Competition.

"I don't really have a favorite classical piece; I'm kind of jumping into it," said Airman 1st Class Danielle Vickman, a paralegal for Minot AFB. "Violins tend to calm me down on a personal level, so I figured I would give it a shot."

The orchestra is directed by renowned music director, Scott Seaton, who made his international debut in 2007 with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg. Since then, Seaton has conducted numerous orchestras and participated in multiple competitions. He has led the MSO throughout the 2012-2013 season.

"Any city would be fortunate to have such a cultural treasure as a symphony orchestra," said Haderlie. "There is a deep heritage and tradition of musical excellence associated with Minot State University and the Minot community: you only have to attend one concert to understand and appreciate the value of the Minot Symphony."

There are a total of five concerts for this season. Each concert is unique in its own right, playing an array of different classical compositions and featuring a talented soloist in a specific instrument. This MSO's season will end April 20 with a "Saxophone Extravaganza." There will be a special performance by MSU's Concerto Competition winner.

The final two concerts of the season are still in need of Airmen to volunteer as ushers.

"Not only can Airmen see volunteering at events like this as an EPR bullet," said Vickman. "But, to me specifically, Minot has really supported the military full force from day one so it's only right that we, as Airmen, do the same for them."

Eight volunteers are usually needed at a minimum for each concert, but having 12 to 16 Airmen to assist as ushers is ideal.

"I don't think Airmen get out enough," Bris observed. "This is a great opportunity to see how much Minot has to offer, and a great opportunity to volunteer."

On the evening of each concert, Dr. Erik Anderson, Assistant Professor of Music at MSU, and other special guests, host a pre-concert lecture for all to attend. These lectures give an inside look at the symphony program for that evening and give notice on what to listen for during the performance. Admission to the pre-concert lecture is free.

"What I like most about classical music is the richness of the experience," reflected Haderlie. "Listening to a song on the radio can be pleasant, but listening to classical music live pulls you into the music."

Having played in symphony orchestras for many years, Haderlie said the thrill of performing is how one can become totally immersed in the music with all the infinite combinations of instruments, playing styles, dynamics, etc., in coordination with each instrument's contribution of a unique color, sense, texture and flavor. That thrill is what performers want to impart to their audience.

The symphony's next concert is March 2, in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, at 7:30 p.m. This concert is themed "Dance into Spring!", and features guest cellist Madeleine Kabat who will play Édouard Lalo's "Cello Concerto." The symphony is offering a "buy 1 ticket, get 1 free" discount for all military personnel who attend the concert.

For Airmen who would like to volunteer for the MSO, you may contact Col. Bryan Haderlie via email or at 701-723-3213.

"The music is great," Haderlie notes. "I guarantee you will be glad you came and supported the Minot Symphony Orchestra."