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SMO Celebrates Dr. Rieppel's 25th Anniversary

Published Thursday, October 12, 2023

Dr. Daniel Rieppel
Dr. Daniel Rieppel

The Southwest Minnesota Orchestra opens its season with two special concerts celebrating Dr. Daniel Rieppel’s 25th Anniversary as the orchestra’s musical director. The first concert is in Marshall on Sunday, October 22 at 4:00pm in the Schwan Community Center for the Performing Arts. The second concert is in Minneapolis on Saturday, November 4 at 7:30pm in St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral.

The Oct. 22nd concert in Marshall is entitled “Composing Under Adversity: The Great Composers’ Struggle with Disabilities.” The concert features the music of Smetana, Schumann, Schubert, and culminates with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia, Op. 80 with Dr. Rieppel as soloist and conductor.

Special guests include the Prairie Arts Chorale with Brandon Hurley, conductor, and the University of Minnesota, Morris Concert Choir with conductor Dr. Yulene Valasquez.

The musical selections bring attention to the physical and mental challenges of many famous composers like Beethoven’s well-known hearing loss, Schumann’s self-described ‘melancholia’ and restricted hand movement, Schubert’s debilitating cyclothymia, and Smetana’s career-ending deafness.

The concert also celebrates Dr. Rieppel’s silver anniversary—25 years with the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra. Dr. Daniel Rieppel joined the SMSU faculty in Fall Semester 1998. He has led the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra over the course of the years with concerts featuring music of Mozart, Brahms, Mahler, and Liszt; a Beethoven festival, a Copland-Bernstein festival, and a Russian Festival; the annual children’s concerts and Holiday Cheer; and treasured guests including Bill Holm, Robert Butler Whitcomb, pianist Luke Norell, mezzo-soprano Siân Cameron, and baritone Ryan Hugh Ross; plus many soloists and musicians too numerous to list.


The concert is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


The Nov. 4th concert in Minneapolis brings the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra to St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Loring Park to celebrate Dr. Rieppel’s 25 years. This concert features special guests: the University of Minnesota, Morris Concert Choir with Dr. Yulene Valasquez, conductor; and Erich Rieppel, Principal Timpanist, Minnesota Orchestra, Guest Conductor and Timpanist.


The concert highlights the music of Smetana, Schubert, and Robert Butler Whitcomb (the Twin Cities premiere) and features Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia, Op. 80 with Dr. Rieppel as soloist. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:30pm in St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral at Loring Park, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis. The orchestra’s travel arrangements are sponsored in part by the SMSU Foundation.

To learn more about the SMSU Music Program and the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra, visit:




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