Big Nine Music Festival Friday in Austin

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Big Nine Music Festival will be hosted by Austin on Friday. 

The event is the culmination of hours of hard work and preparation from each of the participating schools’ top performing choir, band and orchestra.  In addition, top musicians have been selected from each school to rehearse together to prepare special music for the select orchestra, select choir and select band. This festival brings over 2,000 student musicians together to perform for each other and clinicians to showcase the musical talent of the students in the Big Nine Conference.

The Big Nine Festival began in the spring of 1933 in Austin and has been held every year except 1943 when the war and fuel rationing prevented the festival and 2019-20 due to the global pandemic. It is the oldest festival of its kind in the country, and many other music festivals have been patterned after the Big Nine. Students and conductors are so anxious to return to a wonderful day of music sharing once again.

Email newsletter signup

The daytime performances at Austin High School begin at 8:15 a.m. and continue until 3:15 p.m. with a break for lunch. The bands will perform at Knowlton Auditorium, the orchestras at the Packer Gym and the choirs in Christgau Hall.  The clinicians for the day are Dr. Peter Haberman of Concordia College (Moorhead), band; Joshua Reznicow of Linn-Marr Schools (Marion, Iowa), orchestra; and choral clinician, G. Phillip Shoultz of VocalEssence in Minneapolis. 

Daytime performances are free, and the public is welcome to come and listen. The Albert Lea Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8:15 a.m. in the gym. The ALHS Concert Choir will sing at 10:45 a.m. in Christgau Hall.  The Albert Lea Concert Band will perform at 1:45 p.m. in Knowlton Auditorium.

The grand finale concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin High School Packer gymnasium. Tickets for this event are $8 for adults and $6 for students and are available at the door. The concert will begin with a combined performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and what follows is always an amazing performance by the select orchestra, select band and select choir. The concert will conclude with a moving combined band, choir and orchestral performance of “America the Beautiful.”  

Singing in the select choir from Albert Lea are Jenna Steffl, Gretta Larson, Lara Westrum, Morgan Anfinson, Samantha Brumbaugh, Ava Cunningham, Ariadne Turrubiartes, John Amarosa, Angel Hernandez, Mason Buendorf, Brian Solberg, Caleb Banks and Ryan Utz. Select band members are Katelyn Holt, Leon Kong, Jenna Kleven, Riley Knoss, Morgan Sack, Maria Flores, Matthew Martinez, Will Isaacson, Hannah Veldman and Ethan Green.  Albert Lea select orchestra members are Esther Yoon, Carissa Heskett, Veronica Petersen, Alyssa Schmidt, Alyssa Jensen, Hannah Barclay, Macy Taylor, River DePoppe and Jack Doppelhammer.