Symphony, Choir, Choral Union, Guest Ensembles Combine to Perform Beethoven’s Heralded ‘Ninth Symphony’


orchedstra 2014CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 13, 2015 — The Southeast Missouri Symphony, University Choir, and Choral Union, in collaboration with the Southern Illinois Symphony and the Southern Illinois University—Carbondale (SIU-C) Choir, will perform Beethoven’s famous “Ninth Symphony,” April 27 at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

This monumental composition that continues to inspire and thrill audiences to this day will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance with more than 180 musicians on stage, including more than 80 instrumentalists and more than 100 choral singers.  It will feature Southeast Missouri State University Department of Music faculty Lori Shaffer, Leslie Jones, Christopher Goeke, and Timothy Schmidt as vocal soloists.  Sara Edgerton, also of the Department of Music, will conduct the performance of the “Ninth Symphony.”

The concert will open with a delightful Trumpet Concerto by Giuseppe Tartini.  The trumpet soloist in this work is SIU-C trumpet Professor, Robert Allison, who has performed in England, Latvia and Sweden, as well as throughout the United States.  He presents concerts as a member of the SIU-C Faculty Brass Quintet, Faculty Brass Trio and the New Arts Jazztet.

Following this enjoyable, short concerto, the symphonies and choirs will perform Beethoven’s late, great “Ninth Symphony.”

As stated by the scholar Nicholas Cook, “Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ is acknowledged as one of the supreme masterpieces of the Western tradition. More than any other musical work, it has become an international symbol of unity and affirmation.”

The famous last movement, with the memorable “Ode to Joy” melody, is one of the most recognized melodies in classical music.  The text of this melody (from a poem by Friedrich Schiller) is a joyful hymn of praise for the beneficent power of human friendships, watched over by the benevolence of a kindly Creator.

The first movement of the symphony begins very quietly, gradually building to powerful statements of the main themes. The second movement is a thrilling Scherzo, with brisk, excited rhythms.  The third movement is a lyrical, gentle slow movement, with a quiet sense of hush and wonder.  Then, the orchestra erupts into a blaze of chords and timpani beats to usher in the incredible beauty and power of the famous last movement.  The “Ninth Symphony” was premiered in 1824, three years before Beethoven’s death; Beethoven himself was present on stage for the first performance, and helped conduct the work.  It was received with tumultuous acclaim, and has remained a beloved and inspiring work ever since.  It was performed at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in 1989 to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, and is frequently performed for major festivals and commemorative events throughout the world.

“We are so excited about this upcoming performance,” Edgerton said. “This, to my knowledge, will be the first performance ever of Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ here in Cape Girardeau, and I think audiences will be very moved by the power and beauty of this great work.  We are also looking forward very much to combining with the orchestra and choir from SIU-C in the presentation of this memorable work.  The large number of instrumentalists and choral singers on stage should truly do justice to this marvelous composition. This will also be an amazing learning experience for our students, who will be performing in the large orchestra and choir.”


Tickets for this performance may be purchased by calling (573) 651-2265, by visiting the River Campus Box Office during office hours, or online at