The last orchestral concert unites father and son | News, Sports, Jobs
MARSHALL — There are a lot of things that will be special about the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra’s final concert of the season, said music director Dan Rieppel.
This Sunday’s concert is part of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary celebration and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.
But there will also be a special family bond for Rieppel. During the concert, it will be “on the carpet” as piano soloist, while his son Erich Rieppel is guest conductor.
“That would only happen with an orchestra like the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra,” says Dan Rieppel.
Sunday’s performance will be the fifth in a series of concerts focusing on the music of Beethoven. The show begins at 4 p.m. at the Schwan Community Center for the Performing Arts.
Erich Rieppel is currently the principal timpanist of the Minnesota Orchestra. But as a teenager, the SMO played a key role in awakening his love of orchestral music.
“That’s where I first felt what it feels like to play in an orchestra.” said Erich Rieppel.
These experiences were “very powerful” in his choice to study music, he says.
“Great things can happen anywhere. I needed that experience in the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra when I was 14,” he said.
The SMO has resumed performing at live concerts this season, following the COVID-19 pandemic. While the orchestra tried alternatives to traditional performances last year, it’s great to perform in front of an audience again, said Dan Rieppel. So far, public response has been positive, he said.
“Zoom only goes so far,” he said. “Nothing beats live music.”