Sioux City Symphony Orchestra rehearsal

Ryan Haskins conducts the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra during a rehearsal at the Orpheum Theatre in 2013. The orchestra performed its Christmas Spectacular on Saturday night.

Dawn J. Sagert, Sioux City Journal file

SIOUX CITY | By sounding off with a varietal blend of classical and contemporary music, broadening community outreach programs and implementing new technology to enhance the concert-going experience, the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra continues to strike a chord.

The local ensemble will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra opened its 99th season Sept. 27.

More than 80 musicians belong to the organization that traces its origins back to the Morningside College Orchestra, started in 1915.

These days, the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra does more than play a full season of concerts. A number of outreach programs connect performers with members of the community.

The woodwind, brass and string quartets present more than 50 in-school performances for elementary students throughout the region’s school districts. And each year, the Orpheum Theatre welcomes about 5,000 students to hear the symphony play as part of an outreach program, Concerts for Young Audiences.

Another component of the symphony’s focus on music education happens before each concert as music director and conductor Ryan Haskins opens the floor to questions.

Thanks to a gift from a local charitable trust, the audiovisual offerings in the Orpheum Theatre have become more robust. And the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra began exploring the possibilities opened up by this new technology.

In the spring, a “key cam” projected the pianist’s fingers on the screens flanking the stage, giving the audience a unique perspective of the notes being played.

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