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Black Hills Symphony Orchestra stitch together "Frankensymphony"

The Black Hills Symphony Orchestra’s next performance is all about celebrating the spooky. “Frankensymphony” debuts this Saturday.

Much like the classic horror character that inspired its name, Frankensymphony is about creating something from many separate parts.

Bruce Knowles is music director for the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra. He said it is the musical selection itself that most evokes Frankenstein’s Monster.

“We’ve taken assorted bits of unrelated material and put them together," Knowles said. "In this case they’re actually related – they’re all movements from different symphonies. So for instance we’ll start it off with the first movement of Mahlers Fifth Symphony, and then put on the second movement of the Atterberg Fifth Symphony, and we’ll round it out with a couple of movements from Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique.”

Knowles said the concerts’ autumnal theme was accidental.

“I looked at what I had and I went ‘woah, these are all really dark and somber’ - this first movement of this Mahler symphony is a funeral march, and very very solemn as well," Knowles said. "So, I thought ‘well, we better make the rest of the concert Halloween-ey too,’ and put on Night on Bald Mountain, Danse Macabre, and Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach.”

Knowles said this concert will appeal to the classical fan and beginner alike.

“For live music there’s just a certain vibe," Knowles said. "There’s the human element, right there on stage there’s an interaction. It really is a unique opportunity, if you’ve never seen a symphony orchestra, this is a great one to get started on.”

Keeping true to the concert’s Halloween theme, a costume contest will also be held during the show.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture