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Mankato Symphony Orchestra Opens With Concert on Dakota War

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Conductor Kenneth Freed says music begins where words end. Freed says, "I hope people feel in their hearts that their hearts are open when they listen to this music."

And if they open their hearts, he says the music will pluck at their heartstrings. Music master Lydia Miller says, "Think about the emotions of every single person who is on stage and who is performing and all of our emotions mixed together, there is a very big energy that's happening."

"To Be Certain of the Dawn" calls attention to the US Dakota conflict and the 38 Dakota that were hung in Mankato in 1862. Miller says, "I actually have to work to not be too caught up in the emotion of it because I might just lose myself."

Miller says everyone will have their own personal interpretation of the concert. Miller says, "It is what it means to you."

But attendee Alyssa Inniger is more interested in how the 80–piece symphony will present the material. Inniger says, "I'm really excited to see you know how they interpret it. How the piece develops."

Freed says this concert comes with a message. Freed says, "This is a message of hope and healing."

When done right, he says music brings people together. Freed says, "Music has this wonderful ability to heal and to help us all together as a community go forward."