Setting the tempo and shaping the sound of over 100 orchestra students will be the primary goal of guest conductor, Dr. Peter J. Folliard, at the 18th annual Yankton College & Yankton High School Orchestra Festival to be held Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Yankton.

The ensemble of high school students from South Dakota and Nebraska will play together at the day-long practicum; the musical compositions that are rehearsed during the day between the guest conductor and his students will end with an evening repertoire at 7 p.m. in the Yankton High School Theater that is open to the public and free of charge.

According to Emily Antonen, Yankton’s district-wide orchestra director, “This is an incredible opportunity for local string players to come together and create different types of music. Orchestras are a team, and it is a great learning experience for them to learn to blend with the other musicians on a larger scale.”

Antonen organizes the event for regional high school students from Yankton and other schools in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Peter J. Folliard is the director of orchestras at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. He earned the DMA degree in conducting from the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), MM from the Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins University), and BM from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Folliard has held conducting positions with The United States Air Force Band in Washington D.C., served as the Eastman Conducting Fellow with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and previously taught at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam and the Juilliard School pre-college division.

Dr. Folliard is the author of “The Bach Initiative: Flexible Chorales for Ensemble Musicianship,” published by GIA Music. In addition to his teaching and writing, he is also active as a recording producer for classical artists. With over 17 commercially available albums, Peter has recorded the South Dakota Symphony, opera superstar Renée Fleming and The US Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

The annual orchestra workshop is financially supported by Yankton College, a non-profit charitable organization as part of its mission to sponsor educational programming and liberal arts events. For more information on Yankton College, phone the business office at (605) 665-3661 or visit

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