HELENA — Stephen Cepeda, concertmaster of the Helena Symphony, has been playing violin for over 30 years. And for about half of that time, he’s played for the Helena Symphony. With experience as an adjunct professor, a traveling musician in southeast Asia, and a founding member of an award-winning quartet featured on PBS, Cepeda has seen his fair share of the music world.
Cepeda says that the way in which the Helena Symphony has grown and continues to change is a contributing factor to the reasons he’s stayed with the group for over a decade and a half.
“The organization is just growing, and so, it's just grown exponentially since I've been here. And so that energy is exciting. So, it's like a new Helena Symphony, you know, every five years,” says Cepeda.
The Helena Symphony is about to embark on its 68th season, kicking off with a performance on Saturday, September 17th, at 5:30 followed by a ticketed after party complete with food, drinks, and an auction. This season will feature works from the likes of Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, and Beethoven, as well as the musical, Sweeney Todd.
While the basic formula of the symphony remains relatively the same, the ever-expanding and evolving vision of Music Director Allan R. Scott will be on display as he enters his 20th year with the symphony.
“Our goal is to change peoples’ lives in so many different ways through our music making. And that's children all the way up to every age. So, we're constantly figuring out how do we do that better, how do we react to what's going on in the world today, and try to make our community better through our music making . . . I mean, I feel like I'm just getting started, and I've been here for 20 years,” says Scott.
Again, the symphony’s 68th season will kick off Saturday, September 17th, at 5:30 at Helena Civic Center.