Arts & Humanities Campus News

UGA student musicians perform complete Beethoven symphony

UGA Choirs and UGA Symphony Orchestra are shown performing at the December 2022 Holiday Concert. They will take the stage to close the spring Thursday Scholarship Series on April 27 and 28. (Photo by Easel Images)

The University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music closes its spring Thursday Scholarship Series of concerts with the Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, a choral symphony, and the final symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven.

This combined concert includes the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra, the Hodgson Singers, the UGA University Choir, and Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs and a quartet of vocal soloists. Altogether, there will be more than 300 student musicians performing this work in Hodgson Hall.

The concert will be April 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 for adults and $3 with a valid student ID. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 706-542-4400.

“We were originally scheduled to perform Beethoven 9 in September 2020 as the opening concert of the year,” said UGASO conductor Mark Cedel. “Its message has always risen during challenging times.”

Hodgson Singers conductor Daniel Bara added that “the chance to do a concert like this a second time is more consistent with what our students will experience professionally. It’s an excellent way for them to learn what it will take to maintain that level of performance.”

Sarah Frook Gallo, conductor of the University Choir and Glee Clubs, was equally excited about this collaboration. “We’re bringing together so much of the talent in our programs into one performance. The sound is just going to be breathtaking.”

Many of the students are as excited as the conductors about this concert. “I’ve been wanting to play this piece for years,” said Natasha Pizarro Guerrero, bassoonist and first-year doctoral student in music performance from San Jose, Costa Rica. “I let my professor know that I was determined to be a part of it. I’m so excited to finally play the Beethoven 9.”

As for the piece itself, the Beethoven 9th Symphony was completed in 1824 and performed for the first time May 7 of that year in Vienna. Popularly recognized for the “Ode to Joy” chorus, the Beethoven 9th Symphony is considered one of Beethoven’s best works. This composition has had a large influence on music and culture for almost 200 years.