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VALPARAISO | The South Shore Orchestra will perform the music of Beethoven and Hovhaness for its opening night gala concert at 7:30 p.m. June 5 at Memorial Opera House, 104 Indiana Ave.

"Beethoven!" officially opens the SSO’s 2015 concert season at the Memorial Opera House. The program will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor and his rustic Symphony No. 6 in F Major, “Pastoral”, as well as one of Alan Hovhaness’ earliest known orchestral works, "Storm on Mt. Wildcat."

“These particular symphonies by Beethoven are quite organic," SSO music director and conductor Troy Webdell said. "The 'Sixth Symphony' emulates specific sounds and scenes of nature and the 'Fifth Symphony' has the idea of fate growing and developing like a seed from the initial four note theme that everyone knows.”

In an efforts to promote the concert, the SSO is launching a month long outreach initiative known as #LookingForLudwig. Throughout May and ending June 5, a traveling Ludwig van Beethoven bust will make its way to different locations in the downtown Valparaiso area where visitors can snap a photo (a “Ludwig van Selfie”) with the famous composer and then upload the picture onto the SSO’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

“We really wanted to raise the profile of the SSO -- this being our 11th year based in Valparaiso -- especially in our new residence at Memorial Opera House,” SSO Communications Chair and Board member Kirsten Renehan said. “We thought Beethoven 'sightings' might be a fun and engaging way to build the Beethoven buzz and generate some interest, especially with downtown Valparaiso eateries where patrons might dine before or after the concert.”

Updates on Beethoven’s latest locale will be posted on the SSO’s social media pages.

This year marks the SSO’s first year as the Memorial Opera House’s Orchestra-In-Residence. The SSO will perform three full-orchestra concerts and five lunchtime chamber concerts at the historic Memorial Opera House.

“We are so excited to be hosting South Shore Orchestra as our Orchestra-In-Residence,” Memorial Opera House artistic director Scot PJ MacDonald said. “Not only does it provide an opportunity for patrons to attend the orchestra concert in a beautiful historic building, but it enriches the community by making yet another aspect of the arts very accessible - it's a win all around.”

For more information, visit www.southshoreorchestra.net.

Tickets are $21 for adults and $18 for seniors, military and students. Purchase tickets online at mohlive.com or at the box office. Call (219) 548-9137 or www.memorialoperahouse.com.

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Community Coordinator

Annette is Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for two decades. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.