ABERDEEN, S.D. – On Friday night, April 30, the Northern State University Jazz Ensembles will perform a “Jazz Swing Concert” in the Johnson Fine Arts Center’s Jewett Theater.
This concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., is in place of the 15-year tradition of ending the semester with a swing dance at the Ward Hotel, Shrine Ballroom, former American Legion or Dakota Events Center, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The music will be hits from the Big Band era, including Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Bobby Sherwood and more. Yvonne Freese, 2014 NSU alum and professional entertainer, will sing with the 2 O’clock Jazz Ensemble.
Freese is a musician, actor, puppeteer, writer and creator. She is currently Mystery Science Theater’s new super villain, Mega Synthia, and voices and puppeteers GPC. She grew up on a dairy farm outside of Lanesboro, Minn., where her love of performing outgrew the audience of her animals, which landed her at Northern State University.
During her time at Northern, she participated in many groups and activities. Some of her highlights include: four-time All-Academic American; two-time All-American discus and holding the NSU record in discus; four-year basketball player; playing Christine in “Phantom of the Opera,” Cosette in “Les Mis” and Dido in “Dido and Aeneas”; five years performing with the Northern Fort Playhouse; soloist with South Dakota Symphony at Christmas on the Prairie; NSU concerto aria contest winner; and of course, singing the National Anthem over 200 times.
When not on tour, Freese resides in Minneapolis, where she has performed with a number of regional houses, including: Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, Pillsbury House, Stage’s Children’s Theater, Really Spicy Opera Co., Open Eye Theater, Science Museum of Minnesota and Teatro del Pueblo. Learn more at her website, www.yvonnefreese.com.
Due to COVID-19, admission is free to all 2020-21 NSU School of Fine Arts events. Masks are required for all patrons, and attendees are asked to follow social-distancing protocols.
About Northern State University
Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and, soon, an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $120 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.
Pictured: Yvonne Freese