- South Dakota
Largely untouched and generally under the radar, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a gleaming jewel of culture and natural beauty in the middle of big sky country.
Maestro Delta David Gier has conducted the esteemed New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Granted access everywhere, he has chosen to conduct somewhere outside that very distinguished circuit. Since 2004, Delta David has acted as the music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO). Here he has found a way to create music with a larger mission: healing old wounds.
Delta David’s passion, The Lakota Music Project, has created a venue for musical innovation and excellence within this accessible city of just under 200,000. The Lakota Music Project is an ongoing collaboration between the SDSO and native American musicians and composers, including award-winning flutist Bryan Akipa, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. The project is designed to explore the role music plays in connecting cultures.
The Lakota Music Project orchestra performs original compositions that combine the talents of the SDSO and the Creekside Singers, a Lakota drumming group, in a side-by-side setting devised to demonstrate the value of peaceful, positive collaboration. Today, as part of the main stage concert season of the SDSO, the Lakota Music Project continues to grow.
Beyond the world-class orchestra, the natural beauty of Sioux Falls will stop you in your tracks. At Falls Park, walk on paths alongside a triple waterfall, where an average of 7,400 gallons of water drop 100 feet over the course of the falls each second. The park covers 123 acres with ample walking and biking trails, a visitor’s center, a five-story observation tower, several permanent sculptures, and the remains of the seven-story Queen Bee Mill, dating back to the 1880s.
A charming, historic downtown is lined with restaurants, shops, and a lively club scene. In addition to the orchestra, Sioux Falls boasts a variety of musical genres including indie-bluegrass, hip-hop, jazz, blues and rock. The historic Orpheum Theater, built in 1913 in Prairie style and Neo-Classical Revival architecture is the home stage for the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society. For live music, the ICON lounge, a large venue occupying a converted warehouse is loved by locals and visitors alike. While downtown, enjoy an art film at the recently renovated State Theater and indulge in one of the creatively-crafted confections at CH Patisserie, a shop specializing in elaborate European-style desserts, pastries, and candies.