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The Miami University Symphony Orchestra will open its 120th anniversary season March 9 with a concert honoring the victims of Türkiye and Syria earthquakes.

The earthquakes left approximately 1.5 million people homeless, and over 50,000 people dead. The concert, at 7:30 p.m. in Hall Auditorium, is free and open to the public. 

Ricardo Averbach, conductor of the Miami University Symphony Orchestra (MUSO) and a member of the International Faculty and Staff Association of Miami (IFSAM), said the concert “will launch our response to this shattering disaster that affected members of our faculty, staff and students, who have relatives and friends in the region.”

IFSAM, led by Jacqueline Rioja Velarde, associate director of the Center for American and World Cultures, has come together in an effort to support the victims of the earthquakes through a number of initiatives, Averbach said. 

Members of IFSAM will participate in the MUSO performance:

  • Ebru Duffield, assistant teaching professor of the American Culture and English (ACE) program, will make a presentation about the meaning of the Kahramanmaras earthquake; 
  • During the opening of the concert, traditional Turkish music will be performed by Mert Bal, chair and associate professor of Engineering Technology; Aise Zulal Sevkli, associate teaching professor of Computer Science and Software Technology, and Mehmet Sevkli, visiting assistant professor of Information Systems and Analytics.
  • A fundraising bake sale organized by Turkish members of IFSAM will be set up at the Hall Auditorium Green Room during the intermission. 

Performance highlights: 

  • The MUSO will perform the “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Debussy and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “Italian.”