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Steven Hesla to perform at 'Music in the Garden' in Wessington Springs

Steven Hesla, a Waconda native and professor of piano at The University of Montana's School of Music, will perform this season's first "Music in the Garden" concert at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Hesla will present the inaugural performance on the new memorial Kawai Digital Piano that has been donated to Wessington Springs' Shakespeare Garden by the families of the late Dr. Roscoe E. and Helen Dean, and the Rev. Don and Betty Rogers. Hesla has titled his program "The Rachmaninoff Montana Connection comes to South Dakota!"

Hesla received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and his Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his employment at The University of Montana, he served on the faculty at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. A recipient of The University of Montana's Distinguished Faculty Award for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Hesla has a teaching career celebrating many award-winning students in MTNA and other solo and piano concerto competitions.

The "Music in the Garden" summer Thursday evening outdoor concert series, featuring area performers, is held on the south lawn of Anne Hathaway Cottage in Shakespeare Garden which is located on the grounds of the former Wessington Springs College. The concerts are free but donations toward the care and upkeep of the garden are welcome. Beginning June 5, the concerts are held each Thursday evening through August 14. In case of inclement weather, the concerts will be moved to Wessington Springs' 1905 Opera House. Beginning at 6 p.m. various area eateries sell food to concert goers. A limited supply of chairs are available, but audience members are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. Guests are invited to enjoy food and music as they sit in Shakespeare Garden, which is cared for by the all-volunteer helpers led by the Shakespeare Garden Society Board. For more information, contact 539-1169 of

-- Source: Shakespeare Garden Society Board