A group of University of Northern Iowa School of Music students will travel to Costa Rica on September 26 through October 6. The UNI students have been invited for the fifth time to Costa Rica as part of the Promising Young Artists of the 21st Century program.

The UNI music students will perform around the region in two concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, and three concerts in San Jose and Guanacaste.

UNI students Aaron DeSantiago of Council Bluffs, Aaron Brown of Urbandale, Kayla Kjeldseth of Sioux City, Megan Grey of Cedar Falls and Michael Gookin of Fairfield with associate professor of opera and tour director Mitra Sadeghpour will travel to Costa Rica.

The UNI music student group spent one week in August rehearsing with the assistance of student assistant director Alexandra Saulsbury.

“In preparation for our tour, in addition to learning the music, staging and dancing, the students have presented on the history, culture and ecology of Costa Rica and met with Costa Ricans living in Cedar Falls,” Sadeghpour said. “We also learned the Costa Rican national anthem and are looking forward to sharing American Musical Theatre with our audiences in Costa Rica.”

Student musician Megan Grey said, “Rehearsals of that magnitude are so exciting, and I can’t wait to see how our group can feed off of the energy that Costa Rican musicians will bring to the music and the collaborative experience.”

“This is an extremely prestigious invitation for the UNI School of Music to send talented singers and a pianist to Costa Rica as promising young artists of the 21st┬ácentury,” director of the UNI School of Music John Vallentine stated.

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