The Ohio Northern University Symphony will present “American Essence” Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts. Music Director Travis Jürgens will conduct the program, which will feature works by American composers.

The concert opens with Copland’s “Billy the Kid Suite,” taken from the ballet about the American Old West outlaw and moments in his life. The orchestra will then perform music from Disney films, in collaboration with the ONU dance program, choreographed by Kathryn Braunwarth.

Guest composer Jason Wyse will attend the performance, as the orchestra presents his work “Echoes of Scarlet: A Fantasia on Madrid.” Wyse is on the faculty of Malone University in Canton, Ohio. Also on the program is the Ohio premiere of “Crossing the Rubicon” by Frank La Rocca, a 2018 American Prize winner. The final piece is Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” featuring guest pianist Polina Bespalko, who is described as an “amazing virtuoso” by the world renowned Nikolai Petrov and having a “complex, vigorous and demanding energetic attitude at the piano” by Brazilian newspaper Correio Brasilense. Bespalko is on the piano faculty at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for ONU faculty and staff, $10 for seniors, and $5 for students. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at