MSUM Student Presents Self-Written Planetarium Show

How she's merging her musical talent with her fascination in astronomy


MOORHEAD, Minn. — Abby Bormann picked up a violin for the first time as a 5th grader.

Back then, she didn’t think much of the instrument.

“My friends were doing it, so I was like ‘I’ll learn violin, too,” she said.

A decade later, and she’s now playing in front of scores of people.

“If you had told me a year or two ago that I would be presenting in front of 50 people, I would be like, ‘No way. That would never happen.'”

More than a hundred audience members over the span of two days were at MSUM’s planetarium for Bormann’s show.

But her performance isn’t just about the music.

It’s a self–written production merging astronomy with orchestral work from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst.

She says her fascination with space began last year in an astro–biology class.

“It was kind of my first classroom introduction to astronomy, and it was super fun. So, that was kind of why I started working at the planetarium,” said Bormann.

It took her about three months to write the “Holst’s The Planets: A Suite Planetarium Show.”

Some traveled for more than an hour to be there, and they weren’t disappointed.

“I liked it. I liked learning about the planets. The planets were beautiful,” said Sophie and Kiya Karvonen of Menahga, Minnesota.

Bormann hopes the audience’s fascination will continue beyond the show.

“I hope that one, it will inspire them to learn more about astronomy and second, about classical music. Because both can seem like kind of intimidating subjects, but with music like The Planets, it’s a really easy introduction and can inspire a lot of enthusiasm,” she said.

The production was also partly shown at the Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium in New York.

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