Orchestra will perform at three high schools this spring, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä and Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox
First performance at Henry Sibley High School slated for February 26
The Minnesota Orchestra will perform on school stages this spring as part of an educational initiative that was originally created by its musicians: “Symphonic Adventures” will bring the entire Orchestra to metro-area high schools for dynamic, one-hour concerts designed for secondary students. Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox will lead the first in-school performance at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, conducting Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony on February 26, followed by a performance of Dvořák’s New World Symphony at St. Louis Park High School on March 15. Music Director Osmo Vänskä will cap the Symphonic Adventures season with a visit to Champlin Park High School on April 1, where the Orchestra will perform Brahms’ Third Symphony.
The Symphonic Adventures program was originally created and implemented by Minnesota Orchestra musicians in 2013, when musicians were presenting independent concerts during a 16-month labor lockout. The program has now been adopted by the Minnesota Orchestra as a key companion to Young People’s Concerts (YPs), which are designed primarily to introduce elementary-aged students to classical music via field trips to Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.
“Symphonic Adventures concerts are about meeting secondary school students in their own environment,” said Director of Education and Community Engagement Jessica Leibfried. “These students are sophisticated listeners, and we want to give them the chance to experience the power of these great symphonic works played at the highest level, right in their own school auditorium.” With secondary school programming now formalized, Minnesota Orchestra education programs offer musical connections with students over the complete arc of their education, from preschool to college.
Each Symphonic Adventure program this spring will be hosted by Orchestra violist Sam Bergman who will introduce students to the music, musicians and key concepts before the symphonic work is performed. Musicians say they hope the concerts will convey the drama and emotion of classical music to students.
“We musicians are thrilled to share orchestral masterworks and to meet with these high school students. Most of us realized our own passion for this extraordinary music when we were teenagers,” said Acting Associate Principal Bass Kathryn Nettleman. “We hope that as students take time out of their busy school day to encounter this art, they’ll discover its lasting creativity, curiosity and joy for themselves.”
The three participating schools this season were selected by the Orchestra’s Education Department in collaboration with Orchestra violinist Pamela Arnstein. The project is partially funded through The Bellwether Fund, a fund recently established by the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra to help support education and community programming. Partner schools for the 2016-17 season will be announced later this spring.
About the Minnesota Orchestra
Led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, the Minnesota Orchestra is recognized as one of America’s leading orchestras. Founded in 1903, it performs nearly 175 concerts each year, with 300,000 attending. It is heard widely through award-winning recordings—including a Sibelius album that won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance—as well as through weekly radio broadcasts and regular international tours, most recently including a historic visit to Cuba. The Orchestra launched its flagship education program, Young People’s Concerts, in 1911 and has produced these concerts for students ever since. Today, Minnesota Orchestra Education and Engagement programs additionally connect with student and adult music lovers through programs such as Family Concerts, Side-by-Side rehearsals, Orchestra Hall Plus (OH+), the Student Ambassador program and Common Chords activities throughout Greater Minnesota.
HENRY SIBLEY HIGH SCHOOL
Friday, February 26, 2016, 11 a.m.
Roderick Cox, conductor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5
ST LOUIS PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 1:30 p.m.
Roderick Cox, conductor
DVORAK Symphony No. 9, From the New World
CHAMPLIN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Friday, April 1, 2016, 10 a.m.
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2015-16 season.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Minnesota Orchestra Symphonic Adventures concerts are partially funded through The Bellwether Fund for Musician Designated Initiatives
Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations