The Minnesota Orchestra's innovative community engagement program, Common Chords, features weeklong residencies in Minnesota cities. The program has included residencies in Detroit Lakes, Grand Rapids, Willmar, Hibbing and Bemidji.
During each Common Chords week, Minnesota Orchestra musicians participate in nearly two dozen activities including chamber music performances, jazz performances, coaching and demonstrations at area schools, and work with community musicians. The full Orchestra also performs a concert for local students as well as a classical concert for the community.
Musical activities take place in both traditional and non-traditional settings, ranging from concert halls and schools to coffee shops and gyms. These varied settings provide opportunities to see a “typical” Orchestra concert, experience classical music in surprising venues, or simply “happen upon” a musical performance.
In each community, Orchestra staff works with a steering committee of community volunteers – including business owners, civic representatives, educators, and nonprofit leaders – to develop goals and activities during the week in residence.
Common Chords background & sponsors
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional support is provided by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Minnesota Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its initial investment in Common Chords. The Common Chords program has also received generous support from Mardag Foundation and The McKnight Foundation.