Common Chords: Willmar

Inspiring the Next Generation

A major component of this week’s Common Chords residency was providing students throughout the Willmar school system an opportunity to hear and interact with musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. Conductor Sarah Hicks and musicians in two small ensembles, a string quartet and a brass quintet, tackled this mission over the course of the week, sharing their talents and knowledge with students in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of music makers.

View more photos from our residency in Willmar on our Facebook page.

A Kinder Kind of Konzert

Eight members of the Minnesota Orchestra, joined by narrator Katie Condon, performed two Kinder Konzerts for pre-school age children in Willmar this week as part of the Common Chords residency.

On Wednesday morning, the ensemble brought their performance to children and parents at Redeemer Lutheran Church Pre-school. The Kinder Konzert program introduces kids to the instruments of the orchestra, then presents the story of Max Found Two Sticks set to music performed by the ensemble.

The Willmar Public Library hosted the second Kinder Konzert performance Thursday evening, featuring the same program presented earlier in the week.

View more photos from our residency in Willmar on our Facebook page.

An “Armed Forces Salute” in Willmar

Getting an early start on the Memorial Day weekend, brass musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra shared an evening performance with members of the Willmar-area VFW Post 1639 on Wednesday.


The ensemble performed works including Mouret’s Rondeau, “America the Beautiful” and the “Armed Forces Salute” to a gathered crowd of veterans and community members. “I’m going to go home and get out my trumpet,” declared one young audience member.

Activities continue throughout the week and culminate with two public performances in Willmar this weekend.

View more photos from our residency in Willmar on our Facebook page.

The Orchestra Arrives in Willmar!

The full orchestra arrived in Willmar on Thursday afternoon, and quickly got to work at WEAC with one final rehearsal for this weekend’s concerts. After a busy week of chamber performances throughout the community, Willmar residents will have several opportunities to hear the large ensemble in concert Friday and Saturday. View the full schedule by visiting our Common Chords calendar of events.

View more photos from our residency in Willmar on our Facebook page.

Conducting 101

Sarah Hicks

At a luncheon held Wednesday afternoon, conductor Sarah Hicks presented the Art of Conducting for members of nine of Willmar’s professional service organizations.  Aided by members of the Minnesota Orchestra String Quartet, she illustrated the parallels between effective, dynamic leadership in a business context and in music.

Attendees received a crash course in conducting basics through the course of the presentation, and were later invited to try their hand at leading the ensemble in a performance of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

View more photos from our residency in Willmar on our Facebook page.

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