Page 5 - Common Chords Grant Rapids Final Report

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Minnesota Orchestra project leadership
page 5
Michael Henson, President and CEO
Michael Henson became the Minnesota Orchestral Association’s President and CEO in
September 2007. Since then he has spearheaded the complex process of planning for the
redevelopment of Orchestra Hall, while implementing stringent budget controls during the
recent recession. Henson earned a reputation as one of the United Kingdom’s top symphonic
leaders prior to his arrival in Minnesota. He spent many years initiating significant outreach
projects in the UK, which served as inspiration for Common Chords. Henson’s leadership
was instrumental in
the development of this initiative.
Sarah Hicks, Principal Conductor of Pops & Presentations
Sarah Hicks was appointed Principal Conductor of Pops in October 2009, having served
for three seasons as the Orchestra’s assistant conductor. In her current role she oversees
planning of the Orchestra’s pops season and leads pops performances, the Inside the
Classics series, holiday concerts and more. Hicks has garnered international acclaim
guest conducting such ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco
Symphony Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She recently led Sting’s
orchestra for 29 dates as part of his 2011 “Symphonicity” world tour.
Courtney Lewis, Assistant Conductor
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Courtney Lewis has worked with orchestras and chamber
ensembles from London to Venezuela, earning recognition as one of today’s top emerging
conductors. He is founder and music director of Boston’s acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a
chamber orchestra with the unique mission of introducing children to classical music while
bringing unusual repertoire to established concert audiences. He was recently selected to
participate in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2011-12 Dudamel Fellowship Program.
Mele Willis, Manager of Outreach and Educational Partnerships
Mele Willis has worked in education at the Minnesota Orchestra since 1996. In her current
role she creates and manages all education and outreach programs which extend the
reach of the Orchestra beyond Orchestra Hall. Since 2001, she has served on the
Education & Community Outreach Leadership committee of the League of American
Orchestras. Willis is a former music teacher and holds an undergraduate degree in music
and English and a graduate degree in music education.
Participating Minnesota Orchestra musicians
Three ensembles of Minnesota Orchestra musicians conducted a majority of the Common Chords events, outside of
the four concerts featuring the full Minnesota Orchestra. Members of these ensembles included:
String quartet
—Stephanie Arado, violin; Céline Leathead, violin; Kenneth Freed, viola; Arek Tesarczyk, cello
Brass quintet
—Robert Dorer, trumpet; Douglas Carlsen, trumpet; Herbert Winslow, horn; Kari Sundström,
trombone, Steven Campbell, tuba;
Kinder Konzert ensemble
—Katie Condon, narrator; Peter McGuire, violin; Marcia Peck, cello;
Timothy Zavadil, clarinet; John Miller, Jr., bassoon; Charles Lazarus, trumpet; Brian Mount, percussion;
Jason Arkis, percussion