Page 8 - Common Chords Grant Rapids Final Report

Basic HTML Version

highlights: reaching the broader community
page 8
Many activities were designed to bring the community of Grand Rapids and musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra
closer together, allowing conversations and exchanges to take place organically. Audience size varied from a few
dozen to nearly 50, at venues that included a small factory, a public library and the local arts center.
More than 50 members of the
Grand Rapids Chamber of
Commerce
gathered for a luncheon and were treated to
conductor Sarah Hicks’ “Art of Conducting” presentation.
David Marty of the Reif Center provided the background on
the Common Chords partnership, calling it “earth-shattering”
and “a new furrow in the prairie.” He then introduced Sarah
and the ensemble, who spent the next thirty minutes
explaining the leadership role of the conductor. The
presentations drew correlations to the business world,
demonstrating the conductor’s reliance on the musicians’
musical contributions. Sarah and the musicians answered
many questions from the audience. Sarah invited a
Chamber member—School Superintendent Joe Silko
to conduct the ensemble. He took the baton with humor and
received a rousing applause from the luncheon guests. One Chamber member shared that this program was the best
lunchtime presentation he had ever experienced, especially as it related to leadership as a collaborative effort.
Mayor Dale Adams officially proclaimed “Minnesota Orchestra Common Chords Week” at a meeting of the
City
Council
. Accepting the proclamation on behalf of the Orchestra was conductor Sarah Hicks, who stressed the
tremendous partnership taking place between the Minnesota Orchestra and the community of Grand Rapids.
Following her remarks, the brass ensemble performed a
brief piece. When asked if they would like to hear an
encore, the Mayor enthusiastically responded “Yes!”
The brass quintet was welcomed by
Minnesota
Diversified Industries
(MDI) CEO Peter McDermott
for a performance in their employee lounge. MDI is a
nonprofit plastics production facility serving people with
disabilities by offering progressive development and
employment opportunities. The company staggered
employee lunch breaks to allow as many employees to
enjoy the music as possible.
The brass quintet was featured as part of a one-hour music and art presentation at the
MacRostie Art Center
. The
first portion of the program was a spirited performance by the quintet and conversation with the audience. Selections
from
West Side Story
provided a transition to the art history lesson that followed, presented by graduate student
Ashley Kolka, on the depiction of the Romeo and Juliet story in art over the centuries. Audience members were
thoroughly engaged in both the performance and the lecture, with many questions and a jovial atmosphere.
Photo: Mele Willis
Photo: Nick Kimpton