Page 9 - Common Chords Grant Rapids Final Report

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highlights: reaching the broader community
page 9
“Thank you VERY much for coming. It inspired me to express myself more through music! I really
appreciate the patience and effort put into helping us improve in every way possible.”
- Itasca Youth Orchestra Member
“It was the best I’ve ever heard us play. I learned things about the Brahms piece I never could seem to figure out
on my own, and Sarah Hicks and the Orchestra members dealt with us so kindly and effectively. The entire
experience was inspiring, and I appreciated the encouragement that the Minnesota Orchestra members offered
me as a freshman university student desiring to do what they do.”
Anya Muench, Itasca Symphony Orchestra member
Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital
played host to three
separate performances of the string quartet. The quartet was
first seated at one end of the long clinic waiting area. Patients
awaiting their appointment, most of whom were elderly, were
seated throughout the lobby as the ensemble began to play.
Several staff members stepped away from their offices to enjoy
the music. The ensemble then moved on to perform for less
mobile patients in other areas of the facility.
Members of the
Itasca Symphony Orchestra
, a community
orchestra made up of more than 50 musicians, ranging in age
from high school students to seniors, rehearsed Brahms’
Academic Festival Overture
with conductor Sarah Hicks on
the podium. The intensity of the experience was evident on many faces as the musicians worked to follow Sarah
while also closely watching Minnesota Orchestra musicians who were seated among the sections.
A similar rehearsal took place later in the week, with the Minnesota Orchestra’s Courtney Lewis leading the 38-
Itasca Youth Chamber Orchestra
in a rehearsal of Gustav Holst’s
St. Paul’s Suite
. At first, the young
musicians gathered in band room at Elkington Middle School
seemed slightly nervous to be playing alongside
musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra. Throughout the rehearsal, though, tensions eased as the “pros” advised
those seated around them on phrasing, bowing, posture and other technical matters.
Grand Rapids Public Library
proved an excellent venue
for the string quartet, which performed with the audience on
chairs between the periodical stacks. Audience members
included a teenage boy in his hockey gear and younger children
with their parents. Library volunteers offered hot cider and
chocolates to patrons. The greatest applause came when the
quartet performed “Over the Rainbow,” a tribute to Grand Rapids
native Judy Garland.
In addition to the 30 formally scheduled events, there were many
spontaneous interactions
between Minnesota Orchestra
musicians and community members. These included private lessons, invitations to community members’ homes and
conversations at restaurants, coffee shops and local businesses. These informal encounters were cited by many
musicians and community members as highlights of the Common Chords experience.
Photo: Mele Willis
Photo: John Connelly