Page 4 - Common Chords in Willmar: Final Report

Inspiring and educating young people through music is a central part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s
mission and a top priority for the Willmar steering committee. Through presentations geared toward
various age groups, the Minnesota Orchestra was able to reach students in preschool through high
school. Musician trading cards helped introduce students to the musicians and their instruments, and
many students felt comfortable approaching musicians for autographs and to ask questions.
Kinder Konzerts
WAMSO-Kinder Konzerts are interactive
presentations created especially for preschool
students, introducing students to instruments of
the orchestra and the sounds they make. Each
member makes a short introduction, and the
presentation culminates with a story set to music
commissioned especially for Kinder Konzerts.
Narrator Katie Condon led two ensemble
performances of composer Janika Vandervelde’s
Max Found Two Sticks
in Willmar. The first was
for approximately 250 preschool students from
many local schools and daycares. The second
was an evening presentation at the public library, which attracted more than 100 children and their
School Visits
Willmar public schools have a particularly strong tradition of instrumental music education, and steering
committee members wanted to highlight that in the planning. A string and brass ensemble of Minnesota
Orchestra musicians worked closely with many student ensembles: fourth and fifth grade orchestra at two
elementary schools; sixth, seventh and eighth grade orchestras; sixth, seventh and eighth grade bands;
and the “Cardinal” and “Varsity” levels of
both the high school orchestra and band.
Altogether, these presentations reached
510 students. Minnesota Orchestra
musicians performed pieces as ensembles,
introduced their individual instruments and
fielded questions from students and
teachers. In some cases, they were able to
sit in with the ensemble and work with
students on music they were preparing for
Photo: Dennis Benson
“The program at the library was inspiring for the little ones. My two year old daughter is still carrying around her musician cards
and thinks she wants to play the tuba!” –
Megan Gilles
Photo: Mele Willis
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