In pilot program, student leaders from University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas develop initiatives to share Orchestra experiences with fellow students
Students from the University of Minnesota, outfitted in maroon and gold, will attend this Friday evening’s Minnesota Orchestra concert (October 23) as part of a campus night celebration designed to bring students together to share a Minnesota Orchestra experience. The campus night concert is one idea born of the Orchestra’s new Student Ambassador program, a project in which student leaders from partner schools design initiatives to encourage student attendance at Minnesota Orchestra performances. Participating schools in the project’s pilot year are the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas.
The Student Ambassador program was conceived by the audience advocacy group Save Our Symphony Minnesota (SOSMN) last spring as a means of better connecting students from local campuses with the Minnesota Orchestra. Three undergraduate music students from St. Thomas and eight from the University of Minnesota School of Music—supported by music faculty, Orchestra staff and musicians, and SOSMN volunteers—have stepped forward to serve as ambassadors representing their school to the Orchestra and the Orchestra to their school for the 2015-16 concert season.
“We are especially interested in giving the students significant authority in this program,” said Jessica Leibfried, the Orchestra’s Director of Education and Community Engagement. “We want to work with students to determine the best ideas for their campus and for their fellow students.”
Student ambassadors are planning a variety of customized communications and promotions on campus, including student-driven social media tactics to drive attendance to campus night performances. The campus night concerts will include pre-concert musical performances by students from partner schools, themed selfie-station photo booths and the opportunity to meet Minnesota Orchestra musicians at a post-concert reception, among other options. Additional campus night experiences are planned for November 13 (St. Thomas), February 12 (University of Minnesota) and April 14 (St. Thomas).
“It is exciting to see the students come forward with ideas,” said SOSMN Chair Mariellen Jacobson. “It’s not going to be a cookie-cutter approach. Each school has unique needs and capabilities and will develop its own initiatives.” The program will be evaluated at the end of the season with the intent to expand to additional schools in upcoming seasons.
University of Minnesota Student Ambassadors are Paul Benson, Elizabeth Guzik, Zane Kaiser, Jasmine Miller, Connor Neill, Kari Douglas-Rundlett, John Rupsch, and Lydia Sadoff; faculty and staff advisors are Scott Lipscomb and Anabel Njoes.
University of St. Thomas Student Ambassadors are Rachele Behrendt, Claire Sayers, and Kiersten Slonecker; faculty advisor is Sarah Schmalenberger.
Complete information about all student programs can be found at minnesotaorchestra.org/students.
STUDENT TICKET INFORMATION
Minnesota Orchestra Advance Student Rush tickets are available online only for $12 to select concerts during the Classical season. Tickets will be held at the box office and require one valid student ID per two tickets purchased.
Walk-up Student Rush tickets may be purchased for $15 starting one hour prior to most concerts. Call Ticket Services on the day of the concert to inquire about availability. Limit four tickets, requires valid student ID. For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit minnesotaorchestra.org.
All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2015-16 season.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant,
thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations