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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Common Chords: Grand Rapids

Crisscrossing Grand Rapids

Day three of the Orchestra’s Common Chords residency featured events spanning the city from one end to the other: from performances for patients at the spacious Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital to chamber music at the library and brass tunes at the MacRostie Art Center.

In a luncheon event sponsored by Second Harvest and KOOTASCA, musicians performed for seniors, students and lower income community members at St. Joseph’s Church.  A musical highlight at many of the sites:  Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a song made famous by Grand Rapids native Judy Garland.

Fourteen-year-old Maggie Anderson, a ninth-grade cellist and resident of Bigfork, MN, is our guest blogger this week, writing about her experiences and interactions with the Orchestra over the course of the Common Chords project.

I’d like everybody to know that the Minnesota Orchestra chamber concert at St. Joseph’s Church was completely awesome! The string quartet performed two excellent pieces in the first half of the concert. They were followed by the brass quintet who played a selection that included themes from West Side Story. During the faster piece, America, some of the students from St. Joseph’s School had silent mini rock-out sessions in their seats and a few even tried their hand at conducting. They were very well-behaved and I could see that they enjoyed the concert. The acoustics in the church were fantastic and the musicians pointed this out. I loved how they moved with the music and how they played together with such precision.

After the concert, I volunteered to help out with the luncheon in the church dining area. I thought that it was really cool how the musicians spread out and ate at different tables so that they could meet people from the community. Many people who attended the concert were seniors and I’m sure they appreciated that the musicians took time to share conversation.

I’m left thinking about something that the French Horn player, Herb Winslow, said while introducing a piece that was three hundred years old. He turned to the kids in the audience and asked them to imagine what it would be like to write a piece of music that would still be played three hundred years from now. I must say that I agree with what he thought it would be like: mind-blowing!

-Maggie Anderson

View more photos from our residency in Grand Rapids on our Facebook page.