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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Common Chords: Willmar

A Homecoming Gift

The Minnesota Orchestra offered its final performance in Willmar on Saturday–after a packed week of music activities from one corner of this West Central city to another.  Baritone Andrew Wilkowske, a native of Willmar, joined the Orchestra and conductor Sarah Hicks to sing six of Copland’s Old American Songs, including Simple Gifts. Greeted with a roar of approval from his hometown audience, Wilkowske repaid the tribute. “I am a product of the Willmar public school system,” he says. “Returning under these circumstances is humbling and exciting.”


The evening brought to a dramatic conclusion the Minnesota Orchestra’s Common Chords project – a new initiative that establishes one-of-a-kind partnerships between the Orchestra and communities around the state.  Next up: the Orchestra collaborates with community partners to bring Common Chords to Bemidji, Minnesota.

View more photos from our residency in Willmar on our Facebook page.