It has been 50 years since Curtis Carlson and Plymouth Mayor Al Hilde, Jr., conceived of an event that would catalyze a sense of community and shared experience, showcase the best entertainment available and create an enduring tradition—Music in Plymouth, a free event which features the Minnesota Orchestra each year and celebrates its golden anniversary on July 6 at the Hilde Performance Center.
As part of its concert on July 6, conducted by Chia-Hsuan Lin, the Orchestra will premiere Green Freedom, a new work by St. Paul-based composer Steve Heitzeg commissioned by the Plymouth Civic League (PCL), the presenter of Music in Plymouth, in celebration of the 50-year partnership. Heitzeg’s composition is a companion piece to an earlier work of his, Blue Liberty, that was also commissioned by the PCL and premiered by the Orchestra in 2002. Other highlighted entertainment on July 6 will include two locally-based, nationally-revered groups: the Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers and The Steeles, the latter performing with Minnesota Orchestra trumpet player Charles Lazarus. The occasion will also be marked with a piece of public art commissioned by PCL, to be installed on the grounds of the Hilde Performance Center as an enduring symbol of the importance of this event to Plymouth.
Music in Plymouth has benefited across a half-century from the tireless work of countless volunteers who are committed to nurturing its legacy. Its longevity has been sustained thanks to the wide-ranging and long-standing support of more than 100 donors, sponsors and partners, including the City of Plymouth, that contribute annually to its success. The Minnesota Orchestra is proud to be part of this tradition—from the first event in a vacant industrial parking lot to its present home at the Hilde Performance Center—and now, onward to the next 50 years!
In addition to the July 6 performance in Plymouth, the Minnesota Orchestra also performs free outdoor concerts on July 7 in Hudson, Wisconsin; on July 8 at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in Minneapolis; on July 9 in Winona as part of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival; and on July 16 on Peavey Plaza outside Orchestra Hall during the International Day of Music.