T. Mychael Rambo
trumpet and host
Tonia Hughes Kendrick
The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård—who is serving as music director designate during the 2022-23 season—is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings and broadcasts, educational engagement programs, and commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of the future. Founded in 1903, the Orchestra has an extensive history of touring throughout Minnesota, nationally and abroad, including high-profile visits in recent years to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. Recording projects undertaken in the past two decades include complete cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Sibelius and Mahler, all recorded under Osmo Vänskä, who is now the Orchestra’s conductor laureate.
Sarah Hicks is the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, a role in which she oversees planning for and conducts many concerts in the broad-spectrum series of popular music, jazz, Broadway classics, movie scores and other genres. She also conducted the Inside the Classics and Sam & Sarah series for ten seasons.
Hicks’ career has seen collaborations with a diverse range of artists, from Hilary Hahn and Dmitri Hvorostovsky to Rufus Wainwright, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson. She has been an artistic leader in concerts featuring artists from Minnesota’s internationally-renowned popular music scene—including shows with The New Standards, multiple sold-out performances with Dessa and a live-in-concert recording released on Doomtree Records, and collaborations with indie band Cloud Cult. A specialist in film music and the film in concert genre, she is passionate about creating concert experiences which combine sight and sound, and that welcome new audiences to the orchestral genre.
Trumpeter Charles Lazarus, a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2000, has charted a unique course during his tenure with the Orchestra. As a soloist, composer and bandleader, Lazarus has created and starred in four original orchestral shows featuring his jazz ensemble: “A Night in the Tropics,” “American Riffs,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and "Our Love is Here to Stay," a collaboration with The Steeles and Prince's former keyboardist Tommy Barbarella. "Merry & Bright,” his concert of fresh takes on holiday favorites, is the newest addition to the Orchestra's annual holiday fare.
In 2015, Lazarus premiered Steve Heitzeg's concerto American Nomad, commissioned by Paul Grangaard. Lazarus and the Orchestra recently reprised this work, and a live video recording of the performance was released online in 2019. His composition A Perfect Square, paired with Michael Hall's book of the same name, was recently made into a children's animated short film.
Tonia Hughes Kendrick is notably among Minnesota’s most gifted artists, acclaimed for her transparent delivery that leaves audiences with a poignant electricity. Being ever willing to take on a challenge, and having an openness to engage in culturally diverse, what she calls “unusual” collaborations, has catapulted her career. Fusing her rich gospel background with the folk singing of Larry Long or the world-class trumpeting of Charles Lazarus with the Minnesota Orchestra or with a Flamenco at The Lab Theater defies categorization and is a further testament of her genre-bending talent.
Best known for his extensive work with Prince in the 1990s, Tommy Barbarella has a reputation for excellence and versatility extended over the following two decades by touring, recording and performing with the likes of Art Garfunkel, Mavis Staples, Jonny Lang, Nick Jonas, Italian superstar Giorgia and Minneapolis supergroup Greazy Meal. He has contributed his talents to Hollywood features by iconic directors like Spike Lee, Robert Altman and Marc Forester, as well as composing award-winning commercial tracks for Nike, Budweiser, Audi and hundreds of other organizations.
Jeff Bailey has performed in a wide variety of musical settings as a musician, composer, sound designer, producer and educator. He has performed with world renowned artists including Craig Taborn, Joey Arias, The Steeles, James Carter, Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block), Eric Gravatt, Charles Lazarus, Rodney Jones, Doc Severinsen, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Wessel Anderson, Pia Toscano, Jonatha Brooke, Geoff Keezer, Andres Prado, Chastity Brown, “Doc” Martin, Fareed Haque, Justin Robinson, Charley Drayton and James Moody.
David Schmalenberger recently performed on drumset/percussion with the Laura Caviani Trio, the Bill Simenson Jazz Orchestra, Pat Frederick and Low Company, the Steeles, Karrin Allyson, Marilyn Maye, Take That Back!, Cantus, Rebel Fiddle, DAT Trio and and the Jazz Explosion Big Band. He also recently recorded with vocalist Connie Evingson (Sweet Happy Life), guitarist David Singley (Good Hope), trumpeter Chuck Lazarus (Lovejoy and Merrier & Brighter), the Laura Caviani Trio with Chris Bates (Mysterious Thelonius and Confluence), Vicky Mountain and David Martin (Play On), Jerry Kosak (New Possibilities) and the Bill Simenson Jazz Orchestra (Big Alpaca).
- ASL Interpretation
- Armless & Bariatric Chairs
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Large-Print Programs
- Open Captioning
- Noise-Cancelling Headphones
- Service Animals
- Wheelchair & Accessible Seating
Additional services are available upon request.
Mary Ann Feldman Music Education Fund
Angela S. Pennington and W. Anders Folk Student Ticket Fund