The Boy with the Shiny “Kay” Cello

or, the serendipity of programming for a community orchestra Reconnecting I first laid eyes on Gary Stucka at my first rehearsal of the Park View School Orchestra, in my hometown of Morton Grove, Illinois.  I was in fourth grade, and had just recently begun to study the violin (a full year after others had begun

Aisling Gheal: A Visionary Collaborative

Read more about the collaboration with the Center for Irish Music for our upcoming concert this weekend! Join us for our concert on Sunday, March 8, 2015 – 3:00PM at the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School,  4200 Pioneer Drive, Woodbury, MN. You won’t want to miss this one! Tickets are available in advance from an orchestra member or through

The Genesis of a Performing Partnership

(or, How is it that EMSO and the Trinity Lutheran Choir are performing Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang next weekend?) It turned out that the Valley Chamber Chorale already had their 2013-2014 season already set, but Carol mentioned that she also directed a fine church choir in Stillwater, and perhaps a shared performance between EMSO and her church

A Home Cookin’ Retrospective

Somehow while planning the 3M Orchestra’s 2002-2003 season, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to give members of our amateur orchestra the opportunity to step to the front as soloists and in small ensembles. This is simply not done with orchestras like ours, presuming that features should be left to the professionals.

More Concertos, More Friends

The East Metro Symphony Orchestra is presenting a concert this weekend featuring students and teachers from Woodbury’s K&S Conservatory of Music as soloists. This is the third season that we are presenting a concert featuring local musicians as soloists, and it has been a delightful process to explore all manner of solos with all manner

How in the world can you do that??

By using arithmetic + learning to dance A Facebook friend took one look at the picture of one of the pages from Petkov Stainov’s Thracian Dances that is posted on the East Metro Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page, saw the meter of the music and exclaimed, “5/16!” When we learn how to play printed music in

Putting it all Together

One of the unspeakably-great joys of creating concert programs that meld seemingly disparate worlds of music is the unique, Eureka! moment that happen when the elements line up Just So. The thing is, it can be a long, oftentimes frustrating, frequently tedious, sometimes even panic-inducing road to get to that glorious moment of Eureka! Over

Music Making Dance

I wish I could remember her name! That quintessential ballerina, a petite woman with dark hair drawn back into a tight bun, coming and going from the ballet school she created in high, high heels (because they felt just right after so many years en pointe) had been denied her burning desire to learn ballet

What Concertos and Which Friends?

It has been a great pleasure to work with the orchestra teachers of South Washington Country School District 833, and to witness their young orchestra program thrive and grow each year. Kelly Karow joined the team when the district’s orchestra program grew into high school three years ago, and we have appreciated watching her juggle