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

Home Cookin’ – Emerging from a sea of musicians

The tradition is for orchestras to bring in the biggest, splashiest soloists they can entice to perform with them: A major symphony orchestra brings in an internationally-acclaimed music star; a smaller orchestra brings in a national or regional musical star; a school or university invites esteemed professors to be soloists and/or holds competitions for their

Playing with Kids

My first experience having student and adult orchestra musicians “mix it up” was as music director of the Elgin Area Youth Orchestra back in the early 90s. Our high school orchestra was invited to share a concert with the local, professional Elgin Symphony Orchestra. For the finale of the program we all performed Tchaikovsky’s Marche

A Symphony of Voices

On the face of it, a barbershop chorus and a symphony orchestra have very little in common. Generally a barbershop choir concert is centered around a group of songs, but is deliberately infused with movement (some choreographed, some simply the movements that each individual singer creates to fully perform their part), and oftentimes punctuated with

Why a Piano Extravaganza?

One of our great delights as a community orchestra serving the far eastern Twin Cities metro is making the acquaintance of other local performing artists and arts organizations.(1) Thus when long-time orchestra hornist Dwight Erickson introduced me to Elena Pirastro, a local piano teacher who was also an immigrant from Russia, I knew almost immediately