Our story begins in the year nineteen hundred fifty-seven (1957), when a group of 3M employees, retirees, and their friends and family came together to create music as the 3M Club Symphony Orchestra. They regularly rehearsed in Maplewood and enjoyed 52 years of wonderful performances, sometimes in amazing spaces like the Orpheum Theatre and with other performing groups like the 3M Chorus. Over the course of those five decades the organization’s membership grew and, though it changed season to season, many stayed for years.

Then, instead of disbanding when 3M discontinued funding to its internal music clubs, the members of the orchestra decided to rebrand as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community based orchestra, the East Metro Symphony Orchestra (EMSO), and found a wonderful “home base”  in the newly completed East Ridge High School of Woodbury.

And now, as a non-profit endeavoring to provide a broad range of educational, multicultural, and inspirational orchestral experiences to East Metro communities, life has been both challenging and rewarding. We are made up of volunteer avocational musicians from all around the east metro and have met many other great performing arts groups in and around the East Metro, allowing us to proudly present a wide range of musical offerings to our audience and members, including; a piano concerto concert featuring the students of a local teacher, a collaboration with an acapella show chorus, an investigation of Indonesian music and dance influence on western music, as well as an afternoon of swing music. As we strive to continue making a positive impact on our community and members, EMSO performs an annual side by side concert with the School District 833 orchestra students (where EMSO members literally sit side by side with students) and we try to take a concert or two “on the road” and perform at local senior living communities – bringing the music to them.

Our mission is to provide a broad range of educational, multicultural, and inspirational orchestral experiences to East Metro communities.

And our purpose is:

  • To educate the orchestra’s musicians and audiences by performing a broad range of culturally-diverse, challenging, and entertaining music
  • To provide opportunities for life-long avocational musicians and accomplished soloists of all ages to perform with a symphony orchestra
  • To continue the orchestra’s tradition since 1957 of providing affordable concerts to East Metro audiences

To learn more about who we are and what we do enjoy this short YouTube video.