EMSO Welcomes Craig Hara

EMSO welcomes a new music director and conductor
The East Metro Symphony Orchestra is happy to introduce Craig Hara as its new music director and conductor.  Craig is a multi-faceted musician, educator and producer, playing trumpet, drums, percussion, EVI (electronic valve instrument), guitar, bass, keyboards/synthesizers and vocals. “My appointment to the position of music director and conductor of the East Metro Symphony Orchestra is going to be a new and exciting experience for me,” Hara says, “This will be my first extended experience on the other side of the conductor’s stand. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the orchestra, and look forward to an enjoyable music-making experience for the orchestra and its audience.”

Craig holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts and is on faculty at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, the University of St. Thomas, and Hamline University.  Hara’s professional experience includes recordings and live performances with various artists and groups, major motion picture scores, and both national and international performances with many of the world’s eminent musicians, including Leonard Bernstein, Bill Conti, Zubin Mehta, Helmut Rilling, Michael Tilson Thomas, John Williams, Louis Bellson, David Benoit, José Carreras, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Amy Grant, Mark Isham, Kiri Te Kanawa, Chuck Mangione, Itzhak Perlman, Doc Severinsen, Michael W. Smith, and Sarah Vaughn. 

EMSO president Steve Crooks says EMSO is excited about the new changes and opportunities the new conductor can offer the orchestra. “EMSO is thrilled that Craig has accepted our invitation to conduct the orchestra!  We are confident that his extensive experience and skills as a professional musician will translate well to this new role.”  Craig is looking forward to an exciting new experience as well. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the orchestra, and look forward to an enjoyable music-making experience for the orchestra and its audience. I hope to both honor the orchestra’s legacy and expand upon it in the season to come.”

Craig begins his tenure as EMSO’s music director and conductor this month as weekly rehearsals begin.  His first concert as conductor, French Passions, was on October 27, 2019 at The Grove United Methodist Church in Woodbury.

Craig Hara, Music Director and Conductor