Baritone Andrew Wilkowske, a native of Willmar, joined the Orchestra and conductor Sarah Hicks to sing six of Copland’s Old American Songs, including Simple Gifts.
The Minnesota Orchestra offered its final performance in Willmar on Saturday–after a packed week of music activities from one corner of this West Central city to another. Baritone Andrew Wilkowske, a native of Willmar, joined the Orchestra and conductor Sarah Hicks to sing six of Copland’s Old American Songs, including Simple Gifts. Greeted with a roar of approval from his hometown audience, Wilkowske repaid the tribute. “I am a product of the Willmar public school system,” he says. “Returning under these circumstances is humbling and exciting.”
Following a week of some thirty chamber music performances in Willmar, community residents turned out on Friday evening to hear a performance by the full Minnesota Orchestra, led by Sarah Hicks.
Elementary and middle school students from Willmar watch the Orchestra's performance of Peter and the Wolf at WEAC on Friday morning.
The Minnesota Orchestra took the stage at WEAC for the first of its full ensemble concerts Friday morning, performing a Young People’s Concert for Willmar elementary and middle school students.
Minnesota Orchestra musicians perform "under cover" at the Becker Market on Thursday evening
From a Kinder Konzert at the library to small ensemble performances at Becker Market and Jazz n’ Java Café, Thursday evening found musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra sharing the gift of music throughout the community of Willmar, MN.
The Minnesota Orchestra String Quartet (Peter McGuire, Jonathan Magness, Katja Linfield and Matt Young) began the afternoon Thursday with a short performance at the start of a Willmar Middle School Orchestra rehearsal. Photo credit: Dennis Benson.
A major component of this week’s Common Chords residency was providing students throughout the Willmar school system an opportunity to hear and interact with musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. Conductor Sarah Hicks and musicians in two small ensembles, a string quartet and a brass quintet, tackled this mission over the course of the week, sharing their talents and knowledge with students in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of music makers.
The Kinder Konzert ensemble performs for a lively crowd of children at Redeemer Lutheran Church Pre-school on Wednesday morning
Eight members of the Minnesota Orchestra, joined by narrator Katie Condon, performed two Kinder Konzerts for pre-school age children in Willmar this week as part of the Common Chords residency.
Baritone Andrew Wilkowske, a Willmar native, joined the orchestra Thursday for the final rehearsal before this weekend's Minnesota Orchestra performances
The full orchestra arrived in Willmar on Thursday afternoon, and quickly got to work at WEAC with one final rehearsal for this weekend’s concerts. After a busy week of chamber performances throughout the community, Willmar residents will have several opportunities to hear the large ensemble in concert Friday and Saturday. View the full schedule by visiting our Common Chords calendar of events.
View more photos from our residency in Willmar on our Facebook page.
Brass musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra shared an evening performance with members of the Willmar-area VFW Post 1639. Photo credit: Dennis Benson.
Getting an early start on the Memorial Day weekend, brass musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra shared an evening performance with members of the Willmar-area VFW Post 1639 on Wednesday.
At a luncheon held Wednesday afternoon, conductor Sarah Hicks presented the Art of Conducting for members of nine of Willmar’s professional service organizations. Aided by members of the Minnesota Orchestra String Quartet, she illustrated the parallels between effective, dynamic leadership in a business context and in music.
The Minnesota Orchestra Brass Quintet performs in studio at KWLM Tuesday morning.
Members of the Minnesota Orchestra took over the airwaves at Willmar’s KWLM radio on Tuesday and Wednesday morning as part of the ensemble’s weeklong Common Chords residency.