Minnesota Orchestra presents Common Chords in North Minneapolis

Through Common Chords the Minnesota Orchestra is hoping to

offer North Minneapolis youth greater access to classical music

and inspire young musicians to consider a career in the genre.

Minnesota Orchestra musicians will participate in approximately 25 events throughout North Minneapolis in the Orchestra’s first-ever Twin Cities-area Common Chords residency week. 

The full orchestra will perform two concerts, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä. A community meal and sing-along at Sanctuary Covenant Church, 710 W. Broadway Ave., takes place on Jan. 22, and a finale concert occurs Jan. 26 at North Community High School, 1500 James Ave. N., where the orchestra will share the stage with individual artists and ensembles from the North Minneapolis community.

Highlights of the residency include musician visits to elementary and high schools plus chamber performances at locations ranging from the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), the Cora McCorvey Health and Wellness Center and La Doña Cervecería to Wilson’s Image Barbers and Stylists and Sammy’s Avenue Eatery. The residency has been designed over the past 12 months by a steering committee of North Minneapolis leaders who represent a broad cross-section of the community involving schools, businesses, and civic and cultural organizations.

When the orchestra launched the Common Chords program in 2011, it was designed to be a week-long immersion in a Greater Minnesota city. More recently, orchestra staff and musicians began discussing ways to adapt the project for a Twin Cities residency.

“Common Chords North Minneapolis has really grown out of the Orchestra’s relationships with Shiloh Temple International Ministries and MacPhail’s programs in North Minneapolis,” said Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns. “Over the last 12 months, so many North Minneapolis leaders have dedicated time to make this experience meaningful and unique to the northside and we are thankful for their involvement. We hope to set the stage for lasting partnerships that will continue beyond this January week.”

Many of the events and performances of this Common Chords week are free and open to the public. Concert details for the two full-Orchestra concerts as well as a complete schedule of events are online at www.minnesotaorchestra.org.

In all Common Chords residencies, musical activities take place in both traditional and non-traditional settings, ranging from concert halls and schools to coffee shops, pubs and community centers. These varied settings provide opportunities to experience classical music in surprising venues or simply “happen upon” a musical performance.

The North Minneapolis Steering Committee identified four key priorities – to help build and grow existing Northside youth music programs, to bring music to places people are already gathered, to invest in organizations and small businesses in North Minneapolis; and to highlight North Minneapolis talent.

“The Steering Committee had a very clear vision for how this project could best work in North Minneapolis,” said Beth Kellar-Long, the orchestra’s vice president of Orchestra Administration. “We are particularly excited by the prospect of a community Sing-Along—and, of course, the culminating concert at North High School is going to be a remarkable night.”

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