Musical Beginnings opens symphony orchestra’s 12th season

In its 12th season and still nurturing the budding seeds of students’ musical talents, the Northern Symphony Orchestra presents Musical Beginnings, its season-opening concert.

The Northern Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Beginnings season-opening performance features special guest Anna Humphrey as violin soloist playing the first movement of the Samuel Barber “Violin Concerto.”

The Northern Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Beginnings season-opening performance features special guest Anna Humphrey as violin soloist playing the first movement of the Samuel Barber “Violin Concerto.”Photo submitted

The Nov. 23 concert will be presented in the Anoka High School auditorium (3939 Seventh Ave., Anoka), beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets ($10, adults; $5, seniors; free for children age 18 and younger) are available at the door.

“Our idea was to program some of the music that young instrumental students play early in their lessons. Middle school band and orchestra students begin in method books that are full of examples from some of the greatest music ever written,” said Conductor Michael Halstenson.

Featured at the beginning of the concert will be the Anoka Middle School for the Arts Level Three Orchestra and Band. Conductors Julie Schmidt and Sabrina Olson will bring those groups on stage to perform excerpts from pieces such as Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” Offenbach’s “Can Can,” Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” and Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.”

The Northern Symphony Orchestra will then take the stage.

Featured as special guest during the concert, violin soloist Anna Humphrey will play the first movement of the Samuel Barber “Violin Concerto.”

“We are thrilled to have a former Anoka Middle School student perform with us and inspire the audience young and old with her gifted playing,” said Halstenson.

Humphrey, currently a senior at Buffalo High School, has been involved in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies since the fourth grade, and most recently serving as concertmaster for the symphony and the 2012-2013 Minnesota All-State Orchestra, as well as co-concertmaster for the 2013-2014 Minnesota All-State Orchestra.

The list of accomplishments achieved by the precocious musician seem to extend and crescendo each year.

“We are just thrilled to have her,” Halstenson said.

Ten Years of Live Music

The Northern Symphony Orchestra’s Nov. 23 concert will celebrate the introduction of the orchestra’s first CD project, a two-disc recording titled “Ten Years of Live Music.” 

Composer Michael Halstenson said, “We had been thinking of doing a CD project for some time and as I kept going back into the archives of the symphony I heard so many wonderful performances. I brought up the idea of finding some of our favorites and creating a CD set that would highlight those moments.”  

“We’re very excited to share this CD with our audience members as so many of them were part of the performances as well.”  

“Ten Years of Live Music” goes on sale for the first time the evening of the Nov. 23 concert and is priced at $12.

For more information visit www.NorthernSymphonyOrchestra.org.

Sue Austreng is at
sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

 
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