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Minnesota Orchestra Presents Common Chords in North Minneapolis, Jan. 21 to 27

The Orchestra’s weeklong Common Chords residency will feature musician visits and performances throughout North Minneapolis, including at the Capri Theater, La Doña Cervecería, Sammy’s Avenue Eatery, Sanctuary Covenant Church, Sumner Library, and Patrick Henry and North High Schools, among other locations

Music Director Osmo Vänskä will lead the Orchestra in a concert at North High School on January 26, featuring collaborative performances with guest artists including The Steeles, MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra Bucket Drummers and Juxtaposition Arts

The Orchestra will present a Community Meal and Sing-Along on January 22, at Sanctuary Covenant Church

From January 21 through 27, 2019, 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 on January 22, and a Finale Concert on January 26 at North High School, 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, 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 last 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 President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns. “Over the last twelve 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 included in this press release and available online at

Common Chords
The Orchestra’s Common Chords project is a multi-year endeavor that has historically established partnerships between the Orchestra and Minnesota cities, each culminating in its own unique residency during which the Orchestra immerses itself in a single Minnesota community for a week. Previous Common Chords residencies have involved week-long immersions in communities across the state; North Minneapolis now becomes the seventh community to host a Minnesota Orchestra Common Chords residency. Grand Rapids was the first host city in October 2011, followed by Willmar, Hibbing, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and Mankato.

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. In each community, Orchestra staff works with a steering committee of community volunteers—including business owners, civic representatives, educators and nonprofit leaders—to develop goals and activities during the week in residence.

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,” says 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.”

Community Meal and Sing-Along, January 22

In a one-of-a-kind event, Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra invite members of the North Minneapolis community to join in a Sing-Along on Tuesday, January 22 at Sanctuary Covenant Church. The family-friendly event, presented in partnership with Sanctuary Covenant Church, is preceded by a free community meal catered by North Minneapolis restaurant Breaking Bread Café. The community meal begins at 6 p.m., and the one-hour family Sing-Along follows at 7 p.m.

Attendees will have the opportunity to share a table with Orchestra musicians, try bucket drumming and then sing along as the Orchestra plays familiar spirituals and other songs. This event is free, but registration is encouraged. Details and registration will be available at beginning on December 20, 2018.

Music Together: Finale Concert
Music Director Osmo Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra in a performance at North High School on Saturday, January 26, at 7 p.m., for the finale of the Orchestra’s 2019 Common Chords week. Program highlights include Dance for Martin’s Dream by American composer Michael Abels and Danzón by Cuban composer Alejandro García Caturla, plus Leonard Bernstein’s showstopping Overture to Candide, Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia and Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1. The concert features musical collaborations with The Steeles, MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra, Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus and Patricio DeLara from Juxtaposition Arts, who will create new artwork live during the performance. A free reception for all audience members and musicians, catered by Sammy’s Avenue Eatery and Cookie Cart, will follow the event.

Tickets for the Finale Concert are priced at $30 and will be available at beginning December 20, 2018. North Minneapolis residents are eligible for free tickets by using the promo code NORTHMPLS.

For a complete schedule of events, see below.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional support is provided by Target and U.S. Bank.

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Common Chords North Minneapolis Schedule
Items in bold are open to the public.
*This schedule is subject to change.

Monday, January 21, 2019

7:00-9:20 a.m.            Minneapolis Armory – 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast
                                    (Tickets available only at
                                    Brass Quintet and Percussion with MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra Bucket Drummers

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Ordway Center - 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
                                     Brass Quintet and Percussion with MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra Bucket Drummers   

1:30-2:30 p.m.              Cora McCorvey Health & Wellness Center
                                     Cello Duo

6:00-8:00 p.m.             Freestyle Dance Battle – Location TBA
                                     String quartet with Asian Media Access Youth Dancers


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

8:25-9:20 a.m.            MacPhail School Partnership, Harvest Network of Schools
                                 String Scholars with Orchestra musicians

9:00-10:15 a.m.          Cityview Community School of Innovation
                                 Violin and bass duo

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m Bethune Community School
                                Woodwind quintet

2:10-3:00 p.m.            Lucy Craft Laney Community School
                                 Orchestra musicians

6:00-8:00 p.m.           Community Meal and Sing-Along, Sanctuary Covenant Church
                                  Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Osmo Vänskä
                                  Free meal with Orchestra musicians at 6 p.m.; Sing-Along at 7 p.m.        

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

1:00-2:00 p.m.            NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center
                                 Violin duo

1:45-3:45 p.m.            MacPhail School Partnership, Ascension Catholic School
                                 String scholars with Orchestra musicians

7:00-8:00 p.m.           Homewood Studios
                                  String trio


Thursday, January 24, 2019

1:00-2:00 p.m.           The Gathering Space at Sammy’s Avenue Eatery
                                  String quartet and Patrick Henry High School Choir Students

5:30-6:30 p.m.           Sumner Library
                                   Family-friendly: Meet a musician and try out the violin.

6:00-7:00 p.m.            North Commons Recreation Center Afterschool Program
                                 Bass duo with MacPhail Center for Music School Partnership String Scholars

6:30-7:30 p.m.           Dispatches from the North: A Reading, University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center                                             
                                    Original readings plus a string duo


Friday, January 25, 2019

7:00-9:00 p.m.           Patrick Henry High School Winter Choir Concert
                                  String quartet with Patrick Henry High School Choir

7:30-9:00 p.m.           Pint of Music at La Doña Cervecería
                                  Woodwind quintet


Saturday, January 26, 2019

11:00a.m.-12:00p.m. Wilson’s Image Barbers & Stylists
                                   Tuba duo

1:00 p.m-3:00 p.m.     Side-by-side Rehearsal with MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra, Shiloh Temple International Ministries
                                 Orchestra musicians and Osmo Vänskä, conductor

7:00 p.m.                    Music Together: Finale Concert and Reception, North High School
                                  Minnesota Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä and Akiko Fujimoto, conductors; Charles Lazarus, trumpet; The Steeles; Juxtaposition Arts; MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra, Tamara Gonzalez, conductor
                                  Reception catered by Sammy’s Avenue Eatery and Cookie Cart

Sunday, January 27, 2019

9:00 and 11:00 a.m.  Sanctuary Covenant Church Services
                                  String quartet

3:00-5:00 p.m.           Capri Theater – Jazz Concert and Reception
                                  Orchestra musicians join the Capri Big Band


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