At the East Metro Symphony Orchestra’s tenth-anniversary concert on May 19, special guests included “a nyckelharpa, or key fiddle, player, and traditional Swedish dancers,” writes Hannah Black in Wednesday’s (5/22) South Washington County Bulletin (Redwing, MN). “The group was formed in the summer of 1956 as the 3M Club Symphony Orchestra … funded by 3M Corp. for its employees, retirees and their friends and family. When 3M discontinued its music clubs in 2009, it was up to members of the orchestra and its leadership to save it—and they did…. ‘I think it spoke a very powerful message about how important members of this orchestra thought it was to continue on,’ musical director and conductor Elizabeth Prielozny Barnes said…. The orchestra is made up entirely of amateur musicians, other than concertmaster and violinist Joan Malloy…. The orchestra has consciously moved [toward] programming focused on inclusivity…. Partnerships [in 2018-19] included … Woodbury Dance Center and the East Ridge High School orchestra, wherein the high schoolers played alongside East Metro Symphony Orchestra musicians…. The push toward accessibility has also included an effort to make every performance either low-cost or free…. ‘This orchestra is really a profound and open community resource,’ Barnes said.”

Posted May 23, 2019