Heartland Symphony Orchestra Announces Fall Concert Season in Brainerd and Little Falls

Heartland Symphony Orchestra will begin it’s 44th season with a Fall Concert Series that reflects on the universality of Music. “One World in Music” will be presented October 10th at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium in Little Falls and October 11 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Initially, a Halloween theme was considered, but after the experiences of the coronavirus it was decided that the biggest thrill this season would be relief from the very real goblins and ghouls of the pandemic. Music will include the “Funeral March of a Marionette,” “Night on Bald Mountain,” plus a medley of themes from all eight Harry Potter movies. This year, HSO hopes to collaborate with students from Forestview Middle School and Brainerd High School to prepare them to play side-by-side with the orchestra as the St. Francis Music Center has done for many years.

Meanwhile, we are using our traditional summer break between the Spring and Fall concert series to prepare for living with the pandemic. Even now, at the end of June, we have no way of knowing what the future will bring. What we do know is the Heartland Symphony Orchestra has been considering a variety of scenarios, and the very process of doing that has hopefully prepared HSO to be able to adapt to a variety of circumstances. One thing is certain, HSO continues to have the goal of bringing live classical music performances to west central Minnesota. If there is a need for social distancing, one possibility might be to reduce the size of the orchestra in order to maintain adequate distance between players. Another might be the need to provide multiple concerts in one venue, with sanitizing between concerts. Conductor Ryan Webber, has been brainstorming ideas for different repertoire if needed, such as various combinations of chamber music.

Ryan has also been encouraging members of the orchestra to share their music online. He has started a Music Monday series on the Heartland Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page. Each week he has posted a video that one of our members or guest artists has recorded from their home. So far, the following musicians have contributed:

Noah Harstad, co-principal trombone, performing Blue Bells of Scotland by Arthur Pryor

Sandy Larson, first violin, performing Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod

Lauren Nickisch (and her husband C.J. Anderson on guitar), flute, performing Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard by Paul Simon

Nathan Herfindahl, baritone – guest soloist at our December 2019 concert, performing “Stars” from Les Misérables

Cathy Dens, co-principal clarinet, performing the “Allegro” from Handel’s Flute Sonata No. 3 in G

Golden Fisk, cello, first movement of Bernhard Romberg’s Sonata in C Major, Op 43 and the Bourree for Cello by W.H. Squire

Hannah Wallis, principal oboe, performing her own medley of “Sunrise/Sunset” from Jerry Bock’s Fiddler on the Roof and “Danny Boy”

Quinn Mason, winner of the 2020 Composition Contest, with a performance of his A Joyous Trilogy by Orchestra Seattle.

Future contributions will be coming from: Tim Roehrich, co-principal trombone and Mary Clement, trumpet

These musical selections and others will soon be available on our website as well as Facebook. In addition, HSO Board members are working on ways to keep members and audiences informed and connected during the pandemic through mailings and newsletters.

As conductor Ryan Webber said, “We need to keep the arts going. When we return to ‘normal life’, we want to jump back into our season and give people the live music they are craving.” He also recognizes that the ‘new normal’ may be different than what we expect and believes HSO will be prepared to adapt to that as well.