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October, 2012                               The Online Newsletter of the Minnesota Chorale

In this issue
Bridges residencies in Allina memory care centers
Performance schedule update
Our new children's choir starts rehearsals
History Corner: where were you in '72?

Singing in memory care centers

Our Bridges program partnership with Allina Home & Community Services shifts into high gear this month, as Chorale singers begin their residency work in the memory care units of four Allina assisted living facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. After preparing a carefully chosen repertoire drawn from folk songs, hymn tunes, and popular songs from years past, small groups of singers are making weekly visits through the month of October. A final performance at each location will be presented for families and friends of the care recipients.

Following the residency work, we'll present a culminating concert on Sunday, November 11 at 4 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, as part of the church's annual music series. A pre-concert talk by Chorale Artistic Director Kathy Saltzman Romey will take place at 3:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

Bridges concert info and details here

Performance schedule update

With the October 1 expiration of the musicans' contract with the Minnesota Orchestral Association and no new agreement in its place, orchestra management made the decision to lock out the musicians and cancel all October and November Minnesota Orchestra concerts. As a result, two much-anticipated performances featuring the Minnesota Chorale - John Adams' Harmonium and Béla Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin - will not take place.

The Minnesota Chorale's performances with the Minnesota Orchestra date to our founding in 1972. Since 2004, the Chorale has served as the orchestra's principal chorus. As a fully independent organization, the Chorale is not a party to the contract negotiations taking place between the management and musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. Like all those whose lives are profoundly touched by the concert performances of the Minnesota Orchestra, we fervently hope for a timely and equitable resolution to the contract negotiations, so that all of us - singers and instrumentalists alike - can continue to do what we love: make music at the highest level of artistry to enrich the lives of our listeners.

Although we've lost these two performance weeks with the orchestra this fall, our many educational and community-based programs are in full swing: click here for information about our full schedule of performances, including November's Bridges project and public concert, A Gift of Song, upcoming holiday concerts and sing-alongs.

Prelude starts rehearsals

We're delighted to announce an addition to our family of choirs! New this fall, Prelude aims to introduce younger students in the Minneapolis public schools to the joys of choral singing. Made possible by a generous grant from the Sheltering Arms Foundation, Prelude will help prepare younger students for eventual participation in our Minneapolis Youth Chorus (MYC).

MYC singersDrawn from 20 schools across the entire Minneapolis school district, MYC's 50+ talented young singers represent every neighborhood in the city. An additional 25 younger students will sing in Prelude. MYC and Prelude are offered tuition-free; the Minnesota Chorale bears all the cost of supporting both choruses. Prelude and MYC are led by founding conductor Patrice Arasim and associate conductor Walter Tambor.

More about MYC and Prelude

History Corner: where were you in '72?

Chorale soprano Karen Wasiluk had a front-row seat for the creation of the Minnesota Chorale. A daughter of founding member Marillyn Soulen and accompanist Tom Soulen, Karen has vivid memories of the early years, which she shared in a recent conversation. "My father played for all the auditions, and I was the monitor!" The little girl would greet each auditioning singer, chatting with the nervous ones to put them at their ease. The singer absence line was the Soulen's home number, so there were lots of calls. "That's how I developed my phone skills," Karen related. When Tom Soulen became the Chorale's board president in 1976, he installed a separate line for Chorale business in the dining room.

Performances were a family affair, especially the coffee concerts at Orchestra Hall. In those days, each Chorale singer was responsible for selling concert tickets, so Karen and her brother and sister were often in the audience. "My mother made us beautiful cushions to sit on." But good concert demeanor was often problematic; from onstage, Karen's mom had a prime view of her children's sometimes errant behavior. "As the oldest, I was supposed to keep order, and it was hard!"

Where were you in '72? We'd love to know! Click here to send us a message and tell us your memories of the Minnesota Chorale.

Upcoming performance
  Sunday, November 11, 4 pm
  Bridges 2012: A Gift of Song
  Kathy Saltzman Romey, conductor
  Click here for more info

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