I moved to Woodbury over twenty years ago when I started work at 3M as a patent attorney. I started playing the clarinet in fifth grade and switched to the bassoon in seventh grade. I played in orchestras and bands through high school and college.
Then I went to law school and my instrument stayed in its case.
I went to a patent litigation firm, and then I started work at 3M. For most student orchestra musicians, I think that high school and college are the last time they see their instruments, except maybe when cleaning their closet, basement, or attic. These are the places where musical instruments go to die.
After working at 3M for a couple years, I saw an ad in the 3M Stemwinder "Bassoonist needed for 3M Club Symphony Orchestra. Audition required." What? 3M had a symphony orchestra? And they needed a bassoonist?
I took my instrument out of its case and started practicing for my audition. I showed up at the first rehearsal of the season. Luckily, they never made me audition. After having not played my bassoon for over 5 years, I walked into Sibelius' 2nd Symphony. A great piece. And really hard. But we did it—and performed an amazing concert that I will never forget. That was back in 1994.
Many members of our orchestra have similar stories. Are you an adult who played an instrument in an orchestra in high school or college? Have you been thinking about dusting off your instrument and playing again in a symphony orchestra? Or maybe you're in college right now and are looking for a great orchestral experience that doesn't conflict with your class schedule. Or maybe you are already playing in one orchestra and are looking to join another.
Woodbury's own East Metro Symphony Orchestra (EMSO) is the successor to the 3M Club Symphony Orchestra. Rehearsals for our fourth season start on Tuesday, September 11. EMSO rehearses Tuesday evenings at 6-8 pm in the Orchestral Rehearsal Room at East Ridge High School from September through May.
This is not your grandmother's orchestra! Each of our programs is created in partnership with other local artists and arts organizations, offering unique opportunities to explore all kinds of music and art in a relaxed, welcoming environment. Fun, fascinating and enlightening, suitable for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, our programs are offered free of charge or at very low ticket prices.
If you play an orchestral instrument, please consider EMSO. Come see what we're all about by visiting our website: www.emsorch.org . You can contact us through our website.
Why join now? Why not? Are you waiting for an engraved invitation? (If so, send us your snail mail address.) Also, this is a perfect time to start: we're starting rehearsal for our first concert of the season, which will be held on Sunday, October 28 at 3 pm, at East Ridge High School entitled "Concertos with Friends". This concert will feature a Mozart piano concerto performed by our very own music director Elizabeth Prielozny Barnes and an oboe concerto performed by Kelly Karrow, who is the director of School District 833's high school orchestras. Oh, and did I mention that our concertmaster Michal Sobieski of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO to those in the know) will be performing the Brahms Violin Concerto?
Michal has generously performed with EMSO many of the greatest violin concertos ever written, including the Mendelssohn, Bruch, and Wieniawski concertos. I'll never forget when Michal got up to perform the Mendelssohn concerto. He realized that he had the wrong music. It didn't matter. He played the concerto from memory. Flawlessly and brilliantly. So I'm really looking forward to playing the Brahms Concerto with Michal. And you can too! Or for about $10 you can come watch him at our Oct. 28 concert. (That's $10 to sit 25 feet away from Michal versus up to $50 or more to sit 100 feet or more away at the Minnesota Orchestra.)
In case you've forgotten or don't know this, the dirty little secret of performing in an orchestra accompanying a soloist is that your part isn't that hard. Kelly Karrow, Elizabeth Prielozny Barnes, and Michael Sobieski are going to be on fire, and everyone is going to say, "Wow, they were fantastic, and the orchestra sounded great" and you are going to say, "What can I say? I do what I can." So don't miss your chance for your comeback debut in front of your friends and family at a killer concert. Learn more at www.emsorch.org. I hope to meet you at our September 11 rehearsal or October 28 concert.
Sincerely, Eric Levinson (Bassoon)