Mankato Symphony Orchestra
Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s April 2021 Brandenburg Concert
Recognized as “a model for what a community orchestra can be” by Minnesota Public Radio, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s artistic endeavors and commitment to community have endured for seventy years, since its founding in 1950. The MSO is the only full-sized symphony orchestra within seventy-five miles and is also one of the largest and most prolific arts organizations in the region. Over the years, world famous soloists including Isaac Perlman and Eduardo Halim have performed with the MSO.
Support from the Mankato community comes in the form of live concert broadcasts from KMSU and free concert promotion from TV station KEYC, The Free Press, and Radio Mankato. Other sponsors include Mayo Health Systems, Xcel Energy, the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation, the Anne Herlihy Foundation, the Jacobson Foundation, and the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council. We also receive support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the McKnight Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Our audience is comprised of people from a cross section of society: students, faculty, families and senior citizens. MSO also reaches out to the underserved communities. There is something for everyone: a symphony concert series, a free family fun educational series, a Music on the Hill chamber music series, and an annual concert in the park.
By mid-April, 2021, Mankato residents were hungry for live orchestral music and when ticketing opened for the April 25th Brandenburg concert, it sold out quickly. Guest artists included Peter McGuire, Principal Second Violin of the Minnesota Orchestra, David Fienen, retired organ professor from Gustavus Adolphus College, and the MSO concertmaster Emily Saathof—all local talents. After the concert, a patron sent a beautiful testimonial: ‘Sunday’s concert (Brandenburg) in SS. Peter and Paul’s Church was utterly stunning hour of pure pleasure with every note appreciated. Thank you for such a lovely outing in these virus times. Truly enjoyable.’
In addition to symphony concerts, the Mankato Symphony presents a free family educational series in partnership with the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. Children and their parents and grandparents learn about various instruments and composers. MSO also offers a chamber music series, called ‘Music on the Hill’ that uses musicians from the Mankato Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Mankato Symphony musicians come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are professional freelancers; for others MSO is their only opportunity to play professionally. Our players range from growing teens to senior citizens. Through sectionals, coaching, and peer learning, we bring out the best in each and every player. MSO provides musicians with a source of income, a chance to work with and learn from world class artists, and an opportunity to earn additional arts income through contracted work with collaborating organizations and composers.
The City of North Mankato, Minnesota
The Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation
Anne Herlihy Foundation