Press Releases

Classical MPR to Bring Minnesota Varsity 2012 Featured Artists in Concert at the College of Saint Benedict on May 19

May 2, 2012

WHAT: Classical MPR is taking the show on the road to present concert celebrations of its Minnesota Varsity 2012 program season. On Saturday, May 19, Featured Artists from Minnesota Varsity 2012 will perform at the College of Saint Benedict. The audience will be treated to high-caliber high school talent performing with a range of instruments and musical selections. The concert will be both educational as well as entertaining, a true showcase of Minnesota's talented youth.

Performers for the May 19 concert at the College of Saint Benedict:
Simon Blaine-Sauer, piano, Minneapolis
Bryan Duerfeldt, alto recorder, Bloomington
Nora Doyle, cello, Maple Grove
Jonathan Mattson, piano, Rochester
Aria Stiles, violin, Apple Valley

More about Minnesota Varsity
Now in its second year, Minnesota Varsity is Classical MPR's program celebrating some of the best young Minnesota classical musicians. To participate in Minnesota Varsity, music students ages 14-18 (grades 9th-12th) from around the state were asked to submit a recording of themselves performing.

Featured Artists: This year, Classical MPR staff received more than 100 submissions from across the state. From them 15 were chosen as Featured Artists. These students received a professional recording session at MPR's studios and their music was broadcast on Classical MPR in March 2012. The Featured Artists were also eligible to perform at concerts in greater Minnesota in May 2012. Go to for a complete list of Minnesota Varsity 2012 Featured Artists.

Showcase Artists: For the next stage of the program, a panel of celebrity judges chose four performers to be Showcase Artists-- the panel included Stephen Copes, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concertmaster; Beverly Everett, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra music director; Aaron Humble, tenor with Cantus; Judy Sagen, adjunct faculty, University of Minnesota School of Music; and Suzanna Schlesinger Altman, American Composers Forum. The public was also invited to participate in the online Audience Vote at and choose a student to also become a Showcase Artist.

The Minnesota Varsity 2012 Showcase Artists chosen: Simon Blaine-Sauer, Bryan Duerfeldt, Osip Nikiforov, Aria Stiles (Audience Vote winner) and Sarah Tako.

All five Showcase Artists performed at MPR's Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on April 29, 2012, for a live theater and radio broadcast--where the audience members were invited to vote live for their favorite performer (Aria Stiles was the winner of the "Encore Vote"). All five Showcase Artist groups will receive a $1,000 prize, thanks to an anonymous gift from a generous MPR donor.

Minnesota Varsity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Classical MPR can be heard on KSJR 90.1 FM in St Cloud/Collegeville/St. Joseph and online at

WHEN: Saturday, May 19. 6 p.m.

WHERE: Gorecki Family Theater, College of Saint Benedict, 37 South College Avenue, St. Joseph, MN

TICKETS: Admission is free, but registration is requested: Go to to pre-register online. Walk up tickets will also be available the day of the concert.

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