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Category Archive: Artists in Residence

Hoopes and Staruch in Willmar

Posted at 1:00 PM on March 27, 2012 by Daniel Gilliam
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Chad Hoopes and Steve Staruch started this week's residency in Willmar. Here's more from Steve:

The second week of the artist-in residence tour got off to a fine start in Willmar yesterday. Chad performed for two classes of young orchestral musicians (3-5th grades) who were not only wowed by Chad's virtuosity but also volunteered to tell him what their own passions were: one girl likes to dance, another loves riding horses, one boy loves playing football. I think they appreciated the message that each has a talent to developed and share. The middle school students who came to listen in the afternoon were in a completely different place in their lives. A lot more shy about asking questions, this group was also won over by Chad's warmth and commitment to his art. As always, I expect that Chad's short residency in these schools will have a ripple affect, creating a heightened sense of pride in and helping to develope the skills of these young orchestral musicians. If nothing else I think all learned that classical music can be...."cool" !

More from Bena, Minnesota

Posted at 10:16 AM on March 26, 2012 by Daniel Gilliam
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Lakeland Public Television created a wonderful news story about Chad Hoopes' performance in Bena, Minnesota. If you've been at any of the schools Chad has visited, let us know what you thought about the experience!

Chad Hoopes in Brainerd

Posted at 12:51 PM on March 23, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Chad Hoopes' tour around schools in Minnesota continues, and The Brainerd Dispatch has some incredible coverage of his visit to Harrison Elementary School and Forestview Middle School.


More information about Chad and the residency is available at our Artist in Residence page.


Update to Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School Performance

Posted at 12:02 PM on March 22, 2012 by Daniel Gilliam (1 Comments)
Filed under: Artists in Residence

The Bemidji Pioneer has posted a wonderful article about Chad Hoopes' performance at the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/event/article/id/100038018/

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Steve and Chad at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig

Posted at 3:14 PM on March 21, 2012 by Daniel Gilliam
Filed under: Artists in Residence

This week Steve Staruch and Chad Hoopes are exploring schools in Minnesota, playing and chatting along the way young people across the state. Here are more of Steve's thoughts, from the road:

The "What's your passion?" tour with Classical MPR's artist-in residence, Chad Hoopes, continued today at the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig native American school. Our welcome began with a performance from the school's drum group. There's something elemental/spiritual about the sound and the ceremony surrounding this traditional greeting. I felt it and I believe that Chad felt it too. His performances were deeper and more colorful. One of the teachers spoke to me after the performance. "Our kids are going to talk about this for a long time!" Also a part of the morning was a demonstration by the school's native dance ensemble. Several students explained to Chad the significance of the dance as it was performed. All of us were fascinated and moved by the energy and the skill of the dancers. As always, students were happy to have photos taken with Chad, and his warmth and virtuosity did more than breakdown barriers, it created bridges.

Steve Staruch reports from the road

Posted at 1:52 PM on March 20, 2012 by Daniel Gilliam
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Steve Staruch emailed me today with an update from the tour with Chad Hoopes. If you're new to what Chad is doing, read some of his blog. Here's what Steve says:

I'm old enough to remember Art Linkletter's "Kids Say the Darndest Things" which I watched as a kid. It's good to know that some things don't change with.....maturity. I've been on the road these last two days with Classical MPR's Artist-in-Residence, violinist Chad Hoopes. The young people, many of whom play in a youth orchestras, have been wowed by Chad's virtuosity and enamored by his smiling personality. When he tells them that he's a big fan of Adele...well, that just takes the cake! The kids ask really good questions too. Who inspired you? How do you memorize? Do you ever get stage fright?

When a young violinist came up to him after today's presentation and asked him to play Happy Birthday for a friend, his performace brought her to tears. Bravo to Chad! There'll be more on the rest of the tour in the coming days.

Reflecting on Home and Travels

Posted at 11:40 AM on February 23, 2012 by Chad Hoopes
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Chad Hoopes

Minnesota is the greatest place I've ever lived. I'm definitely not biased or anything, having grown up in the Twin Cities...

But I have visited many places in the world, and I have to say that I really enjoy being in Europe. The young people in Europe really embrace classical music and it is integrated into society there. Arts Education is considered to be among the most important things taught in the schools. I feel this really helps the advancement of classical music and the society as a whole.

When I return home from traveling, I most look forward to seeing my family, sisters, and kitty. They mean the world to me! I also look forward to hanging out with my friends when I get home. My friends are amazing because they are my some of my biggest support and are always there for me. What are we without the people in our lives that we love most?

I also love to drive, shop, cook, write, watch movies/TV episodes, Facebook/Twitter, and pretty much anything that involves people. I love being with and around people.

So I'm really looking forward to next month's tour to schools around Minnesota, hoping to help young students discover and pursue a passion for music or whatever it is you love. See you then!

Saying Something Through Music

Posted at 1:09 PM on February 8, 2012 by Chad Hoopes
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Chad Hoopes

What do I enjoy most about performing? The fact that I get to give a gift to the audience every time I take the stage. To me, nothing feels better than being on the stage. I love being able to express myself just the way I want to through music. Furthermore, every time I perform, I get a special feeling because I have the opportunity to evoke the feelings that the composer might have felt while writing a particular work. Lastly, I love to collaborate. In my mind, music is all about expressing your self. Saying something through music might just be the most important thing.

My favorite violinists? Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, Michael Rabin, Fritz Kreisler, and Yehudi Menuhin. They are among the MANY musicians, artists, and conductors I admire.

Of course, classical music is one of my favorites to listen to. On one hand, you can relax while listening to the simplicity and profoundness of Beethoven. On the other hand, you can rock out to the intensity of a Mahler Symphony. Classical music is so diverse. In addition to classical, I love listening to Pop, Hip Hop/Rap, and R&B. I call it "pump you up" music. The only downfall to this is if I'm listening to it while driving, I tend to go faster than I should... Whoops.

Till next time...

Artist in Residence: Plans for 2012

Posted at 3:09 AM on January 19, 2012 by Chad Hoopes
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Chad Hoopes
Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Happy New Year to all the fans of Classical Minnesota Public Radio! This is my first blog post as the Artist in Residence for MPR. It is an honor for me to contribute and be part of such an influential organization.

This residency is important to me primarily because I have the opportunity to participate in and lead educational activities at local schools. I look forward to expressing my views on the importance of music and the arts. Since I was young, I have been blessed to be involved in classical music. Fortunately, I have had a talent that has helped carry my passion for the violin. During this residency, my hope is to help every young person I collaborate with to discover his or her passions.


The beginning of my residency at MPR started this past August, when I performed an opening recital at the MacPhail Center for Music. Furthermore, I spent three days in the studios at MPR recording a CD that MPR will be producing. As I recorded, I felt as if I could express feelings and emotions that I have experienced in my life. I strongly believe that this is how one connects to a listener through a recording. I recorded works by Bach, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Ravel. This was a lot of repertoire, but I feel confident that it brings a variety of sounds and color to the listener. This was a special experience for me mainly because this was my first time making a professional recording. At the start of the New Year, I returned to MPR to do some editing and other work in the studio. This also contributed to the rich learning opportunity I had.

What a journey! I can confidently say that this has turned out to be an extremely positive experience. As you can imagine, all of this wouldn't have been possible without the help of MANY people at MPR. So, here is a BIG thank you to you all!


Well, that's it for now! I am humbled and I look forward to continue on this voyage with all of you! Thank you and may the New Year present us with prosperous opportunities!

Chad Hoopes begins recording...

Posted at 9:49 AM on August 23, 2011 by Daniel Gilliam
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Classical MPR's Artist-in-Residence Chad Hoopes is in the building (and specifically the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Music Studio) and recording! He's going to start with the Brahms Sonata No. 2, joined by pianist Charles Kemper.

chad hoopes1.JPG

A memorable year with Cantus

Posted at 3:38 PM on June 20, 2011 by ClassicalMPR (2 Comments)
Filed under: Artists in Residence

A note from Alison Young

Cantus photo by Luke Taylor
MPR Photo / Luke Taylor

We're bringing an amazing year with our Artists-in-Residence Cantus to a close, and what a year it's been.

These guys are about the nicest and coolest guys you'd want to know — and they make spectacular music together. I had a chance to go "out-state" with the fellas to host their concerts. I learned a lot about how they work together. For instance, since there's no Music Director, Cantus functions like a democracy; if something doesn't sound quite right, they just correct things quickly and directly and no one gets their feelings hurt (most of the time!); when planning a program, they assign a "producer" to take charge of the piece and essentially fight for it!

I also had the opportunity to get to know them as friends — we had a few meals together, played cards one night into the wee hours and they even let me in the Cantus van — but only once!

Yesterday, Sunday June 19, 2011, Cantus gave a free concert over at Lake Harriet. It was packed and the skies even cleared in time for a sunny afternoon of a good mix of both classical and pop. Some of the best moments were Bass Chris Foss playing guitar and doing his signature Cash imitation in "Ring of Fire;" Tenor Paul Rudoi belting out Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around Comes Around;" Shazore Shah kicked off the cantus hit that brought a whole gang of folks to the Cantus table to buy a disc, "Wanting Memories;" Tim Takach and Gary Ruschman bringing us to tears with a song of lost love, "Pretty Saro" and Aaron Humble and Matt Tintes got the mood up with a rousing "They Call the Wind Maria."

Cantus photo by Luke Taylor
MPR Photo / Luke Taylor


The audience stood up and cheered — some even held up their cell phones in a little nod to rock concerts, so the boys flew back out and gave them what they wanted — an encore; The Doobie Brothers "Listen to the Music" to which everyone (including this 1970's gal) sang along too.

What a great way to end the season — thanks to each of your guys in Cantus for making it a most memorable year!

Cantus photo by Luke Taylor
MPR Photo / Luke Taylor


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Cantus named Best Classical Musician 2011

Posted at 2:26 PM on April 21, 2011 by Daniel Gilliam
Filed under: Artists in Residence

Classical MPR's 2010-2011 Artists in Residence have been named Best Classical Musician by the Minneapolis-based City Pages.

Congratulations guys!

From the Road: Cantus Master Classes

Posted at 12:38 PM on March 31, 2011 by Hans Buetow
Filed under: Artists in Residence, Events

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Just this morning, Cantus was at Crookston High School, singing with the 9-12 grade non-audition concert choir.

Crookston is the final stop on Cantus' tour of Minnesota as Artists-in-Residence at Classical MPR. Experienced educators (Cantus runs their own residency with local High Schools,) Cantus has made time in each town in which they have performed over the last two months to work with local junior high school, high school, and college choirs.

In Ely, students bussed in from all over the region to participate, joining forces into one area choir that stood on the risers facing the men of Cantus. After listening to the choir sing, Cantus retreated to a huddle in a corner of the stage, spent a minute in intense private conversation, broke the huddle, returned to their chairs, and then one-by-one took center stage in front of the students to work on a particular aspect of the performance.

Cantus worked on helping the students relax their faces, extend their vowels, work out the most important words for emphasis, and stretch their dynamics. As each of the men of Cantus took their turn in front of the students they were funny, engaging, and encouraging, and after 45 minutes everyone watching was gasping and whispering at the difference in the choir's sound.

The students also felt the difference. Taylor Davis, a member of the Ely High School choir, said that he attended only because his teacher had told him to come.

"When I first heard about it I thought it was going to be kind of lame," said Davis, "but now that I actually saw it I thought it was really cool. Like, it really had an effect on me."

Davis, a male singer in a High School choir, also expressed a sentiment that was echoed by several of the choir directors involved, saying that in his choir "there's not that many guys, and, like, being able to hear a lot more guys kind of makes me feel that there's actually other guys that like to sing."

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Aware of the heavy attrition of 13 and 14 year-old boys in the not-so-cool art of singing, Scott Shrimpton, the choir director for the Grand Rapids High School choir, had arranged to bus in the boys from the Junior High School choir to watch the master class with the High School choir in Grand Rapids. Shrimpton wanted to expand the younger students' image of what singing can be, and expressed the hope that the opportunity to see Cantus, a 9-member professional male vocal ensemble, would inspire them to continue their singing with the High School choir when they arrived.

Cantus is performing their final Artist-in-Residence concert from the road in Crookston tonight at the Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota - Crookston (call 218-281-8266 for tickets). All of the students who sang with Cantus this morning have been invited to attend the concert free of charge, thanks to the Legacy Amendment for Arts and Cultural Heritage, giving them the chance to see the men in action, and hopefully inspire them to keep on singing.

What's cool about Cantus

Posted at 8:29 AM on February 15, 2011 by Alison Young
Filed under: Artists in Residence

cantus_and_al.jpg

I have the best job ever. I took a road-trip up north to Ely to introduce our Artists-in-Residence Cantus at an MPR concert at Vermillion College.

This was a much-anticipated event last weekend and the boys did not disappoint. Their singing was superb, the repertoire making us laugh and then weep and then clap with gusto.

But for me personally it was a kick to get to know these guys a bit better. For starters, they invited me to be a part of their pre-concert huddle. This is serious stuff, folks. Paul Rudoi reminded his fellow tenors to follow the pitch set by the basses and Tim Takach emphasized the order of songs. It was so fun to be in on the preparation. Alas, I'm only an honorary huddler and won't get to audition!

The concert itself was marvelous. The music touches the soul, but the guys are down-to-earth and accessible, they had the crowd whooping and hollering for an encore.

I interrupted a few times for a little Q&A during the concert, and these respectful, articulate young men obliged me, making me sound very smart with questions I'm sure they get asked over and over.

The highlight was the after-party at Dee's. We crammed into a couple of booths and I got more of the Cantus back-story. As the bar filled up with locals and the live band got in full swing, Adam and Gary joined them to sing a couple of songs.

It was all spontaneous and they're such pros, the dance floor soon filled up - everyone was dancing including a couple of the men of Cantus along with this Classical MPR host.

What fun being one of the guys! Join us later this month in St. Peter.

From the Road: Cantus Sings in the Soudan Mine

Posted at 1:58 PM on February 11, 2011 by Hans Buetow (1 Comments)
Filed under: Artists in Residence, Events

Ely Tower.jpg


It's not often that you get to see someplace as cool as the Soudan Underground Mine. And it's really not often that you get to witness a private concert performed at the 27th level of the mine, 2,341 feet below the surface. On a clear, brutally cold February afternoon the Classical MPR crew met up with their Artists-in-Residence, Cantus, and took the three-minute, pitch-black ride down to the comfortable 51-degree depths to make just that event happen.

Accessing one of the richest deposits of iron ore in the world, the mine sits just up the hill from the sleepy town of Soudan, Minnesota, just between Virginia and Ely.

The Classical MPR crew arrived early, winding past "Soudan's Only Store" towards Mine Road. A short jaunt up slippery hills, and we were at the surface of the old mine, inactive as a production mine since 1962.

There wasn't really much mine to see at the top. A few beautiful old buildings housing the giant engines and 3/4 of a mile of steel cables, a warming house (now visitor center), and the powerful A-Frame. The frame, covered in mid-winter ice, straddles the relatively small shafts that lead down, offering leverage to move the lift cars to the appropriate level.

A Frame.jpg

Our guide, James, helped us load into one of the old cars, packing everything, including people, into 2 closet sized cages, one on top of the other.

With a few beeps to the engine house on the communicator, we started to drop.

Going Down.jpg

Without James shining his head lamp out at the mine shaft walls there would have been no light at all. The noise was impressive - a constant, roaring clang that was so loud that James had to yell to tell us to pop our ears from the pressure change by pretending we were chewing gum.

After a 3 minute ride, we reached the 27th level at an impressive depth of 2,341 feet.

Arriving Below.jpg

Another 5 minutes on an old mine train (think Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - just the song that Cantus sang on their trip in an hour later) we arrived at the stope, the part of the mine last worked in 1962 when the mine was shut down.

We grabbed our gear, and started to set up.

Setup Surround1.jpg

Setup Surround2.jpg

Setup Surround3.jpg


Rob, our audio engineer, set up a DTS surround sound rig to capture the unique sounds of both Cantus and the mine.

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Upon arrival, Cantus started to warm-up, setting in frantic flight a single bat who stayed with us through the rest of the recording session. We also had the company of some of the Soudan Underground Mine employees who made the train ride out to see the performance.

Cantus Sings.jpg

Cantus.jpg

We spent several hours underground with Cantus singing several pieces - including Dave Matthews' "Gravedigger" and old (appropriate for the setting) union songs. The audio and video will both be available on the Sonic Architecture section of the Classical MPR Artist-in-Residence page.


After our thank you's to our gracious hosts at the Soudan Mine, we headed into Ely and made straight for dinner.

In true romantic February form, Cantus member Adam Reinwald and his wife, Trisha, our companion in the mines, shared a plate of pasta. As soon as it was set on the table they were promptly regaled by the remaining members of Cantus with This is the Night, the pasta "kissing" song from Disney's The Lady and the Tramp. The perfect end to an amazing session.

Romantic Pasta.jpg

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