Music with Minnesotans: Christopher Hopkins

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
September 24, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Here's how many guests on Music with Minnesotans approach me — directly, like this letter that came in earlier in the summer:

Dear Alison,
I'm a Minnesotan who grew up in a small town with a piano teacher that taught me and went to St. Olaf with no money but got into the St. Olaf Choir as a Freshman soloist, who quit and moved to the Twin Cities and did musical theater, but then quit and built a business, but then sang with the Dale Warland Singers, and Plymouth Music Series, but then soloed with the Minnesota Orchestra and Erie Philharmonic and Grand Teton Music Festival and Hannover Philharmonic, blah, blah, blah...Anyway, I'd love to do your show.

I know we can get a little jaded here, but I was impressed even though Christopher makes no mention of what business he, as a seeming "quitter," is in.

Once I found Christopher's "Makeover Guy" site - and took the virtual tour of his upscale Uptown ReVamp Salon - I was hooked. I mean, if there's anything a radio DJ needs, it's a few beauty tips. Little did I know that "maybe I'll throw some mascara in my bag when I come to the station" would mean an entire Saturday afternoon of hair and makeup.

But I get way ahead of myself.

Christopher Hopkins is an incredibly successful businessman and stylist with incredible style. And like many in the biz, he got his start at a young age. No Barbie was safe. And though he was called a "difficult" child, there was opportunity in his being sent to his room for time out. He would don his mom's mint green taffeta and tulle wedding dress and twirl about to the Sleeping Beauty Waltz cranked to 11 on his Show and Tell record player.

In school he remained difficult, getting kicked out of every class including band and choir — can you really get kicked out of music? — but nonetheless auditioned for the Ollie Choir and was accepted as a lowly freshmen, touring Scandanavia, singing on TV and finding his way into Orchestra Hall.

Christopher has made some amazing friends in the world of music including Eiji Oue — a friend and repeat hair client — who has called Christopher at the last moment for a trim - and to sing with his band.

Christopher Hopkins' playlist:

Peter Tchaikovsky, Sleeping Beauty: Waltz - New York Philharmonic/Masur

Sergei Rachmaninoff, The Bells - Russian National Orchestra/Serebrier

Traditional, We Shall Walk Through the Valley - Dale Warland Singers

Leonard Bernstein, Candide Overture - Minnesota Orchestra, Oue

Rogers and Hammerstein, South Pacific; Some Enchanted Evening - Christopher Hopkins/Hannover Radio Philharmonic

Next week Dr. Jon Hallberg joins us. He's assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, medical director at Mill City Clinic, and I know you feel he's already a friend as he's a regular on MPR News.

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