School Spotlight: Robbinsdale Armstrong and Cooper High Schools Join Musical Forces

by Claire Philpott, Minnesota Public Radio
October 1, 2013
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ST. PAUL, Minn. — School Spotlight highlights outstanding Minnesota school- and student-music ensembles during the academic year. Through this feature, Classical MPR hopes to expose listeners to the great music being made by young musicians across the state, and to generate more support for music education.

The audio featured today is of a collaborative effort by the Robbinsdale Armstrong Cantori and Robbinsdale Cooper Bel Canto choirs and their respective chamber orchestras at the 2013 MMEA mid-winter clinic. The guest conductor for this performance was Dr. Matthew Mehaffy, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota.

The regular conductors for these ensembles are:

  • Cantori: Stephanie Trump
  • Bel Canto: Sheryl Brame
  • Armstrong Chamber Orchestra: Kevin Martin
  • Cooper Chamber Orchestra: Lucas Shogren

7:15 a.m. and 7:15 p.m.

  • I Started Out Singing: music by Jocelyn Hagen, text by Noami Shihab Nye

The Robbinsdale school district is committed to a tradition of excellence in music education, allowing students to continue in both instrumental and vocal ensemble participation throughout grades 4 to 12. This is evident in the strength of the ensembles across the district. Every year, the district hosts a Fall Music Festival featuring the Armstrong and Cooper Choirs, Symphonic Wind Ensembles and Orchestras, as well as the All-District Choir, which is made up of elementary students. Every year features a different guest conductor, allowing the students the opportunity to work with a director from the community.

The 2013 Fall Music Festival is Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The mixed choirs and orchestras will perform the Requiem by John Rutter, while the women's choirs will perform Veni Sancte Spiritus by Kentaro Sato, also with orchestra. Both groups will be led by guest conductor Dr. Mary Kay Geston from University of Northwestern - St. Paul.

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