Electric Conductor: Music and Mystery at the U

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
November 26, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Brian Messier may have a baby face, but he's in his thirties. He's a college grad and has already been out in the world teaching high school music. He's a dad himself now, but he's back at school to work on a doctorate in conducting at the University of Minnesota School of Music.

But the emphasis of his work is incredibly important: to dig deep into the all-important question us classical musicians and presenters have: Who will be the audience of tomorrow?

For Brian, he thinks changing the way we hear music and experience a concert is a good start, so he got together a small group of artists to create an evening of music and theater.

It's called Electric Conductor: A Musical Murder Mystery and to make it happen, Brian had to found his own arts organization — The Elastic Bands — then seek out a production team, including: a scriptwriter, Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellow Jake Jeppson; an animator, a former student, Oberlin College's Luisa Levine; and a jazz composer, Riley Helgeson.

But maybe the most daunting task of all was to get the money needed to make it happen. This project brings together all of Brian's talents of engagement and entrepreneurship — and with a sweet mug like his, I'll bet no one could resist helping him out.

It will be a fun, family-friendly event with Sherlock Holmes locking us in a concert hall with the U's wind ensemble and jazz combo.

Listen to the complete interview to learn more about this innovative production.

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