Archive | Player Profiles

Player Profile: Warren Starr

Warren Starr: Tuba Warren earned a B.S. degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota in 1980, and a certificate in Gifted/Creative/Talented   Education from the University of St. Thomas in 2011.  He started teaching instrumental music at Hill-Murray School in 1981, and has been the Coordinator of the Hill-Murray Parish Schools Band Program since 1984.  Warren toured China […]

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Featured Soloist: Dan Chouinard

The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra is happy to be partnering with Twin Cities pianist Dan Chouinard this season to present George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  The concert will take place at Lake Harriet on Sunday June 28th at 5:30 PM. The Minneapolis-born pianist “plays, tours and records regularly with an ever-expanding roster of musicians and writers.”  He […]

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Player Profile: Theresa Elliott

Theresa Elliott: Violin Theresa Elliott, violinist, is also a member of the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the upper Midwest’s  period instrument ensemble that has toured and recorded  in Spain on Glossa Label. Other organizations she has performed with include Philomusica, the Minneapolis Chamber Symphony, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, and the Mississippi Valley Community Orchestra as concert master. […]

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Player Profile: Michal Sobieski

Michal Sobieski, Violin Michal Sobieski was a violinist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1979 to 2013.  During his tenure he also appeared as soloist and chamber musician.  In 1994, he won praise as soloist in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as a last minute substitute for an ailing Iona Brown.  He has performed on five Lifescapes […]

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Player Profile: Rick Gaynor

Rick Gaynor, Trombone After a failed attempt at baseball, (I think it was the bat) I decided all I wanted to do was play music for a living. I currently play 2nd trombone with the Minneapolis Pops and occasionally slide over to third, to fill in on bass trombone. As a “utility infielder” I’ve had […]

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Player Profile: Brenda Mickens

Brenda Mickens, Violin Brenda Mickens currently is teaching privately and freelancing in the Twin Cities.  She was an SPCO musician for many years, grew up in San Diego and played in the San Diego Symphony and the Lincoln Symphony during her student years.  She enjoys gardening, chamber music and playing duos especially with violinist husband David Mickens.

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Player Profile: Mark Bjork

Mark Bjork, Violin Principal Second Violinist Mark Bjork, Professor of Violin and Pedagogy at the University of Minnesota School of Music, is a graduate of Indiana University where he studied violin under the renowned pedagogue Josef Gingold. He has free-lanced throughout the Twin Cities for over 40 years, appearing not only with the Minneapolis Pops […]

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Player Profile: Nancy Bjork

Nancy Bjork, Bass Nancy Bjork, Principal Double Bass, has been teaching pre-college bass students and free-lancing throughout the Twin Cities for well over 40 years, most of those years performing with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. Many of her students have continued advanced studies at music schools and conservatories, several of them winning professional positions in […]

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Player Profile: Joanna Shelton

Joanna Shelton, Violin Joanna Shelton is an Eastman educated freelancer whose playing and teaching have involved her with Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Olaf College, College of St. Benedict, MacPhail Center for Music, Children’s Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, and even the Shrine Circus!  For her, teaching violin is fostering the DIY movement, “making your own music […]

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Player Profile: Neal Bolter

Neal Bolter: Horn Neal Bolter has been playing the horn professionally for almost 40 years. Some of the musical adventures through the years include: Symphony work with Jerusalem Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Brooklyn Symphony in New York, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Minnesota Opera, extra with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and principal […]

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