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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Player Profile: Lucia Magney

Lucia Magney: Cello Lucia Magney is Assistant Principal Cellist of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. She teaches Cello, Chamber Music, and String Methods at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, where she has been a faculty member since 1990. Lucia attended the Bernard Greenhouse Celebration in Greensboro, NC in […]

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Player Profile: Greg Beckwith

Greg Beckwith: Horn Hi, I am Greg Beckwith, horn player, musical instrument repair instructor and technician. I started my musical journey in the state of New York on clarinet and piano, because mom was a piano teacher, and dad was a clarinetist. But I didn’t last long at either once I discovered the horn! It […]

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Player Profile: Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson: Percussion Jay Johnson has been active as a teacher and musician for the last thirty years.  As a performer, conductor and composer, his work has been produced by the Guthrie Theatre, the Children’s Theatre Company, and the Theatre Exchange, among others.  He received a McKnight Artist Fellowship for composing music for theatre.  Active […]

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Player Profile: Elizabeth Gomoll

Elizabeth Gomoll: Flute Elizabeth Gomoll started attending Minneapolis Pops concerts as a child and thought the musicians on stage were miraculous people to make such inspiring music. As a young flute student, her teacher was one of those people, but Liz could only dream that she would be on that stage one day herself! She […]

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