Special Guests
Saturday, March 26, 2005

PHILIP BRUNELLE is an internationally renowned conductor, choral scholar and performer. He founded VocalEssence (previously known as the Plymouth Music Series) in 1969 and remains the artistic director today. Brunelle's conducting engagements have taken him across the United States, South America and Europe. Recently, he has conducted the BBC Singers, the Seattle Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. Brunelle has served on the board of directors of Chorus America and the National Council on the Arts and he currently serves on the Board of Regents at St. Olaf College and the Board of Directors of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association. In 2001, he was inducted into the Minnesota Musical Hall of Fame and he has won a myriad of awards including the Kodaly Medal from the government of Hungary, the Stig Andersson Award for contributions to Swedish music and the Minneapolis Award presented to him by Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. In 2002, he was honored with the U.S. Bank Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Commitment, recognizing lifetime achievement, contribution and leadership in culture and the arts. Tonight Brunelle will conduct the Minnesota Orchestra.

This is the 100th Anniversary season of the MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA. Its 98 members perform more than 200 concerts each year and reach annual audiences of nearly 400,000 listeners. The Minnesota Orchestra, also known as "the Orchestra on wheels" due to its long tradition of touring, has performed in Australia, Cuba, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Europe and Japan. The Orchestra has had nine musical directors over ten decades and Finnish conductor, Osmo Vanska, will join the ensemble as its tenth musical director in September 2003. Tonight the Minnesota Orchestra will be conducted by Philip Brunelle.

PETER OSTROUSHKO's career in music began in high school when he was asked to compose and play the music for a school play. He agreed and fell in love with music and theater. Ostroushko went on to attend the Children's Theatre School in Minneapolis and taught himself to play the guitar, mandolin and fiddle, although he now focuses mainly on the mandolin and fiddle because he feels he stopped growing on the guitar 30 years ago. Today Ostroushko is one of the most accomplished instrumentalists and composers of his time. He has released nine albums, the most recent being Coming Down from Red Lodge (Red House Records), and has played on, at his guess, about 500 albums for other artists.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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