Category Archives: Music

WSO welcomes new Music Director, Erik Rohde

The Winona Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Erik Rohde as the Symphony’s new Music Director and Conductor.

Rohde brings the skills and experience to maintain the high artistic standards of the Winona Symphony. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he studied with conductors Mark Russell Smith, Kathy Saltzman Romey, and Craig Kirchhoff and violin pedagogue Mark Bjork.  Rohde also holds degrees in Violin Performance and Biomedical Engineering. As Music Director for the Winona Symphony, he will select repertoire for and conduct the Symphony in three concerts for the 2018-2019 season including a Fall Concert, a Children’s Concert, and a Spring Concert.

Rohde maintains a diverse career as a conductor, violinist, and educator, and has performed and conducted in recitals and festivals across the United States and in France, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and China. In addition to his responsibilities with the Winona Symphony, he is an Assistant Professor and Director of String Activities and Orchestra at Indiana State University and Artistic Director and Conductor for the Salomon Chamber Orchestra. He also performs with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and is the violinist in the music duo sonic apricity.

A native of Rochester, Minn., Rohde graduated from Century High School, participated in the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras and Southeastern Minnesota Honors Choirs, was concertmaster of the Minnesota All-State Orchestra, and recently was one of several former prizewinners featured in the Rochester Music Guild’s 50th Anniversary Celebration recital.

“I’m incredibly honored to begin working with the musicians of the Winona Symphony Orchestra, and to have a chance to reconnect musically with the community where I grew up.  I’ve always had a special tie to Minnesota, and am excited to be a part of the Winona Symphony’s long-standing tradition of being a part of this community,” said Rohde.

Community members are invited to meet Rohde at the Symphony’s annual Summer Social, Sunday, Sept. 9, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., at Elmaro Vineyard, N14756 Delaney Rd., Trempealeau, Wis. Click here for more information.

The Symphony’s final concert of the 2017-2018 season last March marked the organization’s 110th anniversary and the retirement of Music Director, Dr. Don Lovejoy.  Dr. Lovejoy served as the Music Director for the Symphony since 2009. He was also the Director of Bands and Coordinator of Brass Studies at Winona State University. “Don brought a level of professionalism to the Symphony and raised our standard of performance.  His choices of repertoire were widely received by the musicians and audiences. We are confident that Erik will continue engaging the community with this same level of quality,” said Tim Hornseth, Winona Symphony Board President.

Winona Symphony Orchestra enriches the Winona area with live performances of quality symphonic music, provides performing opportunities for talented area musicians, and promotes an appreciation of live classical music among young people.  In its 2017-2018 season, the Symphony presented three concerts, provided performance opportunities to more than 40 local and regional musicians, and reached more than 1,200 area elementary students through an annual Children’s Concert.  The 2018 Children’s Concert was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Dr. John Paulson: Pre-Concert Talk “This is Not Your Father’s Big Band”

Wednesday | January 10 | 1:00-2:00pm Winona Friendship Center | 251 Main St. Saxophonist, composer and educator Dr. John Paulson will present a free, informal multi-media talk This is Not Your Father’s Big Band that will include an overview of the process involved in creating music for his 18-piece group plus the realities of presenting… Continue Reading

Winona Symphony Orchestra Awarded SEMAC Grant for 2018 Children’s Concert

The Winona Symphony Orchestra has been awarded a $10,000 Arts and Cultural Heritage grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council for its 2018 Children’s Concert for Winona area 3rd and 4th graders. Thanks to this generous grant, two free performances of the 2018 Children’s Concert will be presented on the morning of Tuesday, February 13… Continue Reading

MCA Music Division Winter Concert

Friday | December 8th | 6:00-7:00pm Academy Theatre | Valencia Arts Center 1164 W. 10th Street | Winona The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Music Division invites the community to a Winter Concert. The concert will showcase MCA private lesson students of all ages who study a variety of instruments. Admission is free-will donation. All donations… Continue Reading

John Paulson Big Band Jazz At Wellington’s

Saturday | November 25 | 7:30-10:00pm Wellington’s | 1429 West Service Drive | Winona John Paulson’s big band returns to Winona, MN for a jazz performance at Wellington’s Pub and Grill. They will be performing two sets of all original music by tenor saxophonist, composer and musical director Dr. John Paulson. The group includes some… Continue Reading

MCA Jazz Combos Performances

Wednesday | November 1 | 6:00-7:30pm Saint Mary’s Performance Center | Figiulio Recital Hall Sunday | November 12 | 5:30-7:00pm Wellingtons Pub and Grill The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) Jazz Combos are busy rehearsing for two upcoming community concerts that are free and open to the public. MCA is home to three jazz… Continue Reading

Winona Musicians Play for Puerto Rico

Sunday | October 29 | 1pm – 5pm Signature’s Restaurant Musicians from the Southeastern Minnesota area are teaming up with the Signatures Restaurant October 29, 2017 to perform a benefit for victims of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Four groups will perform throughout the afternoon and all will be donating their time and talents. The event… Continue Reading

Winona Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Social

Sunday | September 10 | 1:00-4:00pm Elmaro Vineyard | N14756 Delaney Rd., Trempealeau, WI Join us for the Winona Symphony Orchestra’s third annual Summer Social! There will be live music from Heart Strings Harp Circle, Flutistry, and Wabasha Street Trio. Vineyard tours will be available as well as a local artists’ gallery featuring Julie Johnston,… Continue Reading

Rock Guitar Classes at MCA

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is offering two exciting Rock Guitar Classes this summer: Beginning Rock Guitar Class Learning rock guitar can be lots of fun and very challenging. This class shows you the fundamentals of guitar as well as some basic rock techniques. Geared for the absolute beginner, seasoned players are also welcome… Continue Reading