Music Saint Croix was founded in 2003 by a group of friends – professional musicians looking to create a different, more adventurous classical music experience. Our instruments run the gamut from violin, flute and piano to harp and heckelphone. Unlike other classical ensembles, MSC is a “do it yourself” organization. All programming, management and musical decisions are carried out by the musicians. We don’t have a ‘Music Director’ and we like it that way.
Music Saint Croix is also set apart by the friendly and casual nature of the concerts themselves. Our concerts are held in the intimate surroundings of the Washington County Historic Courthouse in beautiful downtown Stillwater, Minnesota. Every seat is ideal with great sound and close proximity to the action.
After the concert, you can grab a cookie and stay to chat with the performers and other audience members. We’re all friends. You should be too!
with Gary Briggle, narrator & baritone
Round up the whole family for an evening of Family Favorites! From classics like Peter & The Wolf to a new, Minnesota take on Benjamin Britten’s iconic Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. We welcome Gary Briggle back as our narrator and baritone soloist.
Henri Kling – The Elephant and the Flea for piccolo and euphonium
Randall Davidson: The Young Lutherans Guide to the Orchestra
Aaron Copland – I Bought Me a Cat
Sergei Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf
Franz Schubert’s Octet
We celebrate the dark stillness of a winter’s night with a foray into the music of Franz Schubert, JS Bach, and Francis Poulenc. Join us for Schubert’s epic, joyous, moving, and inspiring Octet – one of the classics of the chamber music repertoire.
Franz Schubert – Octet in F Major, Op. 166, for clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass
Francis Poulenc – Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone
J.S. Bach: Concerto for Oboe d’Amore in A Major
A Mozart Celebration
Join us for all things Mozart as we celebrate the master of classical music! We welcome back our dear friends Sarah Lawrence and Calland Metts singing arias, scenes and duets that bring Mozart’s theatrical genius to life.
With Sarah Lawrence, soprano and Calland Metts, baritone
Don’t forget to mark your calendar!
Since ticket sales cover just a fraction of the cost of putting on a Music Saint Croix concert, we accept and appreciate donations in any amount. We have no paid staff & no paid administrators so you can be assured that every cent donated goes directly to presenting live classical music in your community.
In addition, MSC is committed to being a good neighbor. Most of the merchants we work with from printing to photography and web design are individual or family owned businesses in our community.
Music Saint Croix is a registered non-profit 501(C)3 corporation.
All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and our good friends at the IRS.
How to Donate
Please make checks payable to “Music Saint Croix” (no cash, please). Here’s our mailing address:
Music Saint Croix
522 West Oak Street
Stillwater, MN 55082
We announce each season’s events via both mail and email to the members of our mailing list.
Not on it yet? Please join today to stay in-the-know. Oh, and don’t worry… we don’t spam.
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Greg actually started on clarinet as a youngster, but it is a good thing he quit, because he would not have made it as a professional. Instead one day he found a horn on the repair bench of his dad and was off and running from that point on. He now plays horn as a professional freelancer — everything from Pavarotti to Ray Charles to recordings with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Greg also does repair/restoration of instruments and teaches musical instrument repair at the Tech College in Red Wing. He loves spending time in the countryside of Red Wing with wife Susan and their energetic lab Gingersnap.
Bob Adney – music educator, percussionist/timpanist, is a teaching artist at the MacPhail Center for Music, where teaches lessons and directs the Monday Evening Percussion Ensemble for middle school students.
As a freelance artist he has performed with virtually every musical organization in the Twin Cities. He has a discography of over 22 cds performing with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. He is in his 8th year as Principal Timpanist for the South Dakota Symphony.
During the summers he plays timpani for the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Minnesota Percussion Trio (1987). The trio has performed in over 1000 schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has been featured on KARE 11 and WCCO 4 along with being MN Public Radio’s Class Notes Artists for two years. The MN Percussion Trio collaborates regularly with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and their programming for young people.
Bob is the author of several self-published instructional books for percussion as well as a handful of arrangements and original compositions for percussion ensemble. His latest composition Duolog (Timpani or Drums with String Orchestra) was commissioned by the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestras and has received several performances in the Twin Cities area in addition to the premiere March 2015.
On the administrative side, he coordinates MacPhail’s School Clinic Program, Musical Passport Program, All-State Video Online Tutorials and is the lead teacher for the MacPhail Online School Partnership program.
Trombonist Larry Zimmerman has performed in all 50 United States and visited countries on four separate continents with his quintet, the Grammy winning Chestnut Brass Company.
Larry plays with orchestras in Minneapolis and Duluth, and as a soloist & chamber musician he has presented programs of new music for trombone with piano, organ, tape, film, & other instruments.
Larry lives in Minneapolis and is a low brass instructor at Bethel University and the University of St. Thomas.
Larry is an avid gardener and runner and enjoys frequent backpacking trips to Minnesota’s North Shore and many National Parks.
Winnipeg-born (and fiercely Canadian) violist Coca Bochonko has lived in St. Cloud, Minnesota, since 1996, from which she drives a lot in managing her busy freelance schedule. She has performed with the Minnesota Opera, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Music Saint Croix, Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, and at the Guthrie Theater.
Coca and her husband Mark love to travel, recently returning from a grand tour of her new favorite destination, Scotland. Her other passions include reading, craft cocktails, yin yoga, and maintaining an impressive streak on Duolingo, studying five languages.
For thirteen seasons, Matt Bertrand was a member of the South Dakota Symphony before stepping down to focus on performing more in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Matt has also performed as a substitute bassoonist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, as well as with theater productions and other various ensembles around the metropolitan area.
Matt also maintains a small private teaching studio at his home in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. When not performing or teaching, Matt enjoys hiking, rock climbing, eating spicy foods, and playing chess or kickball with his nephews (even though they somehow always win).
Gail Olszewski has performed chamber and solo recitals on piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, organ and synthesizer in the US, Canada, Europe, Central America and Australia. In the Twin Cities she has a varied freelance career as a collaborative keyboardist, vocal and instrumental coach and competition judge.
She plays with members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra and is a member of the period-instrument group The WolfGang and Duo Tastiera with harpsichordist/composer Asako Hirabayashi. She has a BA in Spanish and Music History/Harpsichord from the University of New Hampshire, MMus in Piano Performance from Boston University and DMA in Accompanying /Coaching from the University of Minnesota. Gail has a private studio and teaches at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.
In her spare time she likes to cook, garden, volunteer at the Bell Museum, hike and travel. Visit www.gailopiano.com for more information.
Robert McManus was born in Bayport, MN where he currently resides with three cats and his mother.
When he’s not practicing or teaching the oboe in his studio with its wood burning stove, he enjoys the outdoors and is the volunteer steward of the DNR’s St. Croix Savanna Scientific and Natural Area. This includes family land put into permanent conservation easement. The daily task of wrapping and scraping oboe reeds has blossomed into a marginally profitable reed making business.
He is also the 2nd oboe/assistant principal oboe of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls, SD. He also performs frequently with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and is a member of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble.
Dan is an active freelance musician in the Twin Cities area, performing regularly with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and Stone Arch Brass. By day, Dan is a music educator at Jefferson High School in Bloomington, MN.
Beyond his musical pursuits and interests, Dan is an avid fly fisherman and scuba diver. He has traveled to and fished many blue ribbon trout streams throughout the midwest and western United States and has dived on many of Lake Superior’s beautifully well-preserved shipwrecks. Dan is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and a TDI certified technical diver and spends most of his summer in, on, or near the water.
He brews his own beer (but it’s not as fancy as Karl’s) and enjoys camping with his family. He and his Wife, Mary, live in Eagan with their three energetic boys Aidan, Liam, and Connor.
Sarah Grudem is a freelance harpist born, raised and currently living in Minneapolis. She began studying the harp at age seven due to several chance circumstances (she had wanted to learn the viola) and has never looked back.
After graduating from Juilliard in 2003, she moved back home and earned a Master’s degree in performance from the University of Minnesota. Though these two distinct worlds rarely collide,
Sarah is also the co-owner of a small clothing business called Sassy Knitwear, specializing in unique organic cotton and recycled material clothing for women and children. Making and designing clothes has also been a long-time passion of hers, and she feels very fortunate to be able to make a living piecing together these two loves. Having this flexible, ever-evolving career has another benefit as Sarah and her husband enjoy time with their children Ava and Will.
Jazz, opera, classical, R&B, bluegrass, and good ol’ rock’n’roll…you name it, bassist Greg Hippen has probably played it.
A 40-year career as a freelance bassist in the Twin Cities area has encompassed performances with the Minnesota Opera, “A Prairie Home Companion”, VocalEssence, Theater Latte Da, Broadway musicals at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis and the Ordway Theater in St. Paul as well as many years performing with Music Saint Croix.
Violinist Zachary Saathoff first moved to the Twin Cities at the age of 16 to study with Sally O’Reilly, in whose studio he very luckily met his lovely wife, Emily.
He managed to escape two harsh winters while studying in Austria as a Fulbright grantee, but eventually returned to Minnesota to complete graduate degrees in both Violin performance and Music Theory. Zachary spent three seasons as Concertmaster/Frequent Flyer of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra immediately upon graduation, appearing as a featured soloist and in numerous chamber music performances.
Currently he and Emily maintain a private studio out of their home in New Brighton while both working as a freelance violinists, part-time gardeners, possibly-enthusiastic dog walkers, and at time of writing soon-to-be parents.
Karl has performed with a variety of ensembles, festivals and theater companies, including the Tucson Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival, The Guthrie Theater, The Children’s Theater, The Minnesota Orchestra, The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra.
He has recorded for Columbia Pictures and the Newport Classics Label and received a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet from Indiana University.
Karl lives with four cats in a Victorian house in Stillwater surrounded by gardens, in which he grows such varied things as winter hardy Kiwi fruit, native popcorn, hops and lots of flowers. When not weeding, he enjoys cooking, canning, making beer, and riding his Harley.
When he is not toughing it out in Stillwater, he is found boating in Lake Michigan where he has another home in Door County, Wisconsin.
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 2005 and the Midori Community Engagement Seminar at USC in 2007 in support of her work as an artist/teacher. Lucia holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and Manhattan School of Music where she was a student of Bernard Greenhouse.
Lucia enjoys kayaking and spending time at her cabin “up north”. She recently earned her Captain’s license for sailing.
Claudia White currently performs on flute and piccolo with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, The Orlando Philharmonic, and the Sarasota Opera Orchestra which, if you look at a map, makes no sense.
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri she has degrees from Wichita State University and Northwestern University. Away from the flute, Claudia is an avid backpacker, happily spending big chunks of the summer (often with Larry!) hiking in our National Parks. She loves going to rock concerts with her sister, has too many cookbooks, and is the creator of a cooking website – www.idiotskitchen.com.
Claudia lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband Jim, and Henry, the orange wonder cat.