Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra grows and prospersQuestion: What do a medical laboratory scientist from Alexandria, a student from Osakis and a recording studio owner and professor from Fergus Falls have in common? Answer: A love of music.
By: Deb Mercier, Pope County Tribune, Alexandria Echo Press
Question: What do a medical laboratory scientist from Alexandria, a student from Osakis and a recording studio owner and professor from Fergus Falls have in common?
Answer: A love of music – and thanks to the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra (CLSO), a way to share it with others in the region.
Three years ago, CLSO musicians played their first notes together under the direction of Brad Lambrecht, orchestra director at Jefferson High School in Alexandria.
CLSO is billed as a community organization, though in truth, its reach spills far beyond the boundaries of one community. The orchestra draws on the talents of more than 70 musicians from all over the region, including Alexandria, Brandon, Carlos, Farwell, Fergus Falls, Garfield, Glenwood, Kensington, Miltona, Morris, Nelson, Osakis, Villard and Vining.
Susan Fell Johnson, CLSO trumpet player and a liberal arts instructor at Alexandria Technical and Community College, is new to both the Alexandria area and CLSO.
“I joined CLSO to meet other musicians in the area and to give back a little of myself to the community,” she said. “I love the other zany musicians and I enjoy perfecting my musical abilities.”
Johnson said since she joined the orchestra this fall, she’s already met many other area musicians and has been invited to join several other small musical groups. With the connections she’s made, she hopes to start a small jazz ensemble in the near future.
Connections are important to Deb Thompson, a medical laboratory scientist from Alexandria, as well. A clarinetist, Thompson said she’d never played in an orchestra before; she was excited that CLSO provided the opportunity to perform with a quality community orchestra.
And, with members starting at 16 years old, the orchestra also provides an intergenerational experience.
Thompson said, “My favorite part of CLSO is getting to know the talented musicians of all ages and enjoying their wonderful sense of humor.”
Since their inaugural season in 2009-2010, the regional orchestra has performed nearly a dozen concerts. In that time, they’ve expanded the orchestra’s creativity and depth, and their audiences’ listening opportunities, by performing with guest musicians from the Minnesota Opera, professional vocal soloists from several states, and a 150-voice community choir.