2020 was a lot of things. It was difficult, scary, and confusing, but it has also shown us that people are innovative, creative, and musical! The shift to making music online was challenging, but many groups of musicians made the best of it. This selection of local performers encapsulates the perseverance of musicians around Minnesota, and shows that music can always play on.
Here are 10 Musical Moments from Minnesota that you may have missed this year, to ring in the end of 2020.
1. Nachito Herrera – Esperanza
Acclaimed Pianist Nachito Herrera is Minnesota’s newest Steinway Artist, and earlier this year he battled COVID-19. Upon waking from a two-week coma, he used music to heal and composed a gorgeous new piece, Esperanza.
2. Mounds View District Orchestras – And There Shall Be No Night
To cap off their spring distance learning, Mounds View District Orchestras pulled off a tremendous performance of And There Shall Be No Night by Lucas Shogren, Stephanie Shogren, and Derek Powers.
3. Minnesota Orchestra at Home – This Little Light of Mine
With Orchestra Hall closed, brass players from the Minnesota Orchestra convened to perform an arrangement of This Little Light of Mine by Dean Sorenson in a parking lot. A testament to how music will always shine through.
4. University of Minnesota Gospel Choir – Glory Hallelujah
This uplifting performance of Glory Hallelujah by the University of Minnesota Gospel Choir will have you tapping your toes and ready to rejoice from the first beat!
5. Anoka High School – Bad Guy
A group of Anoka HS Students remind us that Covid is the “Bad Guy” with this upbeat instrumental rendition of the Billie Eilish song.
6. Minnesota Orchestra at Home – Solveig’s Song
Minnesota Orchestra Principal Cello Anthony Ross collaborated with his mother-in-law Mary Rapier on the piano to bring you Edvard Grieg’s Solveig’s Song from their home studio.
7. Osseo High School – Brandenburg
Students at Osseo Sr. High school perform a captivating and modernized take on the Brandenburg concertos; Brandenburg by Wilner Baptiste & Kevin Marcus Sylvester and arranged by Larry Moore.
8. Brass & Bodyworks – Ocean Avenue
This Minneapolis brass band gives a fun New Orleans style twist to the 2000’s pop punk song Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard.
9. Minnesota Youth Symphonies – Egmont Overture
In honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Minnesota Youth Symphonies coordinated this humongous group performance by all combined MYS orchestras.
10. Yam Haus – Auld Lang Syne
No New Year’s list would be complete without this classic tune. Minneapolis band Yam Haus wraps up the list with a beautiful video capturing the challenges faced in the Twin Cities this year. Their stunning rendition of Auld Lang Syne reminds us to cling to the light and remember: it’s a gift to be alive.