We’re writing to you with mixed emotions. The Orchestrate Excellence leadership team has recently decided it is time for us to stand down – not disband completely- but discontinue communicating with you for the foreseeable future.


This is positive news! Since the end of the devastating lockout three years ago, the Minnesota Orchestra has regrouped and rebounded to a level of performance that none of us anticipated.  Musicians, Board and staff are serving on joint committees and collaborating on many facets of the Orchestra’s work.  A brilliant strategic plan is already in its second year of implementation. The musicians are playing “as if their lives depended on it” and audiences are responding with electric enthusiasm. And, the organization has achieved balanced budgets three years in a row.


With the Orchestra’s expanded marketing and community outreach efforts and its increasingly robust social media presence, we believe that regular Orchestrate Excellence newsletters and Facebook posts are no longer necessary. However, standing down does not mean disengaging; it merely signals a change in emphasis from communications about the orchestra to participation within the organization.  In 2017, many members of the OX leadership team worked diligently for months on the Symphony Ball. Moving forward, we will continue our advocacy and support as board members, volunteers, educators, music fans and donors. Please know that in the event of any future organizational difficulty, our intention would be to reactivate Orchestrate Excellence. You would definitely hear from us.
Music Director Osmo Vanska has renewed his contract and continues to lead the Minnesota Orchestra to great acclaim.


You have all played an important role in the Orchestra’s exciting renaissance – as concert-goers, donors, volunteers and fans.  We hope you’ll continue encouraging others to visit Orchestra Hall – to enjoy the classical concerts we all love, the works of young composers, the popular movies, the chamber music series, the pre- and post-concert programs of OH+, and the new ways in which the organization is engaging with the community (e.g. October’s “Send Me Hope” collaboration with African American choirs and December’s “Home for the Holidays” concert, to name just two).


While the news is positive and the Orchestra’s future appears bright, we’ve learned there are no guarantees. As we came to realize during the lockout, our state’s largest arts organization cannot survive without vision, without committed and engaged leadership, and without substantial community involvement and support. Our attention and our commitment cannot falter.  Over the past several years, Orchestrate Excellence members have factored significantly in the Orchestra’s successful community fundraising. We are most grateful for that support and hope you will continue to respond as generously as you are able.


Lastly, thank you for being a part of Orchestrate Excellence since its inception early in 2013. Thank you for caring about our great orchestra, for believing that our orchestra could achieve both artistic excellence and financial viability, for doing your part, year in and year out, to help our orchestra succeed. Thanks to you, OX played a meaningful role in helping to “orchestrate the excellence” that our orchestra is now delivering; we hope that you will continue to play your part in keeping the Minnesota Orchestra musicians playing excellently for many, many years to come!


Members of the Orchestrate Excellence steering committee turned out in force for the Minnesota Orchestra’s triumphant return to Carnegie Hall in March 2016. l-r Laurie Greeno, Paula DeCosse, Deborah Dillaway, Elizabeth Erickson, Linda Murrell, MaryAnn Goldstein, Ken Huber.
Many of us will be attending the Orchestra’s Annual Review at 5pm on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the Atrium. We hope that you’ll be able to come so that we’ll have a chance to thank you in person.  Please call Angela Skrowaczewski at 612-371-7128 as soon as possible if you plan to be there.


Linda Murrell
Chair, Orchestrate Excellence


Laurie Greeno and Paula DeCosse
Past Co-chairs


Bobbi Augustine, Deborah Dillaway, Elizabeth Erickson, MaryAnn Goldstein, Ken Huber, Colleen Krebs, Mary Schaefle
Steering Committee Members
Fermata! Thank you and farewell for now!