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ORCHESTRA AND SYMPHONIC CHOIR
The Symphony Association's orchestral and choral program is composed of a 75-member orchestra and 90-voice symphonic choir. Members of the orchestra and choir come from Great Falls and surrounding communities as far as 200 miles away. Auditions are held each September. The concert season consists of seven concerts. Special events are presented throughout the year such as a free Summer Pops concert, and special events such as ballet or national Broadway touring shows. Twice each season, free educational concerts are presented for students from Great Falls public and private schools, an average of 30 rural schools, senior citizens and people with disabilities.
(Musician Bios) (Chamber Series Schedule)
Having collaborated with renowned artists including Yo-Yo Ma, the Ying Quartet and Philip Aaberg, the Cascade Quartet brings the highest quality chamber music to Montana audiences. Members of the Cascade Quartet serve as principals in the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, teach privately, perform four double concerts on the Great Falls Symphony's Chamber Music Series, and travel several thousand miles annually presenting public and private concerts as well as educational school programs throughout the region.
The Cascade Quartet is available for performances and outreach activities. Please contact the Symphony office at (406)453-4102 for scheduling information.
(Musician Bios) (Chamber Series Schedule)
As the professional resident wind quintet of the Great Falls Symphony, members of the Chinook Winds Quintet serve as principal players in the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra as well as present chamber music and interactive school programs and residencies throughout Montana and the Northwest. The Chinook Winds have been performing throughout the region since 1992, both as a non-traditional woodwind trio and now as traditional wind quintet. Their performances have been praised for their excellent choice of literature, technical proficiency and wonderful artistry.
The Chinook Winds is available for performances and outreach activities. Please contact the Symphony office at (406)453-4102 for scheduling information.
Established in 1997, the Great Falls Youth Orchestra serves an average of 75 young musicians annually from numerous local public, private and home schools, as well as schools in communities outside Great Falls, as far away as Helena and Sunburst. Music plays a powerful role in promoting academic excellence and developing discipline. These were motivating factors in the Great Falls Symphony Association's decision to establish a Youth Orchestra program. Parents say the experience teaches their children about teamwork and "provides skills which will be helpful whether their students pursue music or another career in college." Auditions are held at the beginning of each school semester.
To engage one of the symphony's resident ensembles for your private event, organization or school, or to request more information about auditions or any GFSA program you may... CLICK ON THIS EMAIL LINK
Gordon J. Johnson (contact)
Music Director and Conductor
Received his education from Northwestern University and the University of Oregon, where he was twice awarded the prestigious Ruth Lorraine Close Award for doctoral studies. Maestro Johnson has studied with Leonard Bernstein, Erich Leinsdorf, Herbert Blomstedt and Michael Tilson Thomas. He served as Music Director of the Mesa, Arizona Symphony and also keeps a busy guest conducting schedule. It has included numerous appearances in the U.S. as well as internationally with the Kumamoto Symphony, Japan; L'Orchestra Nationale de Musique, Toulon France; the Guam Symphony and the Wilmslow and Blackburn Symphonies in England.
Paul Ritter (contact)
Symphonic Choir Conductor
Paul Ritter returns to Great Falls after serving as Supervisor of Fine Arts for the Missoula County Public Schools K-12, a position he held for 13 years. Before coming to Missoula, Mr. Ritter was the Director of Choirs at Great Falls High School from 1972-1996. He is in frequent demand as a clinician and guest conductor in the Northwest.
Executive Director, Carolyn Valacich
Administrative Assistant and Ticket Sales, Donna Hoey, Linda Remy
Education & Outreach Coordinator, Lucas Poe-Kiser
Orchestra Librarian and Personnel Manager, Kim Hoobler
Accounting, Ron Paulick
Choral Librarian, Hilary Ransdell