Variations on a Shaker Melody
Symphony no. 3
Spirit Chief Names the Animal People
Calusa Corn Dance
Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon
The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, now in its second century, ranks among America’s top symphonic ensembles, with a distinguished history of acclaimed performances in its home state and around the world; award-winning recordings, broadcasts and educational engagement programs; and a commitment to intentionally build concert programs to feature more works by composers of color, exploring music both contemporary and historic. This fall, Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård begins his tenure as music director.
Kalena Bovell is an American conductor, speaker and poet. She is a 2022-2024 awardee of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship. After making her professional debut as the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Assistant Conductor in 2015, Bovell has served as a guest conductor at several orchestras around the United States, including the Oakland Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory and is currently the Assistant Conductor at the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and conducts the Memphis Youth Symphony. Coming to classical music later than many of her contemporaries, much of Bovell’s artistic philosophy stems from her unorthodox journey to conducting.
Though Kalena showed promise as a violinist, a lack of musical resources meant her first private lesson would come at 18. Her experience far behind the typical conservatory-trained musician, Kalena found a new home as a conductor, and worked six jobs to fund the many plane tickets, workshops, and conducting lessons required to excel. Hoping to inspire younger musicians, Bovell shares this unique journey to professional conducting as often as possible.
Shekela Wanyama (she/her/hers) is a freelance conductor-educator based in Minneapolis. Currently, she serves on the faculty of the University of Minnesota and Hamline University, and on the music staff at Unity Church-Unitarian. Recent conducting engagements have included programs with the Minnesota Chorale, Singers in Accord and Vocalpoint. She sings with Border CrosSing and the Minnesota Chorale, and has previously performed with choirs in the United States and Germany.
Cheng Xiong grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and received his Bachelors of Art in Dance at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Though he began his journey as a street dancer, he currently collaborates with professional dance companies such as Black Label Movement, STRONGmovement and BRKFST Dance Company. In 2015 Xiong and Black Label presented the “Bodystorming Hits Bangalore” initiative in partnership with the National Centre for Biological Science in Bangalore, India. In 2019, Xiong received a residency at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. After premiering “60/40” with BRKFST Dance in 2021, they did their first tour residency in Dublin, Ireland.
Alongside his repertoire of performances, Xiong is a Breakdance instructor and educator. He has taught at after-school programs such as Washington Technology Magnet Middle, Hazel Park Preparatory Academy, and Ramsey Middle through the East Side Arts Council. At present, Xiong is currently teaching at Cypher Side Dance School.
Pasha Yang is a rising dancer in the Minnesota dance scene. She started off her journey at age 6 with traditional styles such as Hmong, Thai and Chinese. After 10 years of competitive traditional dancing, she began to pursue her love for Kpop and dance. She was a part of Minnesota Kpop Dance Crew (MKDC) and had the honor of representing the U.S. in 2019 for the Kpop Cover Dance Festival in South Korea.
- ASL Interpretation
- Armless & Bariatric Chairs
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Large-Print Programs
- Open Captioning
- Noise-Cancelling Headphones
- Service Animals
- Wheelchair & Accessible Seating
Additional services are available upon request.
Mary Ann Feldman Music Education Fund
Angela S. Pennington and W. Anders Folk Student Ticket Fund