"To provide a unique orchestral experience leading to performances that shape, educate and inspire lives of developing youth musicians in the communities of Central Minnesota."
ENCORE ARTISTIC/MUSIC DIRECTOR & FOUNDER
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Michael Zellgert attended University of Wisconsin-Superior where he studied violin performance and conducting, including both choral and orchestral technique with Diane Balko and David Scott. In addition, he received mentoring under Markand Thakar (Peabody Institute of The John Hopkins University) and Yong-Yan Hu (Rostock Philharmonie & Shanghai Broadcast Symphony).
Zellgert has appeared as a soloist with community and university orchestras throughout Minnesota and part of Wisconsin including Gustavus Adolphus College and University of Wisconsin - Superior. He has served as concertmaster of the Itasca Symphony Orchestra, UW-Superior Chamber Orchestra, Heartland Symphony Orchestra, and St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra along with performing as a violinist with the Minnesota Ballet, the Duluth Festival Opera, and the Lyric Opera of the North.
Throughout his career as a violinist, he has performed with small ensembles including the Dynamic String Quartet, Highland Quartet, Saint Benedicta Trio, Pastiche, and Music Saint Croix.
Michael has served as the music director of the Woodland Community Orchestra, Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra, and Crow River Area Youth Orchestra and is a guest and cover conductor with regional orchestras including the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra, Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Community Orchestra, and Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra. His interest in music education has led him to conduct string sectionals for the College of St. Benedict/St John's University Orchestra, clinics for high school orchestras, and has adjudicated auditions for solo/ensembles and camps including Interlochen Camp for the Arts.
In addition to performing and conducting, Zellgert has held office on orchestra and arts boards throughout Minnesota including the Chamber Music Society of St. Cloud and the Prairie Arts Council. His background has included administrative positions like the Director of Operations & Personnel with the Duluth-Superior Symphony and Computer Systems Manager with the St. Cloud Housing & Redevelopment Authority.
Michael maintains a private studio, a member with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, 2nd violin principal with the St Cloud Symphony Orchestra, member of the St Cloud String Quartet, the Islay Trio, and artistic director/founder of the Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra.
Rhonda Johnson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from St. Cloud State University and holds a current teaching license issued by the Minnesota Department of Education. For the past three summers Rhonda has attended the American Suzuki Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point earning certifications in the Suzuki Method of Talent Education. Rhonda started her career by heading the Elk River Area Arts Council’s Strings For Youth program. For the past 18 years, Rhonda has taught orchestra in the St. Cloud area public and parochial school systems.
Rhonda has also enjoyed opportunities to perform outside the ‘classical’ realm on violin, viola and cello. Rhonda was recruited to be a part of the string quartet backing up music legend Bobby Vee for the fundraiser Rockin’ Round the Clock.
This branched out to include his Christmas shows throughout the region, playing at Big Top Chautauqua in Washburn, Wisconsin with Bobby and Buddy Holly’s band The Crickets, and in 2009 at 50 Winters Later in Clear Lake, Iowa with Bobby, The Crickets and The Smithereens. Rhonda has also done the Bridge over Troubled Water album with local band Collective Unconscious.
Rhonda and her husband, John, opened their own music store, Johnsons' Violins in St. Cloud to keep string playing alive in Central Minnesota. Currently, she performs with the St Cloud Symphony Orchestra and the Bethlehem Chamber Orchestra, teaches in her own private studio, with the St. Cloud Suzuki Studio and at St. John's Preparatory School giving middle school string lessons and an instructor/conductor for the Crow River Area Youth Orchestra and Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra.
Laura Lydia Dahl has played in the St. Cloud Symphony since 2001 as well as other ensembles
which has allowed her to explore orchestral, pit theatre, chamber groups, and solo events.
She is active with the Amadeus Chamber Symphony, St. John’s Boys’ Choir orchestra, Bethlehem Chamber Orchestra, the GREAT Theatre pit orchestra, L’unica Quartet, and solo gigs. Laura received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in May of 2016 from St. Cloud State University.
Tina Lamberts has over 20 years of experience teaching cello. In addition to her private lesson studio, Mrs. Lamberts has taught general and instrumental music at neighborhood outreach centers in Chicago as well as after-school programs in central MN. She been teaching and playing cello in central Minnesota since 2001. Mrs. Lamberts has completed numerous courses in music education, performance and studio teaching at St. Cloud State University, Lipscomb University in Nashville and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2010,
Mrs. Lamberts was awarded a Central MN Arts Board Individual Artist Grant to study with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra principal cellist, Berndt Bohman. Mrs. Lamberts performs regularly with the L’unica Quartet. This ensemble (as a trio) was chosen by Minnesota Public Radio as 2014/2015 Class Notes Artists making presentations in grade schools throughout Minnesota. In addition to local chamber ensembles, chorales and churches, Mrs. Lamberts has performed with ensembles including the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra. Mrs. Lamberts is excited to be a part of the CMYO family!