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Minnesota Orchestra

Musical Mentor Program

Philosophy and Mission

Click and Become A Musical Mentor Today

The Musical Mentor Program of the Young People’s Symphony Concert Association (YPSCA) is rooted in the organization’s philosophy to instill in young people an appreciation for classical music and the Minnesota Orchestra.  Musical Mentors send a classroom of students to a Young People’s Concert to experience the Minnesota Orchestra as it performs live on stage at Orchestra Hall with a program designed especially for them.  For many it is their first introduction to a symphony orchestra and an experience of a life-time!

We believe hearing music performed live awakens a young person’s musical curiosity and lays the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment. Students learn from this experience that composers use music to convey ideas, just as authors use text.  We are optimistic that our Musical Mentor program develops an increased understanding and appreciation of symphonic music in general and particularly a new appreciation for our great Minnesota Orchestra!


The Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concert program is the oldest series in the United States and originated in 1911.  This surpasses even those of other major U.S. orchestras and says a lot about the heritage in Minnesota for taking an interest in the education of our young people. 

Musical Mentor Program Operations

The annual budget for the Musical Mentor Program is approximately $15,000, which supports 18 elementary schools and close to 2,000 students.  Cost per student averages just over $8.00.

The schools included in this program are 10 elementary schools in Robbinsdale, four elementary schools in Richfield and four elementary schools in Columbia Heights.  All schools also receive in-school musical education programs tailored to the concert they select and bus transportation to and from the concert hall.  Students with special needs are accommodated, so that they can also enjoy the concerts. 

The Musical Mentor Program sends professional musicians Rolf Erdahl, string bassist, and Carrie Vecchione, oboist, to each of the schools to present selections of the music to be heard at the concert and stories and material that enhance the understanding and appreciation of the music.  These programs are greatly enjoyed by teachers and students alike. 

Community Partnerships

We encourage and need community organizations to partner with us to fund these programs.   All contributions of any size are appreciated and helps us enlarge the program and reach out to support other students and schools.  Thursday Musical, a local arts organization, partners with YPSCA in funding the in-school education programs.   

Who are the Musical Mentors? 

Musical Mentors come from all sectors of our community.  Some are members of the Young People’s Symphony Concert Association and some are non-members who choose to just donate to the Musical Mentor Program.  Contributions range from $150 to $1,000.  Some donors also designate matching funds from companies or foundations with which they are affiliated.  

In our Centennial Year of 2011, we reached a milestone of 100 Musical Mentors!  The number of Musical Mentors has increased in the past five years, with an average of 50 Musical Mentors annually. Our goal is to increase that number to 75 donors annually, to sustain and grow the program.  

Why become a Musical Mentor?

Well, - it just may be the best $8.00 you ever spent on a student!  

You can be a Musical Mentor with an annual contribution of $150, which is fully tax-deductible. The Musical Mentor Program dedicates 100 percent of the contributions solely to the expenses associated with bringing students to the Young People’s Concerts.  New donors are needed to enhance the program and reach more schools and students in need of support to attend the Young People’s Concerts.   

Your $150 will support bringing a classroom of students to Orchestra Hall to hear the great Minnesota Orchestra performing live just for them!  It will be a gift long remembered and provide a rich musical experience to our Minnesota young people!

A Musical Mentor:  

  • Believes young people will enjoy the experience of hearing the Minnesota Orchestra live at Orchestra Hall.
  • Believes young people will learn something new and enriching about music by attending a Young People’s Concert.
  • Looks for opportunities to support the musical education of young people, such as sending schools and students to the Young People’s Concerts.
  • Contributes $150 annually to YPSCA’s Musical Mentor Program as part of their stewardship in bringing classical music to young people. 
  • Encourages others to join them as a Musical Mentor so YPSCA can reach out to more students. 

Thank you to all of our Musical Mentors!