CVYO Photos

A June Jubilee * Summer Strings 2021

“Forever Joyful” virtual combined orchestra January 2021, conductor Ellen Hacker

September Outside Strings 2020, three separate orchestras conducted by Nicholas Gaudette

“Pure Imagination” virtual combined orchestra June 2020, conductor Ellen Hacker

Fall 2019

Bach Orchestra to Perform Commissioned Work

The Bach Orchestra will perform a piece commissioned by CVYO in honor of Jen Bellefeuille’s years of leadership.

The piece, “A Jog, Thought, and Drive,” was written by Nathan Crowe, a senior composition student and French horn player at St. Olaf College from Wheaton, IL. Next year Nathan will begin graduate study in composition at the San Francisco Conservatory.

Nathan writes this about the piece:

This work expresses sentiments of departure and gratitude toward Northfield and the greater Cannon Valley area. It’s made up of three sections, each of which is reflected in the title. The first section, “a jog,” delivers our materials in a straightforward manner, granting a perspective of having frequented the greater part of residential areas and trails of Northfield on foot. I have always found this exercise to be simple and yet vigorous in its own right. The overall character of this section, therefore, is energetic, exacted in what would be a practical tempo for jogging and reflecting this sense of rigorous simplicity.

After the most vibrant and intense iteration so far of these opening materials, the work then steps back, transitioning into the second section: “a thought.” During my years here, the practices surrounding jogging developed from being a habitual need or impulse to something calmer and more edifying. What it began to lend to me was a way to contemplate or wrestle with my thoughts during my personal growth. It is with this sense that the work moves through this section, taking on a more moderate pace and introducing some newer or more conflicted musical content. It delves into figures that are at times agitated, even wistful, and yet contemplative and lyrical as a confident, hopeful light sees us through.

The third and final section, “a drive,” jumps suddenly into gear with an imitative diversion between each section of the orchestra. As I drive through the Cannon Valley area alone, I find myself thinking the most deeply about my future. These musings often overflow and become clearer at high speeds in departure or return on the road. This ever-determined, insistent attitude defines the musical content of this section: it’s that home stretch in nonstop cruise control at 70mph, full of anticipation towards an inevitable and intense arrival. Despite whatever new challenges I might face in the coming years, this place has granted me a sense of conviction for how I might move forward. It is my hope that this same sense of determination can be shared by those undergoing a change in their lives.

Welcome Ellen Hacker, our new Music Director and Conductor!

Ellen Hacker

We are so excited to announce that Ellen Hacker has accepted our position as CVYO Music Director and Conductor starting the 2017-18 season! Here’s a little information about her:

Ellen is an active freelance musician and educator in the Twin Cities Metro area. She performs regularly on violin and viola with local theater companies such as Artistry, Theatre301, Yellow Tree Theater, Mixed Precipitation, and Old Log Theater. She is a founding member and violist in the Linden String Quartet, a violist in the Watercress String Trio, and a violinist in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to moving to the twin cities, she was a middle school orchestra teacher in Madison, WI where she taught seven orchestras with over 200 students.

Ellen received a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Instrumental Music Education from St. Olaf in 2012 and studied violin, viola and piano. She volunteered with CVYO and was a student teacher for Jen in Owatonna!

Her husband, Jonah, is a St. Olaf graduate and a string bass player. They live in south Minneapolis with their little black cat.

She will hear our April 25 spring auditions! We welcome Ellen into our CVYO community!