Northern Valley Youth Orchestra to record performance March 14

Crookston Times

Northern Valley Youth Orchestras: “Innovate: Season 10”

Sunday March 14th (viewable later)

Alerus Center

Online viewing free; pay what you can. 

“Innovate” 10th season press release:

The musicians of Northern Valley Youth Orchestras will perform on Sunday March 14, in the Alerus Center, in a recorded format. The performance will be available for public viewing and listening at a later date.  The two NVYO student symphony orchestras will perform symphonic masterpieces new and old, centered around the “Innovate” theme, including two world premieres, one of which was commissioned by NVYO to celebrate its 10th performance season.  Concert viewing online will be available free on the NVYO Facebook and Youtube channels, with freewill donations appreciated.

Selections on the March performance, which will be recorded by HB Sound and Light, include a number of works by historically underrepresented composers and celebrate the diversity of heritage our students, staff and coaches all bring to the classical music experience. NVYO Symphony will perform the world premiere of living composer Christopher Ducasse’s Eritaj (“Heritage,” in Haitian Creole), the world premiere of local composer Callie Stadem’s “Innovate: Draft 8,” commissioned by NVYO, and the lively and exciting Overture to the Merry Wives of Windsor, by Otto Nicolai. Philharmonic’s selections include Florence Price’s “The Old Boatman”, along with arrangements of symphonic favorites “Slavonic Dance #8,”by Antonin Dvorak, and “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin. Students have been rehearsing since January, with opportunities to talk with the composers who wrote the two world premieres and extra mentoring from area teachers and professionals.

NVYO Symphony, conducted by Dr. Kevin Sütterlin and assistant conductor Dr. Cody Hunter, and Philharmonic, led by Kara Hartten, are both comprised of string, wind, brass and percussion student musicians from area cities and towns in Minnesota and North Dakota including Grand Forks, Thompson, Michigan, Northwood; East Grand Forks, Crookston, Thief River Falls, and Lake Bronson. NVYO programs provide challenging symphonic technique and performance opportunities for young musicians aged 9 to 21, within a supportive setting, with mentors and coaches from the area. NVYO participants make music, make friends, and use their talents to make a difference in the community. Previous recorded performances this season have been shared publicly with retirement homes, memory care centers, and the general public.

Northern Valley Youth Orchestras is supported this season by the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund Phase 1, an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by an anonymous donor; additional support was received from the North Dakota Department of Commerce Economic Resiliency Grant. NVYO programming is also supported in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks, and region, which receives funding from the City of Grand Forks; and a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding for the winter rehearsals and performances was received from the Myra Foundation, and the Neel Family Foundation Fund, via the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region. Additional loan of equipment and technical support has been received from a number of individual donors, in addition to local schools, music stores, the Alerus Center, Empire Arts Center and African Arts Arena. NVYO is proud to be celebrating ten years of making music, making friends, and making a difference in the Greater Grand Forks community.


Northern Valley Youth Orchestras is excited to announce that is was selected by the Arts Midwest Resiliency Fund advisors as one of sixty-one organizations to receive financial support to catalyze recovery and build resilience for arts and cultural organizations facing disruption and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding came at a critical time for NVYO, as we planned for the second half of our 10th season. The generous funding allowed us to provide the level of excellence in instruction and performance our students and community have come to expect, despite the additional challenges everyone has faced this year.

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund’s goal is to invest in historically under-resourced arts and culture organizations across the United States as they work to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with these priorities, 22 of the funded organizations are led by and serving people of color and/or Indigenous communities, and 11 are based in rural areas. Recipients may direct United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund grants to their most pressing needs and opportunities, from response activities to investments that build resiliency and sustainability.

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund will continue to support organizations across the Midwest beyond this first wave of funding. Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor, an additional $1.5 million in support will be invested in additional Midwest organizations that are small, rural, and/or led by and serving people of color and Indigenous communities in late November 2020.

“These organizations play a critical role in the civic and economic vitality of our communities and are core to our quality of life in the Midwest,” says Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest. “We are proud to be partnering with our state arts agencies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and our fellow U.S. Regional Arts Organizations on this recovery effort, and are humbled by the continued need for support within and beyond these communities.”

For more information on Northern Valley Youth Orchestra, contact Naomi Welsh  by email at or call 701-213-0310 (cell)