Our History

The Allegro Orchestral Association (ALLEGRO) began in 1995 with the formation of Allegro Sinfonia,
a community orchestra that performed free community orchestra concerts in the western suburbs.
For 14 years, Allegro Sinfonia presented high quality, free orchestra concerts throughout the year to those in the western suburbs and beyond. Its members were accomplished musicians from
throughout the Twin Cities who donated their time and talent.  At its peak, Allegro Sinfonia was one
of the nation’s finest all-volunteer community orchestras.  The orchestra performed over 80 free concerts and offered qualified musicians the opportunity to perform great orchestral literature throughout the year. Additionally, the orchestra collaborated with the Wayzata Community Church Chancel Choir for two performances each season.  Allegro Sinfonia was the orchestra-in-residence at Wayzata Community Church for the last eleven years of its existence.

Allegro Sinfonia established a reputation as a first-rate ensemble with a history of creative programming.  The inaugural concert was on December 9, 1995 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins and the orchestra performed its final concert on April 24, 2009 at Wayzata Community Church, which was the group’s home since 1998.  The orchestra regularly featured well-known soloists from Minnesota and beyond; past soloists include organist Diana Lee Lucker, soprano Maria Jette, pianist Baya Kakouberi, violinists Nathan Cole, Sarah Kwak, Angela Fuller, and Peter McGuire, and cellist Joseph Johnson.  Allegro Sinfonia also featured music by Minnesota composers such as Libby Larsen, Randall Davidson and Carol Barnett.

In ALLEGRO’s commitment to teaching youth how to play in orchestras, the organization offered string classes in the Wayzata School District for five years providing lessons during after-school hours for more than 300 students.  In addition, we offered a beginning youth orchestra experience for the students who wanted additional opportunities to play.

In 1999, we began to sponsor the Allegro Orchestra Camp, which was featured on a KARE 11 Extra
in 2005 highlighting its unique, one of a kind experience.  For 11 years, Allegro presented the Allegro Orchestra Camp and we invited MacPhail to administer the camp starting with the Summer 2010 session. The name Allegro Orchestra Camp remains, along with the camp location, format and majority of the fine staff. Allegro Con Brio continues to serve as orchestra-in-residence.  We recognized a need to offer this unique camp to the community so many years ago and over a thousand campers have benefitted from the experience.  Now, we are proud that MacPhail will continue on the tradition of presenting this amazing orchestra camp with William Stuber remaining
as its Artistic Director.

In 2003, ALLEGRO sponsored its first Allegro Con Brio concert.  The first concert, “Human Character”, an event featuring The Three Sopranos (Elisabeth Comeaux, Maria Jette, and Joanna Johnston) on June 5 & 6, 2003, 7:00 p.m. at the Hopkins Center for the Arts (HCA). This innovative event was an exploration of humanity through visual and performing arts.  Prior to the concert, the audience heard the sounds of cool jazz in the lobby while tasting food and wandering through two art exhibits.  The concert included Beethoven’s Symphony #3 (the Heroic Symphony) and vocal selections reflecting the four different human characteristics brought out by the four movements of the symphony.  The Three Sopranos will sing solos, duets, and trios depicting heroic, tragic, comedic, and romantic characteristics, such as the Card scene from Carmen, an aria from The Magic Flute, and works by Libby Larsen, Rossini, and Wagner.   

In 2004, Allegro Con Brio presented "Musical Comedy . . .orchestra music with a sense of humor"
a concert event featuring Stevie Ray, national comedian, Sopranos Elisabeth Comeaux and Joanna Johnston, and composer/narrator Randall Davidson on Saturday, June 19, 2004, 8:00 p.m. The concert, conducted by William Stuber, includes Davidson’s The Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony #8, Herbert's Art is Calling For Me, Strauss' Laughing Song and music by Mozart, Rossini, and more.  At the 2nd Annual Allegro Con Brio Event, audience members will learn about the benefits of music; our goal is to educate audience members about the value of music and laughter in everyday life. Artistic Director William Stuber said  “This year’s concert shows how humor and laughter are found in music, and we will describe some of the benefits of laughter and music.” 

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