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The Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra is excited to embark on its 59th season.         

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Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra announces our new conductor.

Stephen J. Ramsey (Music Director/Conductor) is the founding music director of the Dakota Valley Symphony. He is in his 31 st season conducting the Symphony and the Summer Pops Orchestra. He is also in his 23rd season as Music director/Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra of Austin, Minnesota. After assisting James Riccardo on several occasions with his duties as the founding music director of the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Orchestra, Ramsey has been pleased to serve as its music director for the past six years.

A well-known conductor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Ramsey has led performances at many area colleges, concert halls and churches. He has served as music director and conductor for Lakeshore Players and Applause Community Theater. He has held the positions of Director of Ensembles for Hamline University and Conducting Associate for the St. Paul Civic Symphony. At various times, he has also been the music director for productions by Chimera Theater, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and the Minneapolis Jewish Community Center’s Chamber Orchestra, mixed chorus, women’s chorus, and their Genesis Theater Company.

Ramsey is an active guest conductor throughout the upper Midwest, and has led the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, the Bloomington Symphony, the Minnesota Youth Symphonies, the St. Paul Jewish Community Center Orchestra, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra, the Central Chamber Orchestra, the Suburban East High School Orchestra Festival, and the Des Moines Junior High School Music Festival Orchestra.

Ramsey holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He has studied with Leonard Slatkin, William McGlaughlin, Dr. Glenn Block, Dr. Lee Humphries, Max Rudolph, Dr. Maurice Jones, Dr. Samuel Jones, Harold Farberman, Kirk Muspratt, Dr. Eph Ehly, and Dr. James Sample.

Steve is so very pleased to have the opportunity to serve the members of the Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra, it’s very active board of directors, and its tremendously supportive audiences. Please welcome him into the Willmar community and tell him what you would like to hear!!!

Upcoming Concerts

(ticket prices below)

Poetry in Music
Saturday, November 5, 2016, 7PM
Willmar Education and Arts Center (WEAC)

Gliere: Russian Sailors’ Dance from the Red Poppy
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2, Elise Kartheiser, Piano
Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess
Liszt: Les Preludes
Marquez: Danzon No 2

Blue Jeans, Billy, and Beethoven
Sunday, January 8, 2017, 3PM
Willmar Education and Arts Center (WEAC)

Beethoven: Egmont Overture
McLaughlin: Selections from Starry Night, Billy McLaughlin, guitar
Beethoven: Symphony No 7

Once Upon a Time
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 3 PM
Willmar Education and Arts Center (WEAC)

Nicolai: Merry Wives of Windsor Overture
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
Mozart: Violin Concerto No 5, Peter McGuire, Violin
Anderson Lopez: Music from Frozen

Young Artists’ Concert
Saturday, April 29, 2017 7 PM
Willmar Education and Arts Center (WEAC)

Rimsky Korsakov: Procession of the Nobles
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2
Selections from the Young Artist Competition Winners



Tickets at the door

  • Adult $10
  • Family Pack 2 adults and unlimited number of children $25
  • Students 5-18 $5
  • Under 5 Free

Season Tickets

  • Adults $32
  • Students (5-18) $15
  • Family Pack for 2 adults and an unlimited number of children $85

The Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra is a 501 (C) (3) non profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible.