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Madeleine Folkerts, new principal horn

On July 31 the Great Falls Symphony held auditions for Principal Horn. The winner of the auditions will also serve as a member of the Great Falls Symphony’s resident woodwind quintet, the Chinook Winds. These auditions were very competitive and several highly qualified musicians from around the world submitted applications.

Seven applicants were ultimately invited to Great Falls and performed for an audition committee, comprised of Music Director Grant Harville, and members of the Chinook Winds, and Cascade Quartet. The process included two rounds: one blind round where each applicant performed excerpts from horn concerto repertoire and orchestral selections, and one final open round where advancing applicants performed with the Chinook Winds, presented a brief educational demonstration and had an interview. The Principal Horn position was offered to and accepted by Madeleine Folkerts of Port Orchard, Washington.

Madeleine Folkerts graduated from St. Olaf College in 2017, where she majored in horn performance and psychology/neuroscience. She was a three-year principal of the St. Olaf Orchestra and Band, and has appeared as a soloist with the band, orchestra, and in the St. Olaf Christmas Festival. Ms. Folkerts has performed with the National Repertory Orchestra (2017), and previously attended the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute (2016) and the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute (2015). When she is not playing horn, Ms. Folkerts enjoys running, hiking, and learning about music through the lens of neuroscience.

Ms. Folkerts will have her first performances with the Chinook Winds soon after moving to Montana. She will perform with the quintet at Chamber Fun 101 at 12pm on Saturday, September 9 (Heritage Hall, Great Falls College MSU), and on the Great Falls Symphony’s first Chamber Music Series program, Fall Flavors, which features pairings of music and food from Wines by Wednesday, Cory Block Bakery, Prairie Heritage Farms, and A Land of Grass. Fall Flavors performances are on Sunday, September 24, at 2pm (Heritage Hall, Great Falls College MSU), and on Tuesday, September 26, at 7pm (Wines by Wednesday’s new 5th and Vine event space).

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