Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra


Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra reading sessions are open to musicians of all ages who can negotiate the music we play. Perfection is not expected, but players should be proficient on their instrument and have experience playing with an orchestral ensemble. A primary purpose of the reading sessions is to expose musicians to material they don’t know, and to offer an opportunity to improve and enjoy music they already have played.

String players can contact Craig Randal Johnson in advance, or simply show up ready to play! Wind and brass players, please contact Craig before coming to a rehearsal in order to learn if space is available.

Craig Randal Johnson can be reached by email at: crjmhahamusic@gmail.com

Season Repertoire

Works played at reading sessions or performed in concert

2022-2023 Season: Reading Sessions

  • Beethoven:  Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
  • Brahms: Tragic Overture, Op. 81
  • Brahms: Symphony No 3 in F Major, Op. 90
  • Elgar: Cockaigne Overture
  • Haydn, J.: Symphony No. 22 ‘Philosopher’
  • Haydn, J. Symphony No. 88 in G Major
  • Lully: Selections from ‘La Bourgeois gentilhomme’
  • Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer/ Wendy Lukaszewski, Soprano
  • Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C Major/ K. 425
  • Scarlatti, A.: Concerto Grosso in D (so-called Symphony in D)
  • Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43
  • Strauss, R.: Der Rosenkavalier, Waltz Sequence No. 1
  • Telemann: Water Music
  • Tchaikovsky:  Symphony No. 3 in D Major, Op. 29 “Polish”
  • Verdi: Prelude to ‘Rigoletto’
  • Verdi: La Forza del Destino Overture
  • Wagner: Overture to the Flying Dutchman
  • von Weber: Overture to Der Freischutz

Works Performed in Concert:  March 19, 2023

  • Chadwick: ‘Euterpe’ Concert Overture
  • Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
  • Guillaume, T.: Birds and Bugs
  • Dvorak: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104
  • Paul Kosower, Solo Cellist

Fall Schedule

The MRO reading sessions commence on September 16, 2023

All reading sessions will be held at Edina High School, in the orchestra room.
Sessions begin at 10:00 AM, and end at 12:30 PM.    

There is always coffee.

Session Dates:

  • September 16
  • September 30
  • October 14
  • October 28
  • November 11
  • November 25
  • December 9 (small group in all likelihood)
  • January 6, 2024 (probable concert rehearsal, at EHS)
  • January 13     (probable concert rehearsal, at EHS)


  • January 20/ rehearsal AM at Southview Middle School Auditorium
  • January 21/ concert at Southview Middle School Auditorium

Back to the Edina High School, Orchestra Room:

  • February 10
  • February 24
  • March 9
  • March 23
  • April 6
  • April 20

A Spring Gathering in May, is tentatively planned.  TBA.

Music parts availability: Selections are generally available online at the free site IMSLP. For some works hard published copies are available, and printouts from IMSLP and other sources can be mailed out or passed out. Parts are sent by email to those attending the reading sessions, ahead of time.


Welcome to the ninth season reading great symphonic repertoire with the Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra!

The MRO is the go-to orchestra for reading symphonic music in the Twin Cities. Over 150 folks of all ages, from across the region,  have participated with the orchestra, playing 125 plus classical and romantic symphonic selections. Numerous symphonies, tone poems, overtures and the like by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Haydn, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and many other composers have been ‘read’. Often 35-45 musicians participate in any given reading session. Members of the MRO have the opportunity to play concertos with the orchestra.  The orchestra typically plays a public symphony concert each season as well.  

To ‘read’ a musical part simply means to play through the part, either for the first time or after some practice, but not necessarily at the highest level of perfection or execution. ‘Reading’ enables any musician to improve their reading skills, learn or become acquainted with new and different music and to  play with others. Often our reading sessions afford the opportunity to revisit tricky passage work one already knows, or simply afford the opportunity to enjoy visiting an old musical friend.     

Providing a comfortable space and atmosphere where reading may take place in a positive fashion is a primary goal of the MRO. The orchestra plays straight through the selections at hand, with little rehearsal. Musicians get a good picture of complete works. We have the opportunity to play in a first class orchestra rehearsal space at Edina High School.  There is always coffee as well.  Musicians tell me that their instrumental playing and music reading skills have improved because of the Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra.  

I personally enjoy making music with instrumentalists, friends, new and old faces who play our reading sessions. If you are interested in playing at Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra reading sessions please contact me at the email address below. And please visit other pages on our website for additional information.

See you at an upcoming reading session with the MRO!

All best wishes,

Craig Randal Johnson
Artistic Director/ Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra

Musician Participation

Musicians of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to play with the Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra. There is no official audition procedure, but wind and brass players interested in playing should contact Craig Randal Johnson in advance to discuss available parts and expectations for their instrument. The orchestra welcomes string players at any time.

The orchestra partially functions on a rotation basis, allowing musicians to skip an occasional reading session and permitting others to play. Musicians who regularly play with the orchestra will have greater opportunities in the longer term, including performance and concerto reading possibilities with the Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra.

Contact Artistic Director Craig Randal Johnson if you wish to play!

E-mail: crjmhahamusic@gmail.com
Phone: 612-804-9679

Season repertoire through 2022

Directions to Edina High School:

From Highway 62/ Crosstown take the Tracy Ave. exit. Turn south. At the round-about proceed straight through and up the hill. Bear right at the stop sign at the top of the hill. Edina High School will be on your right. Proceed to the far entrance (at the Edina High School sign) and drive down the hill.   You will see Door 5 on the right, which is the main entrance. Park and go in Door 5. The orchestra room is up one floor; take either the steps or the nearby elevator. Turn right from the steps, or left from the elevator, go a short distance down the hall and through the brown doors on the right.   You will be at the orchestra room.