Graduates participate in annual event

Orchestra throws alumni concert


Mimi Fhima

Orchestra alumni Justin Kottke and BJ Kremen Goldman practice with sophomore Ilana Meisler for the alumni concert. The concert will take place Dec. 17 and admission is free.

Mimi Fhima

A variety of musicians will gather and participate in the annual alumni concert at Park, according to orchestra director Miriam Edgar. Edgar said the concert allows past students and current students to perform together for an enjoyable, music-filled night.

Edgar said the annual event brings community members together each year.

“This has been going since before I was a student here. I think Mr. Chlebecek started this tradition,” Edgar said.

Sophomore musician Olivia Gredler said she looks forward to seeing past students at the alumni concert.

“I think it is fun to see all of the seniors who graduated last year and the other alumni,” Gredler said.

Alumni Justin Kottke graduated from Park in 2015 and said the program continues to affect his musical career.

“I have played with St. Louis Park my whole life so they shaped my entire playing ability,” Kottke said.

Alumni BJ Kremen Goldman graduated from Park in 1974 and said Park orchestra contributed to the development of her musical skill.

“I learned to play violin under Mr. Chlebecek, the founder of the orchestra program,” Goldman said. “It absolutely shaped all of my musical endeavors.”

Edgar said the music played at the concert varies each year.

“I usually like to have at least one classical piece and one romantic or modern era piece, and then I kind of fill in from there,” Edgar said.

According to Edgar, the orchestra plans to perform one of her favorite pieces.

“This year we are playing the Holberg Suite by Grieg. It is one of my absolute favorite orchestra pieces,” Edgar said.

Gredler said placement of the alumni and student members presents a challenge.

“Usually the seating chart isn’t arranged until the very last minute because we have the alumni coming in on the last day. You never really know where you are going to end up, which is exciting,” Gredler said.

In addition, Goldman said she enjoys Edgar’s instruction.

“Another thing that excites me is being under the direction of Miriam Zien Edgar, she is fantastic,” Goldman said.

According to Goldman, the alumni concert offers a great opportunity for her to perform and be a part of the community.

“(The concert) gives me the opportunity to play new music and it keeps my skills up,” Goldman said. “I look forward to it. It is one of the highlights of my year.”

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 in the high school auditorium with free admission.