Support the BSO today!

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra has had a wildly successful year, selling out concerts at the Masonic Heritage Center and the Schneider Theater, welcoming over 200 students to our concerts, and by taking on increasing musical challenges through the performance of masterworks by Debussy, Bernstein, and Tchaikovsky.

The BSO is working hard to enrich the lives of our audiences and musicians with outstanding performances of challenging, educational, and thoughtfully selected orchestral repertoire through our concerts and weekly rehearsals. To continue this work, we need your help!

Your support helps us provide this music at a low ticket price for audiences, and admit students for free, in fine venues close to home. It also helps support our appearance at the Bloomington Orchestra Festival, where hundreds of Bloomington Public Schools string students get to hear the BSO play in their school, and perform side-by-side with high school musicians.

If you are able, we would love for you to contribute to help us achieve our mission of enriching lives through orchestral music. You can give in three tax-deductible ways:

  • Send a check made out to “BSO” to our office at 1800 West Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, MN 55431
  • Online via our PayPal link
  • Online via GiveMN
All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent of the law and donors will be recognized in our concert programs. To discuss recognition opportunities at the $500 level and above, contact Sara Tan, General Manager via email. Thank you in advance for your support of the Bloomington Symphony and for helping us keep this beautiful art form vibrant, here in the Twin Cities!

PS — Our Board of Directors is continuing to match donations up to $5,450. We are 65% of the way there, and every gift at any amount will help us meet this match!


Give in November

There are three great ways to give in the month of November!

  1. Send a check to “BSO” to the BSO Office at 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN 55431
  2. Shop with us at Talbots on November 5. invite with full details!.
  3. Participate in Give the Max Day on the GiveMN website.
  4. You can make a online donation on our PayPal page.

We especially appreciate gifts sent to our office; the full value of your gift goes directly to the BSO. We are grateful for whatever way you choose to give, whether it through shopping or giving online through GiveMN.

Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.



Musician’s Musing – February 2017

Karen Nordstrom, former BSO cellist and current concert sponsor

This month’s Musician’s Musings was written by former BSO cellist and current concert sponsor, Karen Nordstrom. Karen and her husband Dr. Leonard (Bud) Nordstrom, have been longtime chair sponsors. They recently decided to sponsor a concert and their first recognition as concert sponsors will come in April 2017. We asked Karen to share a few words of experience and this is what she wrote. 

From the time I was a very young girl growing up in Milwaukee, music was a big part of my life. My mother played the piano. Mom and Dad sang with the Arians, a great Milwaukee choir. I sang with the Junior Arians. Mom began encouraging me to play piano at a young age and taught me where middle C was on our piano. When our church organist, Elfrieda Winninger, asked me at church one Sunday where middle C was, I said it was at home. Well, they decided to wait a bit with piano lessons. Mrs. Winninger would one day be my piano teacher for 7 years.

Mom and I attended Milwaukee Symphony concerts, sitting very close to the front in my warm blanket coat and sometimes nodding off, but still listening. I had two much older sisters, Gloria and Joyce, who as young girls played cello and violin, respectively. However, before I reached the age of having memory, those girls were off to college and I never did hear them play their instruments. One day I decided to try the violin. It was a more manageable size. That wasn’t for me. So at age 11, I chose Gloria’s cello, taking lessons, and loving it—my mellow cello. It was an easier instrument to play, by far, than the violin.

As a youth, I participated in our high school orchestra as well as CAP, Children’s Art Program, in greater Milwaukee, an orchestra that met down at the War Memorial building on the shore of Lake Michigan. Those were very enjoyable years and cemented friendships that carry through to this day.

Off to St Olaf College in 1959, and packing my cello, I auditioned for the St Olaf Orchestra and made it! As a nursing student, it perhaps wasn’t a wise thing to do, as with the tough science courses plus all the rest, I should’ve been studying more. When for a brief time I was “on probation” due to grades, it was suggested I perhaps quit the orchestra freshman year, I declined that suggestion, and just buckled down a bit more. WHEW! I made it through.

After graduation in 1963, I took a few years off from even thinking about joining an orchestra. Working 40 hours a week as a pediatric nurse, I was too busy to manage the practicing required I would need to be in a good orchestra. In 1966, I tried out for the Minneapolis Civic and played with that group until 1987 when I joined BSO, playing until ulner neuropathy began in my fingering hand. The numbness, tingling, and reduced strength of that left hand caused me  to leave my beloved BSO several years ago. But I had played for almost 60 years and that was a good thing. Now my husband and I enjoy attending the concerts and seeing this great orchestra blossom and thrive. My cello awaits my 11 year old granddaughter who as a 5th grader here in Bloomington, decided on the cello. She is a third generation cellist, her dad being the second, and I am relishing passing mellow cello on to the next generation.

My husband, Bud, too feels that this is a priority with our giving to our beloved Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, one of the crown jewels, which makes this city great!

Thank you, Karen and Bud, for your faithful donations and concert attendance! To learn more about how you can support the BSO’s efforts – no matter the level – visit the Support page on this website.


BSO Benefit Recital 2016 Photos


Support the BSO – Benefit Recital

Michael Sutton, Violin

Michael Sutton, Violin
photo by Joel Larson

The Bloomington Symphony is supported in large part by donations from our audience members and playing members. One of the fundraisers we do is a benefit recital presented by our concertmaster, in a private home. This year Michael Sutton will be joined by pianist Sonja Thompson in a program featuring great violin works by Mozart, Ysaye & Franck. BSO Principal clarinetist Karen Hansen will host the recital in her St. Paul home on Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m.

The tickets for the benefit recital are $100 and include the performance by Michael and Sonja, along with drinks and light appetizers. $75 of each ticket is tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

Seating is limited and we urge you to purchase tickets as early as possible to ensure availability.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, email or call Brianna at 612-360-7762.

The recital is supported by the contributions of Michael Sutton, Karen Hansen, the BSO Board of Directors and piano tuner John McKone, all of whom are providing products and services to make the recital a success.


Board Match Announced for Give to the Max Day

 The BSO Board of Directors is pleased to announce a matching gift of $1,825 for Thursday’s Give to the Max Day! With your help, we can help raise $3,650 to purchase much-needed percussion equipment, a conductor’s music stand and continue the tradition of high quality classical orchestral music in Bloomington and beyond!

We encourage you to give online on Thursday using the link below, or if you prefer, you can send a check with “GTMD” written in the memo line, to our office at 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, MN 55431. Checks received by November 30 will be part of the board’s matching gift.

All gifts are acknowledged in our concert programs.

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra


Program Acknowledgement Opportunity

The Bloomington Symphony invites individuals, businesses, clubs, and families to be a part the pilot group for our “Program Acknowledgements.” This new initiative allows groups or individuals to purchase a text-only mention in our concert program. For more information, please view the BSO Acknowledgement Invitation. To reserve a space or learn more about this initiative, please contact our General Manager at

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