Digital Program: Holiday Fantasy

December 11, 2021

Ernesto Estigarribia, Conductor & Artistic Director Candidate

Pre-concert Discussion 2:00pm & Concert 3:00pm
Ritsche Auditorium, St. Cloud State University


  • Christmas Overture (1911) by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), Orchestration by Sydney Baynes (1925)
    Read Program Notes >
  • Sleigh Ride (1948) by Leroy Anderson (1908-1975)
    Read Program Notes >
  • A Christmas Festival (1950) by Leroy Anderson (1908-1975)

This activity is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Ernesto Estigarribia, Conductor + Artistic Director Candidate

Read Biography >

Owen Janni, Vocal Soloist

Read Biography >

We need YOUR input!

This year, we’re highlighting 4 candidates to be our next Principal Conductor & Artistic Director, and we need YOUR help! Click the button below to share your thoughts on your concert experience and the candidates. OR, download the PDF to fill it out at home and scan/send in via email or mail it in. Your input is important to us!

Program Notes

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Christmas Overture

Born to an English mother and a father from Sierra Leone, Coleridge-Taylor achieved much success as a composer defying societal odds of the 20th century. Unfortunately, his life ended prematurely at age 37. His career was very prolific and successful and included three tours to the United States. Perhaps one of his most famous works, Christmas Overture, is based on the traditional Christmas carols Good King Wenceslas, Hark the Herald Angels, and God rest you, merry gentlemen. The themes are masterfully treated, with inventive counterpoint and joyful energy.

back to program >

The Snowman – Howard Blake

About the Composer: Howard Blake

British composer, conductor, and pianist Howard Blake has gained acclaim during his extensive and prolific career. His best-known work is the 1982 soundtrack to the television special ‘The Snowman.’ 

About “The Snowman”

‘The Snowman’ is an animated film is based on a children’s picture book by the same name created by Raymond Briggs. Howard Blake’s colorful orchestration exquisitely blends with the film to create a unique and rich experience. The song ‘Walking in the Air’ is deeply touching, evocative, yet reflecting. 

The story takes place during the winter around the holidays. A boy builds a snowman that later comes to life. The snowman and the boy embark on a journey of many adventures. They explore the boy’s village, the forests, the animals, and even join a party of snowmen where they meet Father Christmas. After their return home, the boy realizes that the snowman has melted. Soon after, he encounters a gift he received at the party. After all, it was not just a dream!

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Ralph Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on Greensleeves

The music of Ralph Vaughan Williams is deeply rooted in the folk music of his native England. Not only was he a prominent composer and organist, but he also extensively researched English music from the 15th and 16th centuries. Fantasia on Greensleeves contains two songs from that era: the Holiday tune ‘Greensleeves,’ also known as ‘What Child is this?’ and another tune called ‘Lovely Joan.’ Before becoming a stand-alone piece, this miniature orchestral work was part of Vaughan Williams’s opera Sir John in Love. Scored for two flutes, harp, and strings, Fantasia on Greensleeves evokes a bucolic scene with beautifully lyrical passages.

back to program > 

Leroy Anderson – Sleigh Ride + A Christmas Festival

If Johann Strauss is the master of the Viennese Waltz, Leroy Anderson is the master of light orchestral music. His enormous contribution to this genre earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His major hits include ‘The Typewriter,’ ‘Bugler’s Holiday,’ and ‘Sleigh Ride.’ This piece has become a staple in the holiday repertoire to the point that it’s hard to imagine a holiday concert without it. Ironically, Anderson wrote Sleigh Ride during a heatwave in summer 1946. 

back to program >


Ernesto Estigarribia, Conductor + Artistic Director Candidate

Hailed for his “expert direction” by the Fanfare magazine, Paraguayan conductor Ernesto Estigarribia is highly regarded for his versatility and passionate energy on and off the podium. He is Assistant Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles. Previous posts include Music Director of the Buffalo Community Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras. With a passion for working with young musicians, he is a member of the conducting staff of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and frequently appears as conductor and clinician for high school orchestra festivals.

Ernesto has guest conducted the Mankato Symphony, Rochester (MN) Symphony, Oskaloosa Music Festival Orchestra, Orquesta de Cámara del Centro del Conocimiento (Argentina), and Orquesta Sinfónica del Congreso Nacional (Paraguay) and has also served as cover conductor for the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2016, Ernesto conducted the recording of music by Brazilian composer João Ripper with violist Korey Konkol and the University of Minnesota Camerata. In addition to symphonic performances, Ernesto has led numerous opera productions including Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Britten’s Albert Herring, and Zimmermann’sWeisse Rose. His festival appearances include Orchestra of the Americas, Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme (England), Festival de Música de Santa Catarina (Brazil), Pienza Music Festival (Italy), International Festival Week of St. Petersburg Conservatory (Russia), and Academia Internacional Teatro del Lago (Chile). 

An accomplished violist, he has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician. Ernesto holds degrees from Pittsburg State University and the University of Minnesota where he studied conducting with Mark Russell Smith. In his free time, he enjoys cooking vegan recipes with his wife Sabrina.  

Owen Janni, Vocal Soloist

Mr. Janni attends South Junior High School and is in the 6th Grade. He enjoys studying Social Studies, Science and Language Arts and plays in the orchestra. Outside of school he enjoys playing tennis, doing CrossFit and reading. As a member of The St. John’s Boys’ Choir (SJBC), Mr. Janni has learned about teamwork, responsibility and dedication. You can see Mr. Janni perform with his fellow choristers on December 18, 2021 at his favorite concert of the year – A Ceremony of Carols. Mr. Janni is very excited to be representing The St. John’s Boys’ Choir this afternoon. To learn more about the SJBC visit

Orchestra Roster: Symphonic Fanfares

November 6, 2021


Laura Dahl*
Dianne Brady
Paula Ulicsni Halvorson
Adopted by Dominic and Charlie Gwost
David Arnott
Rachel Tisdel
Cristina Seaborn


Rhonda Johnson*
Aurora Adamson
John Johnson
Tamara Bottge


Coca Bochonko**
Adopted by Ross and Jen Detert
Cecelia Diffley
Carter Scheele
James Johnson
Adopted by Art and Barb Grachek


Lucia Magney*
Derrick Johnson
William Skudlarek
adopted by Margaret Vos
Hillary Vermillion


Amber Kopp*
Dennis Douma


Peggy Doerrie** (Adopted by Emily Schrader and Mary Vos)
Tara Prout


Lani Willis


Brendon Bushman**
Kallen Hanzsek-Brill


Jill Pattock** (Adopted by Lauren Schrader and Mary Vos)
Donnell Lastine-Chopp


Ariel Detwiler*
Devin Dolquist


Patty Diederichs**
Emily Borra
Jessica Peterson
Teri Deming


Pat Thorn**
Loren Endorf
Rich Witteman


Mark Springer** (Adopted by Ross and Jen Detert)
Matthew Clemen
Ken Vork


Jacob Grewe*


Terry Vermillion** (Adopted by David Swenson Foundation)


Matthew Nelson
Nina Nelson
Josiah Torvik


Jenya Trubnikava**


Jill Pattock


Rhonda Johnson


Derrick Johnson



*Acting Principal

Donor List

We recognize people and organizations dedicated to supporting a vibrant arts culture in Central Minnesota with great appreciation.  We salute our donors for their selfless investment in our programs, especially during these challenging pandemic times. We gratefully acknowledge contributions from the following donors between February 24, 2020, and February 21, 2022.

COMPOSER | $10,000+

Central Minnesota Arts Board
Minnesota State Arts Board
St. Cloud State University
Stearns County

PRODUCER | $5,000-$9,999

Central Minnesota Community Foundation

CONDUCTOR | $2,500-$4,999

Daniel and Mary Torgersen
Ross and Jen Detert

SOLOIST | $1,000-$2,499

Lester Engel
Don Helgeson and Sue Shepard
Michael and Karel Helgeson
Dr. Kenneth and Linda Holmen
Charlotte Stephens
Tom and Ann Stone
Merle H. Sykora
Mary Vos, Lauren Schrader, Emily Schrader

BENEFACTOR | $500-$999

Alan and Marilyn Anderson
Matthew and Michelle Clemen
David and Sharon Detert
Peggy Doerrie
Dennis and Susan Douma
Jim and Ellen Ellickson
Art and Barbara Grachek
James, Charlie, & Dominick Gwost
Mary Calantoc and Kevin Hanks
Mariel Haugen
Allen and Laura Horn
The David Swenson Foundation
Margaret Skudlarek Vos

MUSICIAN | $100-$499

Joel and Judith Ampe
Barbara and King Banaian
Bank Vista
Micah and Jeanine Barrett
Deborah Biorn
Gene and Mary Margaret Bjorklun
Elizabeth Brunsvold
Elaine Carter
Eileen Chambers and Leanna Williams
Robert Domek
  In memory of Jane Domek
Jason Douma
Melvin and Bonnie Dowdy
Steve Eckblad
Effective Living Center
Charles and Patricia Ernst
Charles and Lois Head
Nancy Hoff
Mark and Mary Hughes
Scott W. Johnson
Jennifer Kalpin and Joshua Richardson
Robert and Vicky Kapitzke
Kirsten Kjome
Bill and Phyllis Lacroix
Cynthia Leigh
Mary Ann Leitch
Jerry and Mary Lou Lenz
John and Sharon Litzau
Rachel Mertz
Diane Sinell and Thomas Minor
Vicki and Lee Morgan
Gregory Nastrom
Gary Osberg
Bernie Ostendorf
John and Jane Oxton
Marvin and Ione Pearson
Vera Peterson and Bruce Regan
Rebecca Planer
Nicolyn Rajala
Sherwood and Carol Reid
Daniel and Mary Rethmeier
Frank and Rosemary Roehl
St. Cloud Area Sertoma
Coca Bochonko and Mark Springer
Janet and Thomas Stavros
Linda G. Tenneson
Marilyn and Jane Thielman
Carol Vick
Joel Spoonheim and Lani Willis
Debra Carlson and Rick Wittwer

DONOR | $10-99

Sharon Beckius
Dianne Brady
Ilene Christian
Lezlee Franke
David and Roberta Gouker
Gordon Hansmeier
John Kokett
Mari Liestman
Aurora MacMillan
Robert and Linda McManus
Gregory Nastrom
Michael and Suzanne Phillips
Nikki Rajala
Douglas Scott
Debbie Thorsten
Monica Tschumper
Catherine Verrilli 
Molly Wilbur-Cohen


Retired and Senior Volunteer

Program – RSVP of St. Cloud

Blair Schrader

Mark Springer

St. Cloud State University

Richard L. Wildberger


. . . To all of our musicians, board members, and staff! Thank you for keeping this organization moving forward. We regret any errors or omissions. Please get in touch with Lucia Magney to make corrections –


Your support is essential to helping the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra continue to present high-quality performances of music and educational outreach activities to Central Minnesota. 

Click below to make an online donation quickly and easily, or mail your tax-deductible donation to:

SCSO, PO Box 234, St. Cloud, MN 56302.

Thank you for your support!