Thursday Musical Concert Celebrates 125th Anniversary with David Evan Thomas premiere

MINNEAPOLIS/ST PAUL, MN -- September 12, 2017

Commissioning a piece to honor its 125th anniversary, Thursday Musical will premiere “Give Her the River” by local composer David Evan Thomas at its Opening Concert on Thursday, September 28, 2017. It will be held at the MacPhail Center for Music’s Antonello Hall in Minneapolis at 10:30 a.m., with a preconcert reception beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Using the poem “Give Her the River” by locally renowned author Michael Dennis Browne1, Thomas created a thirteen-minute piece for four performers, which will resonate with many listeners. Thomas says, “Because Thursday Musical is one of Minnesota’s legacy organizations, I wanted to choose a Minnesota poet… I set one of Michael’s lyrics in 2013, and it whetted my appetite for more. Browne’s words describe his experience of ‘the Mississippi River as it flows past Riverside Park and the West River Road…’ I like to think that my work will celebrate the gift that Thursday Musical has been to the Minnesota musical community over 125 years.”

The musicians performing the premiere will be Dr. Monica Murray, soprano; Jennifer Kennard, flute; Daryl Carlson, cello; and Mimi Tung, piano. Also performing on the program will be pianist Sara Kang and vocalists Robin and Kristin Griffeath.

Thursday Musical President Sylvia Wilson notes that, “Thursday Musical is proud of its heritage of championing local artists. From its beginnings in 1892 at 608 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis to our current home at the MacPhail Center for Music, Thursday Musical has served music lovers and been instrumental in the development of many of Minneapolis’ musical institutions. Join us!”

Thursday Musical announces the 126th season of its Thursday Morning Artist Series and Home Programs including two Living Concert Notes events with moderators MPR host Steve Staruch and composer David Evan Thomas.

Living Concert Notes is an educational presentation by local moderators as part of Thursday Musical’s Morning Artist Series. These expert moderators pose questions to the performers and provide an in depth look at the program. This season, Thursday Musical will feature moderators Steve Staruch (MPR Host) on November 9, 2017 and David Evan Thomas (Composer) on April 26, 2018.

For a complete listing of events, including performer biographies, visit
For promotional photos, visit
Detailed program information will be released throughout the season.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices are subject to change.


1. Michael Dennis Browne, Give Her the River, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), 2004, paintings by Wendell Minor.





The music of David Evan Thomas has been praised for its eloquence, power and craft. A two-time McKnight Foundation Fellow, he has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Guild of Organists. Thomas has received commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Schubert Club and the American Composers Forum. Thomas's music is published by ECS, Augsburg Fortress and MorningStar, and has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, London’s Westminster Cathedral Choir and the trio of Gil Shaham, Truls Mørk and Yefim Bronfman. He has served as composer-in-residence with Westminster Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis), the Cathedral of Saint Paul, and from 1997-2005, The Schubert Club. Born in Rochester, New York, David Evan Thomas studied at Northwestern University, the Eastman School, and with Dominick Argento at the University of Minnesota.



Michael Dennis Browne was born in England, of mostly Irish ancestry, in 1940, and has lived in the United States since 1965. Two of his collections have won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. As a librettist and lyricist he has written many texts for music, working for almost four decades with composer Stephen Paulus; To Be Certain of the Dawn, a post-Holocaust oratorio (BIS Records), was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music by the Minnesota Orchestra. He has recently worked with Craig Hella Johnson on the fusion oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard.



Thursday Musical is dedicated to presenting fine classical music programs featuring outstanding local musicians and offering educational opportunities to artists and audiences alike.

Founded in 1892, Thursday Musical has a legacy of providing innovative and affordable concert programs to area audiences. Thursday Musical supports three distinctive recital series featuring the wealth of classical solo and chamber ensemble repertoire performed: the Thursday Morning Artist Series, Home Programs, and Community Concerts.

Since 1894, Thursday Musical also has a rich tradition of providing musical inspiration and education to young audiences. The Young Artist Program encourages developing musicians through recital and scholarship competition opportunities. The Music in Our Schools program brings Thursday Musical singers and instrumentalists into the classroom to present exciting musical experiences.


For further information contact:

Media Contact
Megan Millett, Operations Manager