FAQ

When was the Minnesota Sinfonia founded?

The Minnesota Sinfonia was founded in 1989 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization under the legal name “Friends of the Minnesota Sinfonia.”

What is the Sinfonia’s mission?

The mission of the Minnesota Sinfonia is to serve the musical and educational needs of the citizens of Minnesota, with special emphasis given to families with young children, inner-city youth, seniors and those with limited financial means. To further this end, all concerts are offered free of admission charges, and children are welcome and encouraged to attend all performances. In keeping with the goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Minnesota Sinfonia is committed to ensuring its programs and services are accessible to all people with disabilities.

Are you a community orchestra?

No. The Minnesota Sinfonia is a professional, high-caliber orchestra, and all musicians and guest soloists are paid professionals. Sinfonia musicians are some of the most highly sought-after musicians in the region, and many have held high positions in orchestras around the world, including the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Russian State Symphony Orchestra and many others.

If your musicians are paid, how can you afford to offer free concerts?

The Sinfonia relies on support from government, corporate and private foundations, as well as contributions from individuals. While the orchestra never charges admission to its concerts, it costs over $5,000 for each in-school and/or family pops performance and between $18,000 and $23,000 for each weekend of the public concert series.

Who do you serve?

The Minnesota Sinfonia’s mission is to serve all residents of Minnesota. Sinfonia concerts attract diverse crowds that include a variety of ages, ethnicities, income levels, and socioeconomic standings. According to annual surveys, over half of Sinfonia audiences have household incomes below $50,000, with 37 percent below $30,000. Schools that participate in the orchestra’s education program, Music in the Schools, report that over 80 percent of their students are on free or reduced-price lunches—a marker for poverty. And the student population is diverse: 33 percent black, 32 percent white, 16 percent Asian, 16 percent Hispanic and 3 percent American Indian.

How often do you perform?

The Minnesota Sinfonia performs up to 80 free-admission concerts every year. Half of these concerts are performed for the general public during the Winter/Summer Concert Series and Community “Family Pops” Concerts. The others are performed in inner-city public elementary schools as part of the Music in the Schools program.

Where do you perform?

The Sinfonia plays at accessible venues throughout the Metro area, including:

  • The Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis
  • Metropolitan State University, St. Paul
  • First Covenant Church, St. Paul
  • The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley
  • Como Park, St. Paul
  • Caponi Art Park, Eagan
  • Camp Courage, Wright County
  • Lake Harriet Bandstand, Minneapolis
  • Lake Phalen Regional Park, St. Paul
  • Temple Israel, Minneapolis
  • Catholic Eldercare, Minneapolis
  • North Commons Park, Minneapolis
  • Northside YMCA, Minneapolis
  • East Side YMCA, St. Paul

What are your organizations policies?

  • Donor Privacy Policy (pdf)
  • Conflict of Interest Policy (pdf)
  • Discontinuing Contact Policy (pdf)
  • Document Retention Policy (pdf)
  • Travel and Other Expense Reimbursement Policy (pdf)
  • Whistle Blower Policy (pdf)
  • ADA Policy Statement (pdf)
  • Organizational Reserve Policy (pdf)
  • Admission policy for non-Sinfonia sponsored events (pdf)
  • Investment Policy (pdf)

Where do I find your tax documents?

  • Form 990 (pdf)
  • Audit and Review (pdf)
  • Balance Sheet as of 4/2014 (pdf)
  • Quarterly Report 3/2012 (pdf)
  • Profit and Loss (pdf)
  • Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2014 (pdf)