The Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra on stage is a community orchestra located in Willmar, Minnesota and includes musicians from Willmar and surrounding towns. The orchestra has gained a reputation of excellence while providing enjoyable, challenging, and fun concerts. Their concerts are held in the Willmar Education and Arts Center in Willmar, Minnesota.

Do you want to play with  us?  We rehearse weekly on Tuesdays and have a dress rehearsal on Saturdays, from 9:30 until noon the day before each concert .  We can always use more players, especially strings!

This 2013-2014 Season WASO will have 4 diffent conductors for 4 concerts. See schedule.

Watch one of our numbers recorded at the Sergey Bogza concert in Feb.

Young Artists Competition

Concert Date May 4, 2014
Our Young Artists Winners are Audrey Aspen, flute, and Joshua O'Connell, voice

Stephen J. Ramsey will conduct the Young Artists' Concert on May 4, 2014.
Stephen J. RamseyStephen has led the Dakota Symphony orchestra for 24 years and is their founding musical director and conductor. He also directs that group's Summer Pops Orchestra and Chorale.
He has also led the Austin Symphony Orchestra in Austin, MN for the past 16 years as conductor and music director.
Mr. Ramsey holds a masters of music degree in conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Music conservatory and has studied with Glenn Block, Les Humpries, Lenard Slatkin and James Sample to name a few.

He has deep experience working with community orchestras and understands volunteer groups on a budget.

Michael Zellgert conducted the Oct. 27th concert.
Michael ZellgertMichael Zellgert attended University of Wisconsin-Superior where he studied violin performance and conducting, including both choral and orchestral technique with Diane Balko and Dr David Scott. In addition, he received conducting mentoring with Maestro Markand Thakar and Yong-Yan Hu.

Mr. Zellgert has appeared as a soloist with community and university orchestras throughout Minnesota and part of Wisconsin including Gustavus Adolphus College and University of Wisconsin - Superior. He has served as concertmaster and performer of the Itasca Symphony Orchestra, UW-Superior Chamber Orchestra and the Heartland Symphony Orchestra along with performing with the Minnesota Ballet and the Duluth Festival Opera.

Throughout his career as a violinist, he has performed with small ensembles including the Dynamic String Quartet, Highland Quartet, Saint Benedicta Trio, Pastiche and Music Saint Croix. Michael has served as the music director of the Woodland Community Orchestra and Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra and is a guest conductor with regional orchestras. His interest in music education has led him to conduct string sectionals for the College of St. Benedict/St John's University Orchestra, clinics for high school orchestras, and has adjudicated auditions for solo/ensembles and camps including Interlochen Camp for the Arts.

While offering private lessons, his students have won auditions for All-State Orchestra, have been awarded music scholarships at universities and have received high school recognitions for outstanding performance.

Michael maintains a private studio, a member with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, 2nd violin principal with the St Cloud Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Crow River Area Youth Orchestra and the Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra.

Steven Eckblad, Music Director & conductor conducted the Dec 8th Concert
Steven EckbladSteven Eckblad grew up in Vasa, Minnesota; received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Horn from the Eastman School of Music and his Masters from St. Cloud State University. 

Steven taught one year in Fridley and then taught 5-12 grade orchestra in the St. Cloud Public Schools until his retirement in 2001.  He was the bass instructor at SCSU from 2001 to 2004.

His conducting experiences include St. Cloud Summer Pops 1975-80, Quite Light Opera 1980-2000, MMTA concerts at Northrup Auditorium 1994-97, Central Lakes Honors Orchestra 1999,and Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra 2002-2013.   He currently conducts the Bethlehem Chamber Orchestra and the Mississippi String Camp Orchestra.

Steven plays bass in the St. Cloud Symphony, and cello in the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra and Verve String Quartet.  Steven teaches violin, viola, cello and bass in his private studio.  He has stage directed numerous musicals and opera productions in St. Cloud. He recently retired as golf coach at St. Cloud Technical High School.  Steven is married to Beverley Williams, string teacher and conductor; and, they have a daughter, Lied, a violist and nurse in New York City.

Sergey Bogza, conductor conducted the Feb 9, 2013 Concert
Sergey V BogzaConductor, composer and pianist Sergey Bogza is currently the Artistic Director of Campus Orchestras at University of Minnesota, Artistic Director of Hyperion Singers and assistant conductor of the Opera Theater at the University of Minnesota where he is pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting. He has been the Artistic Director and founder of the First Slavic Youth Orchestra from 2003-2009, assistant conductor at Central Washington University from 2009-2011 and guest conductor for Music in World Cultures.

In 2013, Mr. Bogza has been invited to cond

uct at The International Conductors’ Festival (Kiev, Ukraine) and The Berlin Sinfonietta at the International Masterclasses Berlin. Mr. Bogza has conducted extensively at the Oregon Bach Festival, International Academy of Advanced Conducting, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

As composer, Mr. Bogza has over 40 compositions and arrangements for orchestra. Most recently, his works have been featured at the 21st International New Music Festival titled “Европа-Азия” in Kazan, Russia. His new composition Remember, for soprano and baritone solo, chamber choir and chamber choir has received its world premiere in May, 2013 and has been schedule for performances in both Germany and Russia. 

This summer, Mr. Bogza will arrange a chamber orchestra version of Richard Strauss’s tone poem Don Quixote with performances scheduled for April 2014.

Season Tickets for all four concerts are available;

  • Adult/Senior $32
  • Family Pack 2 adults and unlimited number of children $90
  • Students 12-22 $15

The Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra is a 501 (C) (3) non profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible.