Minnetonka Chamber Orchestra

Lara Mac Lean, director

The Minnetonka Chamber Orchestra offers members the opportunity to play their instruments, explore a variety of music and perform at a variety of venues in the community. Directed by Lara MacLean, MS the smaller size of the chamber ensemble consists of strings, woodwinds (in pairs), brass & percussion, and performs quality programs including classical symphonies and overtures. The Minnetonka Chamber Orchestra’s mission is to provide the enjoyment of music for its members and for the audience to which it performs. The ensemble is non-auditioned (with sectionals as needed) and presents three concert series each year.   

We rehearse Monday nights from 7 - 9 p.m., September through May, at the
Arts Center on 7 at Minnetonka High School

Lara (Dyrud) MacLean grew up in the St. Paul area, graduating from Alexander Ramsey high school in Roseville. She started playing violin at the age of 10 and quickly advanced, taking part in extracurricular orchestras such as GTCYS, MYS, and the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s All-State Orchestra. She received a scholarship to study violin performance at the University of Minnesota. After two years she transferred and graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in violin performance and an emphasis in speech communications. She then went to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL for her masters on a conducting assistantship to study violin and conducting.

When Lara returned to Minnesota she was an active, busy freelance musician and started teaching privately and with summer programs at MacPhail School of Music. She fell in love with education and received a Masters in Teaching and Learning through St. Mary’s University of Winona. She has taught kindergarten through college-level music for 29 years. Lara has taught for Gustavus Adolphus College, Concordia College of St. Paul, and Bemidji State University. She conducted for Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and has been guest District Conductor for All District Festivals in Roseville, Mountain View, Hastings, Robbinsdale, and Edina. She currently teaches orchestra in the Eden Prairie School District. She lives in St. Paul with her two children Lauren and Jackson.