Sharing A Song

Michelle Persian develops the talents of young musicians at Eden Prairie Strings Academy.

Not often do we get the joy of hearing an orchestra play pop hits like “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen or “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. Playing popular music is just one of many opportunities that Eden Prairie Strings Academy offers aspiring young musicians.

Founder Michelle Persian, a well-known violinist, graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. Persian was hired to start an orchestra at Eden Prairie schools, where she stayed until 2000; she founded Eden Prairie Strings Academy in 1998 to train younger musicians.

Persian remains an active musician herself and often plays around the Twin Cities in various freelance positions.

At Eden Prairie Strings Academy, students can learn in small-group ensembles as beginners, while more experienced students have the opportunity to audition for one of two youth orchestras or the pop orchestra. “My favorite part of teaching is sharing my love of music with my students,” Persian says.

Persian also tries to involve her students in the greater community through open-to-the-community rehearsals at The Colony in Eden Prairie and through more structured opportunities like playing the national anthem at a Twins game next July.

Listen to the Eden Prairie Strings Academy’s Pop Orchestra play as part of the Starring at Staring concert series: 7 p.m. Aug. 6; Staring Lake Park, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie;