The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, A History is the story of a professional orchestra that has played concerts in a beautiful city park for over 70 years. In its introduction the book gives a brief history of the concert tradition at Lake Harriet that started in 1888. Pictures of the various band shells that preceded the present one are included. The creation of the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra in 1950 is described along with the story of its growing pains, its various conductors, anecdotes from players and audience, and the evolution of its present concert traditions. Information about audiences, news coverage, and an appendix that includes programs from the early 1900s to the present, provide an interesting overview of changes in our cultural history.
Cynthia Stokes, a native of Rochester, NY, moved to Minneapolis with her composer husband, Eric Stokes, in 1959. For over 35 years she performed as flutist and piccolo player with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra while also serving as flute instructor at St. Olaf College. She has been closely involved with the Minneapolis Pops for 45 of its 70-year history. Not only was she principal flutist, she was also contractor, general manager and fund-raiser from 1975 to 2001. She continues with the Orchestra as part-time flute player, contractor, and president of the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association.