Madeleine Folkerts

Madeleine Folkerts

Port Orchard, WA

St. Olaf College, Bachelor of Music and Arts, 2017

Madeleine Folkerts is an active performer throughout the state of Montana. She moved to Great Falls in 2017 after winning the Principal Horn position in the Great Falls Symphony and Chinook Winds. In 2021, she won the Principal Horn Position in Bozeman. Madeleine is an active horn and piano teacher and coach for Great Falls Youth Orchestra programs. In addition, she performs as a pianist and organist at a church and with the Great Falls School District. She moved to Great Falls after completing two degrees in performance and psychology/neuroscience at St. Olaf College. Madeleine has performed as a member of the Big Sky Festival Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra (2017), as well as in other festival ensembles. She has toured nationally and internationally with the St. Olaf Band and Orchestra, appearing as a soloist with both groups. Originally from Port Orchard, WA, she enjoys being back in the mountains. When she’s not performing, you can find her and her dog Beasley taking advantage of everything Montana has to offer on foot, bike, skis, and from the rock wall as much as they can.

What is something interesting that people may not know about you?
Most of my hobbies and activities were found in adulthood after moving to Montana. I always considered myself to be too busy to pursue many outside interests while in school, but I’ve found that many of my newfound interests contribute positively to my musical performance. I’m fascinated by the similarities between states of mind while performing on horn and biking or climbing a tricky route, for example. As I engage in different activities I challenge myself to find the optimal states for each and see if they can translate to others.

Name three of your favorite composers:
Richard Strauss, Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms

When taking a break from music-making, what is your favorite thing to do?
I enjoy a variety of activities including hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, hockey, skiing, and gardening.

What are you most looking forward to this summer with the NRO?
I’m looking forward to gaining more orchestral experience from different seats in the horn section and working on a wide variety of repertoire. I’m also looking forward to the rigorous schedule and learning how I can balance my individual practice and leisure within that structure.