Sarah Hicks' MN Memory

The principal conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra on getting snowed in

An illustrated portrait of Sarah Hicks.

illustration by michael hoeweler

My favorite Minnesota memory involves snow—and lots of it. An epic overnight snowstorm quite a few Decembers ago dumped more than two feet of snow on the Twin Cities, and while by noon the next day many of the main roads in our neighborhood had been plowed, our little cul-de-sac was still buried. On any other Sunday, this would have been just a temporary inconvenience, but I had a 2 p.m. matinee of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Scandinavian Christmas concert to conduct. My husband trudged out and started knocking on doors, and within minutes our neighbors from all eight households on the block were out with snow blowers and shovels. As I got dressed in my concert clothes, a path had been cleared from our garage to the main road, which I navigated while my snow removal team cheered. It took a Minnesota village to get this conductor to work that snowy Sunday, an act of true community I’ll never forget.