And the Professors is the latest in a long string of Twin Cities rock acts using orchestral arrangements to great effect. Five others of note right now:
1. Cloud Cult. Has employed a cellist for more than a decade and now houses a full-time violinist and part-time symphonic horns, with the latest record, “Love,” being its most orchestrated disc yet.
2. Jeremy Messersmith. Often performs with the Laurel Strings Quartet and enlists drummer/co-producer Andy Thompson’s arranging talents, also featured on the And the Professors album.
3. John Mark Nelson. The teen wunderkind wrote the Current hit “Reminisce” and other songs alone in his bedroom, but he enlisted the Laurel Strings to bring them to life on his 2012 debut and uses a 10-piece band at gigs.
4. The Starfolk. The new band led by former Hang Ups leader Brian Tighe and his wife, Allison LaBonne, only features one string player, Jacqueline Ultan of Jelloslave fame, but she provided a melodic backbone to the group’s just-released debut record.
5. Dessa. Strings are occasionally part of her live act and always featured prominently on her records, including “It’s Only Me” and “Sound the Bells” from her latest, “Parts of Speech.”