When the Bemidji Choir was founded in 1937, in the department of music of Bemidji State College, a reputation for fine music instruction was already acknowledged around the state. Carl O. Thompson, for whom the recital hall in Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex was named, formed the choir which was later expanded by his successor Dr. Paul Brandvik. Under the tutelage of Brandvik, the choir represented the United States five times in â€œThe Europa Contat,â€ an international choral festival and received national attention at music educatorsâ€™ conferences. Brandvik is well known for his scholarly work in organizing and performing Madrigal dinners, a primer that is used by choral groups everywhere. The present director, P. Bradley Logan keeps another â€œjewel in the crownâ€ of Bemidji shining brightly by continuing the Madrigal tradition, started over 38 years ago. In the spring of 2003, Logan led the Chamber Singers while performing with Garrison Keillor on the â€œPrairie Home Companion.â€ The Bemidji Choirâ€™s reputation for fine choral offerings has continued over the years with participation in regional, national and international concerts and festivals.
Before the Choir leaves for their European tour this May, we here in Bemidji will have the opportunity to attend the final concert of this springâ€™s tour. What is so exceptional about this choir is the fact that singers have come and gone but the musical standards are still high. Students are recruited and attracted to BSU primarily based on the quality and generosity of the teaching staff in the department of music. Thanks to all of you—teachers, singers and musicians.
This Sundayâ€™s concert which will begin at 3 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church, 5232 Irvine Ave. NW is a fine compilation of music from the 16th century to modern composers like BSU music alumnus, Eric Barnum. The Bemidji Choir also includes the Chamber Singers and Musikanten (Menâ€™s Chorus) as integral to the whole. The program will include music sung in German, Italian and English; from the sacred to the contemporary. Two pieces by Eric Barnum will be â€œThe Fieldsâ€ and â€œSounding Seaâ€ and Moses Hoganâ€™s choral arrangement of â€œThis Little Light of Mineâ€ by Eric Whitacre will complete the program of the choir. The Chamber Singers and Musikanten under the direction of students Joe Colago and Nick Dahn will end the performance with â€œThe Quest Unendingâ€ by Joseph Martin. There is no charge for the concert but a free will offering will be accepted by the choir.
Â This week, we will have a unique opportunity to hear two musicians well known for their interest in modern composers and music. Flutist Linda Chatterton with pianist Matthew McCright will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 25 in Thompson Recital Hall, Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex, 15th Street and Birchmont Drive N. Ms. Chatterton will also offer a master class on Saturday for three high school flutists and also a talk on performance anxiety or â€œIt Sounded Better at Home!â€ What a special opportunity for students tucked away in the northern climes of still frozen Minnesota. Students who live in or near the major cities can avail themselves of these classes by professional musicians on a regular basis. The Class will begin at 1 p.m. in Room 112 of Bangsberg and the talk will begin at 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend one or both of these events for free because they are underwritten with grant support from the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment and an Arts Tour grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4. 2008.
A four-week workshop, â€œMemoir Building Block: a four-week writing classâ€ will be given by memoirist and poet Angela Foster for anyone wishes to tell their story on paper for posterity or just for a personal journey. Ms. Foster is a memoirist and poet who taught this same class last year for the Kitchigami Regional Library System and she also offers courses at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturdays, April 2, 9, 16 and 30 and students will study some of the elements of writing an engaging memoir with character development, use of scene, summary and reflection. Class size is limited so to make a reservation, call the library at 751-3963. If you canâ€™t make these dates, check out the Park Rapids Area Library at 218-732-4966 or Walker Public Library at 218-547-1019.
The final performances of the extraordinary production of â€œDeath of a Salesmanâ€ by KG Entertainment are this Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theater in Bangsberg. I can confidently say â€œextraordinaryâ€ for that is just one of the comments Iâ€™ve heard from audience members. Donâ€™t pass up the chance to see this play for Greg Gasman has assembled a cast that is strong and emotionally attached to the characters they play. . Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students and are available now at Harmony Natural Food Co-op, Wild Hare Bistro and Brigidâ€™s Cross Irish Pub and at the door, the day of performance. The play is set in New York City in the 1940â€™s and 50â€™s and is not suitable for young children for content.
â€œLittle Womenâ€ adapted for the stage by Elizabeth Lincoln Gould will open this week at the Minnesota Folklore Theater in Akeley. The play is set in Massachusetts during the Civil War when Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and their mother wait for the return of their father from the war. Join the cast at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 26 for a Victorian Little Woman Tea at Akeley United Methodist church. Tickets for this event include the 3 p.m. matinee performance and may be purchased by phone: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children. The performances will be at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, March 25 and April 1. Matinee performances will be at 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27 and April 2 and 3 at the theater, 6 Broadway St., Akeley. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for students. Call 652-2666 for tickets or more information.
Deborah Elias Espanola Flamenco, Pure and Strong is coming to Bemidji under the auspices of Saarens Productions. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 2 at the Wild Rose Theater. If you have never seen a program of traditional Spanish Flamenco, do not pass up this opportunity. The dancers will be Deborah Elias and Colette Illarde; singers will be La Conja and Vincente Griego with guitarist Trevor May. If you would like to see a preview of Spanish Flamenco or to see dances, google â€œPaco de Lucia Carmen.â€ This movie was very popular a few years ago (quite a few now) and it is the opera â€œCarmenâ€ staged in a flamenco dance studio. You will not regret seeing it for de Lucia is one of the most famous and talented classical guitarists around. YouTube also has some clips from Antonio Gades (lead dancer in Carmen) and the farruca by La Frascall. Tickets will go fast at $10, $8 and $5. Call 218-556-1777 to make a reservation. This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.