Just when you think that events are in a lull in Bemidji three plays will open, a debut performance in town of the St. Paul Gay Menâ€™s Chorus, the BSO will showcase two incredible youngsters, a Blue Grass show at â€œThe Chiefâ€ and First Friday receptions are back in full swing.
The 3 p.m. BSO concert this Sunday at Bemidji High School will showcase two young string players, one of whom recently won first place in the Young Artist Competition of the Duluth Symphony Orchestra. Sadie Hamrin will perform in DSOâ€™s Young Peopleâ€™s Concert tonight as a prelude to Sundayâ€™s duet with her sister, Sarah. Both young players are students of Michelle Laliberte, an adjunct professor of music at BSU, whose position at the school is in jeopardy. The Hamrin sisters will stun the audience with their interpretation of the score (Mozartâ€™s â€œSinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, K.364) that belies their youth.
Beverly Everett will conduct Antonin Dvorakâ€™s Symphony #9 (New World) for the first time in her career and perhaps will add the piece to her repertoire. The Symphony has a long history of being controversial because of the composer Dvorak, who was enticed to New York City from Prague, by Jeanette Thurber, the wife of a very rich man. In 1892, Thurber promised a lucrative living to Dvorak if he would come to enrich the program at the National Conservatory of Music, a conservatory she founded. Music historians and critics have long argued if Dvorak stole his themes and music from his fascination with Negro spirituals and early jazz music both acknowledged as American musical innovations. Dvorakâ€™s background was in the classical musical forms practiced in the European conservatories. It is interesting (to me) that the Symphony is sometimes called â€œNew Worldâ€ and in other sources â€œFrom the New World.â€ Some of the critics said that it is truly the story of our great â€œmelting potâ€ because Dvorak incorporated his interest in our early historyâ€”the plight of the Negro slaves and the majesty of the American Indian as written by poet Longfellow. Some critics even cited the spiritual â€œGoinâ€™ Homeâ€ as being stolen from earlier songs but the words were added to his music long after the original symphony was played to the public. Letâ€™s fill the hall this Sunday and show support for one of Bemidjiâ€™s â€œjewels in the crown.â€
Tickets will be sold at the door and the BSO is asking for donations to the Bemidji Food Shelfâ€”either non-perishable food items or cash. Children in Bemidji school districts will be admitted free, yes free, through high school. Tickets are $20 general public and $15 for seniors and college students and, if you want to make sure to get in, go to Luekenâ€™s Village Foods North or Brigidâ€™s Cross Irish Pub.
The St. Paul Gay Menâ€™s Chorus has been performing award winning concerts since 1981 but this will be their first Bemidji appearance. This 80 to 100 voice ensemble will premiere their competition work, â€œOleâ€™, Oleâ€™, Oleâ€™, The Rhythm is Gonna Getchaâ€ at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19 in Thompson Recital Hall. Their artistic director, Stan Hill, is known for his humor as well as expertise in conducting with style and verve. Tickets are on sale now at Harmony Natural Foods Co-op and the main desk at BSUâ€™s Hobson Memorial Union. Tickets are $10 for adults and seniors and $5 for children and students with a valid ID. These choral ensembles are known throughout the country for their professionalism and solid musical offerings. Donâ€™t miss this chance to see a group one would normally need to travel to large cities to hear.
Roy Booth is letting Bemidji know that his screenplay which adapted the book â€œAtlanta Nightsâ€ is scheduled for filming this summer. Literarily Minded Films is planning to shoot many of the major scenes right here in River Cityâ€”just joking! Locals will be informed when and where the shooting will take place sometime this upcoming summer. Congratulations Roy, you sure do your part in keeping Bemidji on the cultural map of northern Minnesota. Roy received his education at Bemidji State University, just in case, you donâ€™t know.
What an honor for Bemidji State University Music Department and Bemidji as a whole! The Minnesota Orchestra is planning to hold a weeklong residency â€œCommon Chordsâ€ during the week of April 1, 2013.Â (I was so excited that I missed the future date—thanks Del for letting me know). The plan is for a series of performances, chamber groups, solo performances, speaking engagements and clinics at schools in the Bemidji community. More information will follow and congratulations to BSU Music Department under Del Lyrenâ€™s guidance for getting this project to Bemidji.
Some people think that these blogs ramble on and others like to add their own comments. Whatever the comment, I appreciate the time and effort it takes to send one on to me. Last week I received a long, impassioned plea to keep the music department whole. She is a BSU grad and now teaches school in Berlin, Germany. I surely wish I could grant that request and promise to do all that I can to support the arts in this community. If you have some ammunition (donâ€™t take that literally) for me, send it along.
Thatâ€™s all she wrote!