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Musical, theater events still dominate the scene

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BEMIDJI — Varsity Singers under the direction of Steve Reznicek will perform their annual Christmas Concert at 3 p.m. today in the Thompson Recital Hall of Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Center on the BSU campus.

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The 38-member choir is open to students from all majors who love to sing and be challenged in their repertoire by the inventive Reznicek. This concert will feature a combination of Pachelbel’s “Canon” and the “First Noel.” Traditional Bach hymns such as“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” and “Alleluia for Our Time” are also on the program that includes “The Holly and the Ivy” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” all performed in solos and small ensembles within the entire group. Admission again this year is a generous non-perishable food donation for the Bemidji Community Food Shelf. Cash and checks will also be accepted as donations to the food shelf.

Limited tickets are available at the door for the final performance of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I” at 2 p.m. today in the historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji. The production, directed by Mary Knox Johnson, has all the pomp and elegance of 19th century Siam (Thailand). Karen Bradley and Wayne Hoff will provide vocal and musical accompaniment to this talented group of actors and children from the local schools. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children (17 and younger).

Long Lake Theater in Hubbard will have a 3 p.m. matinee today of its holiday production of “A Christmas Carol.” Tickets on line at longlaketheater.com or by calling (218) 732-0099.

The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra promises a magical afternoon today with a “Russian Holiday” with soloists from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the North Dakota Ballet and the Thief River Falls Festival Choir under the baton of energetic maestro Alexander Platt. If you are looking for a chance to sing traditional carols, the TRFFC will welcome audience voices to their sing-along. The second act will be given over to the best of “The Nutcracker.” The production will begin at 3 p.m. at the Chester Fritz Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Dakota on University Avenue. Tickets at the door at $20 for adults and $12 for students and military.

THURSDAY

Take some time out to enjoy the music of the season in downtown Park Rapids for their Third Thursday events. Roz Pederson and Deane Johnson will perform on the piano and clarinet, respectively, at Belle Cafe from 5 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 6:30 p.m. Next door at Beagle Books, 112 3rd St. W, Julie Kaiser will impersonate Zelda Fitzgerald in selected scenes from “The Last Flapper” by William Luce during the same times. Terrapin Stew (Brian Skinness and Larry Kimball) will be entertaining from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 7 p.m. at The Good Life Cafe, 220 South Main. Fran Gack will sing a variety of Christmas music accompanied by the guitar and mandolin at the same times, Necce’s Ristorante, 311 S. Main. There is no admission charge to Arts Downtown PR events, sponsored by the Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council and funded in part by a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

SATURDAY

There is a book signing from 1 to 4 p.m. at Book World in downtown Bemidji for local author and Bemidji High School English teacher Gina Marie Bernard. Her book “Vent” is a compilation of short stories in the young adult category written by a teacher and mentor of today’s youth, but it is also an encyclopedic explanation for the parents of these young adults.

The Nary Community Center Christmas Dinner and Program will begin with a light potluck dinner with wassail at 5:30 p.m. with strolling musicians and Santa Claus handing out treats to the children. The audience will walk upstairs to the auditorium for the 7 p.m. start of the program — a play within a play — written by Olivia Hoff about the township residents, past and present. The TrekNorth choir, directed by Talia Zeman, will reprise some of the music from their school concert and a smaller ensemble will perform a song from the 1940’s, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” The Trinity Lutheran Players of Cass Lake will present an original play based on the Christmas story. A free will offering will be accepted. The community center is located within the Helga Township town hall, U.S. Highway 71 S, take a left on County Road 9.

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