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Pioneer Previews for Nov. 24: Concert season has arrived

BEMIDJI — This City of Lights is also the City of Holiday Concerts, as we all will be moved to the spirit of the season of spreading joy and a chance to spend some time away from holiday shopping and baking.

Bemidji State University Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble will be performing at 3 p.m today on the main stage of Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex, 14th Street and Birchmont Drive. This will be the debut concert under the baton on former U.S.Air Force band director, Scott Guidry. Tickets at the door are $5 for general public, $3 for seniors and free for students. The event will be live streamed through

The Madrigals will begin shortly in a newly designed set, which looks to be a close cousin to the Deep Manor that we have visited in the past. A former queen and alumna, Karina Carlson, designed the new set for her senior project in graphic design. Up from the Twin Cities, professional set builder Zach Morgan has constructed a new set for this renaissance feast set in Merrie Olde England. Music from the Royal Court, Minstrels, Beggars, Cellar Keepers, recorder players will entertain the guests during their five-course dinner. The king’s players will weave their masque throughout the evening for the pleasure of the royal court. Tickets are on sale now at the Madrigal Ticket Office located on the second floor of Bangsberg Hall. Tickets are $38 and must be purchased in advance. Performances are 7 p.m. on Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 24 and a 5 p.m. matinee on Dec. 8 in Deep Manor located in the Beaux Arts Ballroom at Bemidji State University.

The Bemidji Chorale will be holding its 34th annual winter concert at a new location this year, Calvary Lutheran Church with director Patricia Mason and accompanist Wayne Hoff. The program will feature John Rutter’s “Gloria” with brass, organ and timpani. BSU professors of music, baritone Cory Renbarger and cellist Patrick Riley will join the chorale in Ralph William’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.” Mason’s penchant for choosing a varied program is given full sway this year with violinist Melanie Hanson in a solo “fiddle tune.” Director Sutton Steward’s Walker School Choir will be singing as guests of the chorale. The concerts will begin at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at 2508 Washington Ave, SE and is open to the public at no cost. This activity is funded as part of the Legacy Amendment. A freewill offering will be accepted by members of the chorale after the concert.

Bemidji Community Theater, in collaboration with the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, will present Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” at the historic Chief Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6,7,13 and 14 and 2 p.m. Dec. 15. The audience will be swept away to 19th century Siam as seen through the eyes of British governess Anna, who was brought to Siam by the King. He wanted to protect and educate his family in western ways. Local actors will portray the king’s family and sing the familiar songs: “Hello Young Lovers” and “Getting to Know You” under the musical direction of Karen Bradley. Director Mary Knox Johnson, known for her elaborate sets and costumes, will not disappoint in this production based on Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel, “Anna and the King of Siam,” taken from the memoirs of Anna Leonowers. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children (17 and younger) and are on sale now at Shannon’s Art and Soul and Iverson’s Corner Drug in downtown Bemidji and Ken K. Thompson at the mall.

The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra promises a magical afternoon with a “Russian Holiday” with soloists from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the North Dakota Ballet and the Thief River Falls Festival Choir. Director Alexander Platt has picked a program of Russian orchestral favorites with the GGFSO, the award winning TRFFC will lead the audience in the annual carol sing-along. During the second act, the orchestra will play the best of “The Nutcracker” for the dancers in this beloved holiday ballet. The performance will begin at 3 p.m., Dec. 15 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Dakota. Tickets at the Fritz box office 701-777-4090 are $20 for adults and $12 for students and military.


BSU Percussion Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m.on the main stage of Bangsberg. This is always a fun concert and worth attending.

Interactive workshop

Region 2 Arts Council is hosting an interactive workshop with KAIROS ALIVE! with founder Maria Genne and program coordinator Carla Vogel for people working in health care, social services, education, environmental sustainability and the arts. The workshop will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 2 at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. NE. There will also be a follow-up breakfast meeting from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at HSMA with presenters to continue the conversations and explore plans for intergenerational art making in communities. The workshop is free and open to the public. R2AC is offering mileage stipends to individuals carpooling from Mahnomen, Lake of the Woods and Clearwater Counties. To register, call (218) 751-5447 or (800) 251-5447 or email

Upcoming Events

Book signing for “Muddy Jungle Rivers,” a Vietnam War memoir, by Wendell Affield, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Book World Bemidji, 316 Beltrami Ave., NW.

The public is invited Schoolcraft annual Winter Concert at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at Bemidji High School.

MERRYTUBACHRISTMAS 2013 concert at 1 p.m. at the Bemidji Paul Bunyan Mall. Free.

An evening at “Downton Abbey,” sponsored by Lakeland Public Television at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 in Bangsberg. Period costumes are encouraged and the screening will be the first hour of the upcoming Season 4 and a trivia contest. There will be door prizes. Seating will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Bemidji Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Celebrations! at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 10 on the main stage of Bemidji High School.

Varsity Singers under the direction of adjunct professor Steve Reznicek at 3 p.m. on Dec. 15 on the main stage of Bangsberg. Admission is a contribution to the Bemidji Food Shelf.