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Patt Rall Arts Column for April 23: Bemidji Symphony concert to feature choral works

The long-anticipated Bemidji Symphony Orchestra collaboration with the Bemidji Chorale, Bemidji State University Choir and Bemidji High School A Capella Choir presentation of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony will take the stage at 3 p.m. this Sunday at the Bemidji High School Auditorium. The concert will open with the premier of "Sacred Vows" by composer Libby Larsen commissioned for the 70th Anniversary Season of BSO and funded by the George W. Neilson Foundation. The narration for the piece, written by a survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields, U Sam Ouer, will be by Michael Barone, host of Minnesota Public Radio's "Pipedreams." The soloists will be Jake Endres and Brad Bradshaw and the collective choruses.

The second part of the program will feature the orchestra and more than 200 voices on the stage for the Ninth Symphony. Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," promises to lift the musicians, singers and audience to new emotional heights. Soloists are Jake Endres, bass; Brad Bradshaw, tenor; Brittany Messer, soprano; and Sarah Wabrowentz, alto. Tickets are on sale at Lueken's North and, if available, at the door on the day of the performance. Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors/college students. Students from Bemidji School District get in free but must go to the box office on the day of performance for their tickets. Tickets may also be reserved by emailing the orchestra at

Block party

"Stars in the Street," a block party to celebrate the upcoming Paul Bunyan Playhouse summer season will close the 300 block of Beltrami Avenue Northwest to traffic from 5-7 p.m. Friday. Star tickets can be purchased starting at 9 a.m. at the theater box office. Tickets are $10 each for entry to Brigid's Cross Irish Pub, Chocolate's Plus, Keg 'n Cork, the Backyard BBQ and Tutto Bene for complimentary culinary delights. Hosts who will label the points of each star ticket will greet celebrants at each venue. A full star ticket entitles the wearer to be eligible for prizes at the end of the program which will begin with a parade at 6:45 p.m. led by bagpiper Brian Sollum and Celebrity Star Helen Gill. The program will begin at 7 p.m. inside the historic Chief Theatre with Artistic Director Zach Curtis and a brilliant cast of stars. The public is invited to dress in their favorite theatrical attire and join the PBP Board for an evening of food, fun and prizes.

Jazz concert

The Bemidji Jazz Quartet featuring Kevin Daley will perform from 7-11 p.m. Friday at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, 317 Beltrami Ave. N.W. This professional ensemble promises an evening of perfect melding of harmony, rhythm and soul with a stand-up bass, saxophone, drums and guitar.

Vocal jazz

Join Josef Schlemper and Jessica Olson will perform an hour of vocal jazz and piano beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Cabin Coffeehouse and Café, 214 Third St. N.W. The concert is free and open to the public.

Haiku workshop

Let's Do Haiku: Images of Nature-Reflections of Ourselves, a workshop with Marsh Muirhead, will explore the history and tradition of the form. Its Japanese origin has evolved into the current English-language practice of "jewel-like, sometimes explosive little poems." The workshop will help participants focus on writing Haiku. Muirhead's poetry has been published in all major American Haiku journals and has gained international recognition in "The Red Moon Anthology." The workshop is limited to 24 people. To register, send a check in the amount of $40 to Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave., Bemidji 56601. The deadline is May 11. The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16 at the Hampton Inn Board Room, 1019 Paul Bunyan Drive S.

Iconography lecture

"From the Tomb to the Cathedral: The Roots and Traditions of Orthodox Icon Painting," an Honors Council Lecture, will be given by Natalia Himmirska, Bemidji State University assistant professor of visual arts. The technique of "encaustic," which marries pigment to hot beeswax dates to pre-Christian Greco-Greco Egypt. Early Christians used the technique to capture the images of their saints and leaders. These images are now called icons and some examples will be shown in a slide presentation of "iconostasis" or a central focus of worship in the Orthodox tradition. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Room 112 of BSU Hagg-Sauer Hall.

Senior exhibit

Touché Gallerie will display "Mesmerized Serenity," a senior exhibit of soft pastel drawings by Becky Rosendahl until May 1. l The opening reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. Monday in the gallery, which is located in BSU Upper Hobson Union. Touché Gallerie is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and is open to the public at no charge.

Theater camp

Mask and Rose Women's Theater Collective will offer SeussVille Theater Camp for 6-11-year-olds from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 8-12. The Tasty Baby Belly Buttons-Producers Jr. Theater Camp for 8-12-year-olds will focus on all aspects of production from June 22-26. "Shakespeare for Kids" camp for ages 9 to teens will culminate in a "Shakespeare to Go" performance during Bard in the Park festival from July 14-20 on the Bemidji lakefront. For information on the camps, email or call 243-2685.

Other events

-- "The Birthday Party," by Harold Pinter opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight Jammer's Night Club, 11328 Bemidji Road N. Pinter is known as the father of the "Theater of the Absurd" movement where the characters struggle for survival and identity, and while power directs the action of his players, their inability or ineptitude in communication results in disturbing and funny moments. This is a presentation of KG Entertainment, and the familiar local actors in this powerful play are Caleb Fricke, Mallory McKay, Dawn Eve, Greg Gasman, Andor Lofthus and Norwood Hall. The tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors and can be purchased at Harmony Food Co-op and the Wild Hare Bistro. All shows are 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 30 and May 1and 2.

-- Region 2 Arts Council will offer Watercolor: Throwing Paint for Foliage and Flowers three-day workshop with an instructor, Kathy Kovala, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 26, 27 and 28 at the Mantrap Valley Conservation Clubhouse in Park Rapids. There is a $100 registration fee and the deadline to register is May 1. For questions call Dale or Arlene at 732-8327. If interested in attending, send registration fee to the Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave., Bemidji 56601.

-- Bad Cat Creations Gallery and Gifts, 315 Irvine Ave. N.W., features BSU art student Cody Bartz. An art and design student, Bartz will display his screen printed posters and pottery.

--E Bemidji Community Arts Center, 426 Bemidji Ave., welcomes the Ninth Annual Bemidji Area High School Invitational featuring works in all mediums by local students. Shop 426 has many new items for sale and all proceeds support BCAC programming and the artists of the shop. BCAC is open to the public during regular hours noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday.

-- Beltrami County History Center, 130 Minnesota Ave. S.W., whose exhibit, in conjunction with Gallery North, explores a "Spring Fling" now through May 2009. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

-- Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Ave. N.W., has a display on the Library Art Wall of Leech Lake Art League in Walker member, Geri Mead and her impressions of the world of nature done in watercolor.

-- Cabin Coffeehouse and Café exhibits John Eggers' photography of "Horses, Haystacks and Haunts." There is also an on-going display of Audrey Merschman's cards and paintings. The Cabin is open seven days a week.

-- Dunn Bros. Coffee, 501 Paul Bunyan Drive S., will continue to display the digital photography work of Brandon Bjerknes, "Simply Beautiful." Also available for purchase is Levandowski Pottery, stoneware and Raku made with nontoxic clay and lead free glazes; fused and slumped glassware by MaryBeth Vaudrin and Beverly Olson and Squeaky Wheel Pottery by Josh Boock.

-- Gallery North, 502 Third St. N.W., announced the April showcase of the Annual Artists of Minnesota Traveling Mini Show of miniature original art from artists from across the state of Minnesota. Gallery North featured artists of the month are two of its founding members; Joyce Martin, who teachers watercolor, and Mary Morton, a Rosemaler.

--E Neilson Place, 1000 Anne St. N.W., welcomes Natalia Himirska and her exhibit "Embrace" in which she claims to merge "aesthetics and techniques from different eras into a synthesis expressed in contemporary visual language." The work, chosen by the North Country Health Services Art Committee, will be on display through June for the pleasure of the residents, families, staff and the community. Selected pieces are for sale and a price list can be had at the information desk.

-- Wild Hare Bistro and Coffee House, 523 Minnesota Ave. N.W., showcases Mackenzie Lindahl and Moni Schneider with their "Edible Mandala: an exploration of culinary inspiration" in photographs which highlight their love of food and cooking.

-- Fleur de Lis Gallery - "Mother Art," a collection of artwork (paintings, drawings, jewelry, photography and sculpture) made by women of all ages from the Bemidji area, Wild Rose Theater, 501 Bemidji Ave. This gallery is only open on performance days.

-- Tutto Bene, 300 Beltrami Ave. N.W., has an ongoing display of new art work by Beverlee Olson, Jane Freeman, Judy Selby Pat Shough and MaryBeth Vaudrin for viewing pleasure and sale. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is closed on Sunday.

-- Stop at the Tourist Information Center, 300 Bemidji Ave., by the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe, for a map and information on the pieces included in the Sculpture Walk.

Mark your calendars now with these upcoming events:

-- Poetry Open Mic - Poem in a Pocket Night 7 p.m. April 30, Wild Rose Theater.

-- Spring Fling Festival, Walker Community Center, May 2. Tickets: 547-1853.

-- Senior recital concert, Karissa Korbel, Thompson Recital Hall, 7:30, May 2.

-- Bemidji Chorale Mother's Day Concert, May 10.

-- Sculpture Walk Reception with artists, food and music by Pelican Railroad, 5 p.m., May 16, Rotary Pavilion.

-- Theater Unbound in collaboration with the Wild Rose Women's Theater collective, three plays by Anne Bertram, Wild Rose Theater, May 16 and 17.

-- Gallery North and Northern Artists, "The Artists of Minnesota Spring Show" on May 15-17. For more information, call Pat at 751-8842 or on line at

-- Pelican Railroad, 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Backyard BBQ 119 Third St. N.W.

Announcements of arts and entertainment events may be sent to the Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56619-0455 or e-mailed to