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Bemidji Symphony: Valentine concert to feature movie themes

Guest conductor Matthew Goinz rehearses the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra string section in Barber's "Adagio for Strings" for Tuesday's sixth annual Valentine's Day Concert. Pioneer Photo/Patt Rall

"A Night at the Movies" will be the offering for the Sixth Annual Bemidji Symphony Orchestra Valentine's Day Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, in the Bemidji High School Auditorium.

The program of songs includes old favorites from the 1920s such as Gershwin's "The Man I Love," and "My Funny Valentine" from Rogers and Hart's 1937 musical, "Babes in Arms." The familiar "Moon River" by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini from the 1961 movie "Breakfast at Tiffanys" and the theme song from the movie Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On" are just a sample of the musical offerings, for which most people know the lyrics.

Gretchen Rusch's solo of "Gabriel's Oboe" is a melody written by Italian composer Ennio Morricone for the 1986 film, "The Mission." For younger audiences, conductor Beverly Everett chose "Raiders March" and the "Star Wars Theme" to show that romantic music from the movies crosses generations.

Matthew Goinz was invited to be guest conductor for Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," considered by many to be the most popular 20th century classical movement.

Goinz has been studying conducting with Everett and said he is grateful for the opportunity to lead the BSO in this momentous piece made popular by the movie, "Platoon." The opening credits of the movie show the realities of war, but the haunting music brings to the fore the dual nature of man under these circumstances. Juxtaposed to the beauty of the music is wartime Vietnam, some pictures that were shown on the news each night. This movie brought this piece to the attention of a public not generally familiar with classical music.

Goinz is a 2010 graduate of Bemidji State University and is presently working as a free lance musician in Twin Cities before going on to graduate school at the University of Arizona for a master's degree in choral conducting.

Goinz toured as vocalist during the summer of 2010 Library Tour of the BSO. Most people have seen him sing as a tenor at one of Fulton Gallagher's Opera Night Galas, as the lead in many musicals at BSU and on stage at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. Goinz is a lyric baritone, which means that he has a very strong high range.

Presently, he is assistant musical director of the Frank's Theatre's production of "Cabaret" in the Twin Cities and is playing piano for "Songs for a New World," a senior thesis project for his friend at Concordia University. Bemidjians will see him in "Forever Plaid" at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse this summer before he goes off to pursue his goal, choral conducting.

"I have wanted to be a conductor for many years," said Goinz. "I chalk that up to being a student of Chris Fetig (Bemidji High School Choir Director). My solo performances have grown out of that but I've always gravitated back to conducting. There is such a strong element of teaching in conducting, and that's what keeps me coming back. It's the best of both - the performing and teaching worlds."

This is a family friendly show. Children through grade 12 will be admitted free. Tickets for all others are $5 and are available now at Lueken's Village Foods North and Brigid's Cross Irish Pub in downtown Bemidji. Tickets will also be sold at the door the evening of the performance.