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Pioneer Previews: Bemidji Chorale spring concert set for Sunday

The 32nd annual spring concert of the Bemidji Chorale will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 15, on the main stage of Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex on the campus of Bemidji State University, 14th St. and Birchmont Drive N.E.

The Chorale, directed by Pat Mason and with piano accompaniment by Wayne Hoff, will sing a collection of American folk songs and spirituals. The program will include some familiar tunes: "Times of Your Life," an old Kodak commercial (Did you ever hear the phrase, "I cry at Kodak commercials"?) "Here's That Rainy Day" and traditional folk song, "Bright Morning Stars." As always the public is invited to stay after the concert and enjoy the ice cream social. The event is free and open to the public; a free will offering will be accepted. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Opera Night

Reservations are being taken now by Director Fulton Gallagher for the June 3 and 4 Opera Night Gala. Always a fine evening of dining and music: a five course dinner and grand singing of arias from traditional operatic selections and a special group of Gilbert and Sullivan songs. For a complete listing of the dinner selections, please see Staff Blogs on the home page of Bemidji and scroll down to Bemidji Arts News or Tickets are $60 each for dinner in the Garden Room at Ruttger's Birchmont Lodge and fine musical entertainment. Always a sell-out, so reserve early at or call 586-2536.

Open house

Stanford Center Open House will be held from noon-3 p.m. today with musical entertainment by Franklin Valley singing old Norwegian folk Songs accompanied by Cyrus Pansch, free complimentary coffee from Dunn Bros. Coffee, beignets from head chef Bill Downs, a gourmet cup cake from Althea's Cakery and tours that will begin at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Stop by to see what the buzz is all about at Bemidji's new event center. This event is sponsored by Althea's Cakery, The Sanford Center and Venueworks.

TV series

This week's episode of "Common Ground," a magazine show that demonstrates the creative process of various artists living in this region, will air at 7 p.m. Thursdays on Lakeland Public TV. On this week's episode of Common Ground you're bound to get hungry! We'll introduce you to Sharon Carlson who discusses her Norwegian heritage and shows how the use of cooking can keep those traditions strong. Plus get a taste of a well-known festival as we visit the restaurant capitol of the world otherwise known as Dorset! Finally, join us at the Taste of Northern Minnesota in Bemidji as we sample the local's best dishes! The shows will be repeated at 6 p.m. Sundays and at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays, following the initial broadcast. Videos of past shows are also available online at This activity is funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Planning session

Artists and other interested individuals are invited to attend the Region 2 Arts Council Biennial Plan Public Hearing at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at the R2AC office, 426 Bemidji Ave. The staff will take public input on the upcoming Biennial Plan which includes the needs assessment and summary (what does the arts community feel is necessary to be added and/or changed in the upcoming year) and an overview of R2AC goals, objectives, programs and services. Please RSVP to 751-5447.

Poetry reading

Indian Poetry Reading Series with Jamison C. Mahto will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Book World, 316 Beltrami Ave. N.W. Mahto will read from his third edition of "Blues for Franklin Avenue."

Portrait program

Northern Artist Association will have an open meeting with Joan Wilson, who will present a program on beginning a portrait. The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, at the Eagles Club, 1270 Neilson Ave. S.E. The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be served.

Musical events

E Bemidji Jazz Quartet, featuring Kevin Daley, will perform from 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, May 13 at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant in downtown Bemidji. Daley joins the BJQ for an evening of innovative, contemporary instrumental music ranging from bop to fusion. The restaurant stops taking food orders at 9 p.m.

E Timberland, with vocalists and guitarists Kari Munson and John Essig, John Kingsbury on steel guitar and Dave Sand on drums, will play a country dance from 7-11 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Solway Bar and Grill, U.S. Highway 2 W. in Solway.

E Eric Haugen will perform in concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16, in Thompson Recital Hall of Bangsberg. This will be Eric's senior recital before heading off to college in the fall.

E "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" by Weber and Rice, a collaboration of Minnesota Folklore Theater and Nevis High School, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. May 12 and 13 and at 3 p.m. May 15 at Nevis High School, 2310 Pleasant Ave. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 seniors, and $8 for students grades K-12. Call 218-652-2666 for reservations.

Upcoming events

E Get a free ticket now at the Bemidji Public Library for "Telling Tales with Kevin Kling." Kling's storytelling is appreciated internationally but here in Minnesota, most notably on MPR's "All Things Considered." An evening with Kevin Kling will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, May 20, at the historic Chief Theatre, 314 Beltrami Ave. N.W. This program is part of the Kitchigami "Say It, Sing It Storytelling Project" with funding from the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment, Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

E The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra will have a Liszt Celebration with Andrew Armstrong on piano at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Empire Arts Center, downtown Grand Forks. On the program: "Mephisto Waltz No. 1," "Piano Concerto No.2 in A," "Les Preludes" and "Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat." Go to the for more information about ticket price and ordering. This is the final concert of the season by conductor Alexander Platt.

E Styx Live in Concert, a favorite rock band of the late '70s will be on stage at the Sanford Center at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 28. "Come Sail Away" with Styx: tickets range from $5 to $25 with luxury suites for 16 people starting at $820 (including tickets). Tickets are available now at Ticketmaster of the Sanford Center Box Office, 441-4000.


A writing group for teens will meet for six weeks at the Nemeth Center (formerly known as the North Country Museum of Arts), 301 Court St., Park Rapids. Open to teens from 14-18, the workshop will focus on writing tips and ideas and learning the fine art of giving helpful feedback. The workshop will be lead by writer and author Cynthia Ekren from 10 a.m.-noon beginning Monday, June 13. The cost is $60, and some scholarships are available through Friends of the Library. Interested writers should contact Ekren at 218-652-4257 or The group will be limited.

Book festivals

The Bemidji Library Book Festival will be held the week of June 13-18 with 16 author presentations.

Rosana Saberi will speak about her book, "Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran" at 7 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Bemidji High School Auditorium. Free tickets are available now at the Bemidji Public Library

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