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Pioneer Previews: Lake Bemidji Summer Concert Series begins

The Lake Bemidji Summer Concert Series will showcase acoustic guitar player Tim Sparks beginning at 1:30 p.m. today at the amphitheatre at the Lake Bemidji State Park. Admission to the park requires a current sticker and one-day passes are available. The concert is open to the public at no charge because this series is funded by a Region 2 Arts Grant.

A broadcast of Bemidji Symphony Orchestra's concert featuring "Roosevelt in Cowboy Land" an original composition by Chris Brubeck and narrated by Chris Jenkinson, music from the Roosevelt White House era and Virgil Thomon's film score, "The Plow that Broke the Plains" will begin at 8 tonight on Classical MPR 88.5fm.

The 25th Anniversary Bemidji Area Church Musician Summer Concert series will begins at noon Wednesday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 2220 Anne St. NW. The recital will showcase the 2011 recipients of the Bemidji Area Church Musicians scholarships.

Cellist Eric Haugen will perform Sonata in D minor by Claude Debussy and Variations on One String on a Theme by Rossini, composed by Paganini. Pianist Sarah Carlson will accompany him.

Aaron Schnackenberg will play Tableaus de Provence by Maurice on alto saxophone and Partita in D minor on the guitar. Pianist Matt Bock will accompany him.

All of the concerts are open to the public and free-will offerings will be accepted for the BACM Scholarship fund. A post-concert luncheon will be provided at a minimal cost, a service of each member church to support their fund raising efforts.

"Madama Butterfly," by Puccini, by the Loon Opera Company will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at the Bemidji High School auditorium. A fully staged opera with English super titles, orchestra and chorus, more information about the singers can be found at Tickets are $25 each and on sale now at Kelsey's Jewelry in downtown Bemidji or by calling 368-8805.

The fundraiser in support of Abe Hunter's trip to the Tyrolean Opera Program will be from 4:30-6:30 Friday at the David Park House, 1501 Birchmont Drive.

Entertainment will be provided by Hunter, Loon Opera Company guest artists and Eric Haugen. The guests will enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres donated by local establishments while listening to the musicians. A free will donation will be accepted.

"Out of the Fez," an evening of one-act plays by Jeremiah Liend will start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the main theater in the Bangsberg Performing Arts Complex on the campus of BSU, 14th Street and Birchmont Drive. Tickets at the door or at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant in downtown Bemidji.

"The Sunshine Boys," by Neil Simon, the second play of the season for the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, will have a 2 p.m. matinee today. The performance time is 8 p.m. for shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The comedy revolves around two famous comics, once best friends and now bitter enemies, attempts to get ready for a television show showcasing the glory days of vaudeville. Located in the historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji , the tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for students with a valid ID. The box office number is 751-7270 or order tickets on line at

"Over the River and Through the Woods," a comedy by Joe Dipietro, is playing through June at the Long Lake Theater in Hubbard. Check the website at for performance times and dates or call (218) 732-0099.

"Judy Why Can't I," an

original musical by the Minnesota Folklore Theater will have a 3 p.m. matinee today and 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at their new location, 405 Minnesota Ave. in Walker. The play offers a glimpse into Judy's life starting with her youth in Grand Rapids, continues with her Hollywood years and ends with Judy's decline into alcohol and drugs. The show features some of her most memorable songs like "The Man That Got Away" and "Over the Rainbow." Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 seniors and students $8 and may be ordered at 218-547-4044. This show is not appropriate for young children.

The Bemidji Public Library Summer 2012 Book Sale will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Bemidji National Guard Armory, 1430 23rd St. NW. Friends of the Library Early Bird specials from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday.

Bemidji artist and author Alice Blessing will be reading from her children's book beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Park Rapids Community Education After-School program. Free and open to the public.

The public is invited to attend an open house at the gallery from 5-7 p.m. Friday, 311 Main Ave. S. in Park Rapids. New gallery guests for the month of July are gourd artist Connie Schindle, glass blower Jon Offutt, White Birch Artists Group and jewelry maker Pat Doughty. Gallery featured artists are painter Judy, and wood worker and furniture maker Jerry Wegernast.

A complete listing of all the artists and venues can be found on the Bemidji Community Arts Center website at

Local watercolor artist Jane Freeman will offer artists a three-day workshop on watercolor painting Thursday through Sunday in the Beltrami Electric Cooperative community meeting room.

The workshop will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Registration is required. The cost is $185 and space is limited. Call 444-5606 to register and for more information. This activity is funded by a grant from the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

Bemidji Area Community Band Concert at 7 p.m. July 1 at Bangsberg Performing Arts Complex.

"Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music" at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse from July 4-14.

Bemidji Symphony Orchestra Summer Pops

Concert, Music and Message at 7:30 p.m. July 14 at BHS.