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PATT RALL COLUMN: Thanks abound at BSU concerts

Patt Rall

There was nothing but pride on the faces of those parents, students and seniors at the two recent concerts given by the Bemidji State University music faculty at the Carl O. Thompson concert, which supports the musical scholarships given to a music and voice student each fall. Scott Guidry’s jazz ensemble, Blue Ice, grew to heights of professional playing. Dwight Jilek’s (Bemidji Choir Chamber Singers) two pieces in Honor of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, with shadow voices whispering from the rear and quotes from tweets — expressions of hope from those who battle depression and choose to live, as singers came forth to plead “Please Stay.” This was the second time we had heard the selection and cried once again at the poetry and emotion displayed by the singers and director.

Studio Cruise is coming

This weekend coming up is the annual Studio Cruise on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at various studio sites in and around Bemidji. There are maps at the information center, Watermark’s temporary home and all the crafter’s studios. The range of crafters is always gaining new artists to their studios. Back at the inception of the cruise, there were features in the paper every week that gave me great pleasure in visiting the studios early, buying at least one piece of art, sculpture or jewelry and I still admire them after all these years, some too precious, like the work of Josh B., to use every day.

BCT’s ‘Sound of Music’

Bemidji Community Theater tickets for “The Sound of Music” are on sale for the November  performances (Nov. 10-11, Nov. 17-18 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 12 and Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.) under the direction of Mary Knox Johnson, vocal Direction by Karen Bradley and Julie Loxtercamp and accompanists Carol L. Johnson and Nila Bassett. Tickets are $6 for children and $12 for adults at Iverson Corner Drug and K.K. Thompson Jewelry.

Learning never ends

Adventures in Lifelong Learning continue its fall lecture series with Dennis Huwe’s “Guarding the Resources: Exploring Minnesota’s Game Warden/Conservation Officer Service.” A program based on dates and events that led the upsurge in game wardens to 150 from one in 1998. The program starts with coffee and socializing starting at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The talk begins at 10 a.m. with a Q&A from 11-11:30 a.m. in the community room of Beltrami Electric, 4111 Technology Drive, Bemidji. Handicapped-accessible and adequate parking. Free-will offerings are gladly accepted for the refreshments (coffee and bars).

Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning will meet from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the new Park Theater (formerly the Armory) in Park Rapids. Simon Zornes will share connections with the natural world that are central to Native American experience, creativity and culture. All programs are open to the public and handicap accessible; refreshments are served and free-will donations gladly accepted.   

Come out and enjoy the Music of the Mississippi with the Everett Smithson Band at the Bemidji Public Library on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. The band consists of Phil Schmid on guitar, Jeremy Johnson on drums and Bill Black on standup bass, along with Everett and Kathy Smithson. The concert is free and open to the public; a free, all-ages harmonica lesson given by Everett Smithson will be held after the concert.

Northern Exposure to Lifelong Learning continues its fall lecture series on Wednesday, Oct 18 at 9:30 a.m. at New Journey in Fosston, Minn., with Jesse MacArthur and “Travels in the Amazon;” a wild place full of mystery with butterflies bigger than one’s hands and trees thicker than the width of a bus. All programs are open to the public and handicap accessible; refreshments are served and free-will donations gladly accepted.

First City Singers seeks director

The First City Singers, a non-audition vocal performance group, is seeking a volunteer with choral direction experience to lead weekly rehearsals and occasional performances at area senior living facilities. Rehearsals are 1 p.m. Mondays at Headwaters Music and Arts. First City Singers also welcomes additional men and women ages 55 and older to the group; for information about the volunteer director position or becoming a member, contact organizer Kathy Hughes at (218) 751-5129.

More upcoming events
  • “Disney’s High School Musical” will be presented on stage at the Greater Grand Forks Community Theater, celebrating 70 years of community involvement by Firehall Theater. Performances at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3-5, Nov. 10 and at 2 p.m. on Nov.12. Call for tickets at (701) 777-4090 or
  • “Decades Rewind” 7:30 p.m. on Nov.9 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Dakota. The show celebrates the hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s with 60 songs, 100 costume changes and nostalgic video. Tickets at, box office inside theater and at (800) 375-4068. Ticket prices are $47 and $37 and all seats are good at the Fritz.
  • Fourth Annual Sweet Treat Shelter at Farm by the Lake, on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. supported by area businesses in picnic shelter to hand out candy; Costume Contest at 6 p.m.
  • Bemidji Symphony Orchestra concert series for 2017-18 brings to the stage award-winning tenor J. Warren Mitchell from his home in Germany. A rising star in the opera world will join the BSO for a program of well-known opera arias and German art songs. The production will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Bemidji High School Performing Arts Center, with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $20 adult; $15 seniors; $10 college students with current ID; K-12 students free. Tickets at Lueken’s Village Foods North and South and at the door and
  • Tickets for the Vene and Friends Fundraiser concert on Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Nov, 15 at the Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji are available at Iverson Drug and K.K. Thompson.
  • Local famed mural and batik artist Mary Therese, revisits her artistic beginnings with a four-session class in basic watercolor at Headwaters Music and Arts in downtown Bemidji. This class is for all those who have wanted to learn watercolor but haven’t had the opportunity as well as folks looking to brush up on their skills. Find out more or register by calling (218) 444-5606 or online. Sessions start Wednesday, Oct. 25. Limited number of spots available; cost is $75 for member, $80 for nonmembers.