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With Valentine’s Day only two weeks away, the Bagley Area Arts Collaborative will be celebrating “A Classic Valentine’s Musical Dinner” with two Bemidji artists: Violinist Eric Olson and his talented vocalist wife Jennifer Olson, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Fireside Grill and Patio.
First, I must apologize for misdating the master class and recital with Patricia Surman, the visiting flute artist who performed yesterday in Bangsberg Main Theater on the BSU campus. Surman spent the summer in residence at the University of Macedonia in Greece where she taught studio flute and researched contemporary Greek flute. I write late but want you to see the level of professionals that the Department of Music is consistently attracting for our music students.
Two world-class string players will perform at 4 p.m. today in Thompson Recital Hall of Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex at BSU.
The Christmas that we celebrated was by the Julian “old calendar” so as I write today, Jan. 6 is Christmas Eve and my mind is full of happy memories of religious celebration and ethnic foods. My material grandmother always made me a new flannel nightgown, usually the only present given or received on this holiday. The night was devoted to celebrating the birth of Christ — “Christ is Born” answered by “Praise Him” was offered as a salute to each.
Driving back and forth to North Dakota is pleasant this time of year because of all the homes decorated for Christmas. Some homes are decorated with traditional Christian symbols coupled with Santa and his team of reindeer. Thank you to those who took the time and effort to give others pleasure.
A recent column in the Sunday Pioneer espoused the virtues of living in Bemidji. I am always happy to hear when a person from warmer parts of the country move here and love all the winter activities. And for for me, the best thing about living in Bemidji is the advantages for visual, verbal and aural experiences.
From the first few notes of “Follow the Star,” the images in my mind were of a windy hill in Jordan; the trees are bent over from centuries of constant battering. Here is a remnant of Karak Castle built by the French Crusaders in 1142 on a mountain range some 4,300 feet above sea level. Captured by Saladin, an Arab military leader, in 1188, the castle is the site for the final battle of Third Crusade. Caves for shepherds pockmark the land all the way down to the desert where windstorms can bury camels and their riders within minutes.
Group Therapy Productions is the newest theater company in town and devoted to cutting edge playwrights and their work. The premiere production opened on Saturday at the Rail River Folk School's River Room with local actors in "An Evening with Pinter." Three future dates of the production are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Dec. 12.
To be precise, I am so proud of Bemidji when I see how many people give of them self to serve others. The lists of volunteers crossover at times: the same volunteer who escorted you to your seat at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse during the summer season might very well have served you a free dinner at St. Philip's on Thanksgiving Day. I know, because I have done it in the past, how many hours it takes to prepare that meal and how many of us cheerfully chatted and set up the tables for a festive day.
Just this past Monday, I was privileged to represent Beltrami County at the Region 2 Arts Council's grant rounds for Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Schools and Arts Project Grants. Who did I see representing BSU but one of the new jewels in the crown of the Department of Music, Eric Olson. As of this time, I cannot disclose the grant winners but suffice to say that Olson was smiling when he left the hall as he has done a few times in the past.