BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji Concert Series begins its 19th season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, with a performance by the Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony at BSU’s Thompson Recital Hall in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex.
The Bemidji State University Department of Music began the Bemidji Concert Series in 2001 to reinforce Bemidji’s reputation as a cultural center in northern Minnesota and to provide the Bemidji region with local access to world-class musical performances.
Thursday’s concert is the first of six to be held throughout the school year. Tickets are $20 for adults and free for BSU students with a valid ID.
In addition to the performance, the Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony also will work with BSU students in a master class and in private lessons.
“I like to think of this group as a great educational experience for both our students and the community,” said Miriam Webber, assistant professor of music at BSU. “I think it’s great to know what’s going on outside of Bemidji, and every time we can bring in artists from outside the area we all grow, both the artists who come in and the artists in Bemidji. So it’s great for us to collaborate in that way.”
The quartet from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) includes Timothy Myers, the Mr. and Mrs. William R. Orthwein principal trombone chair; Amanda Stewart, associate principal trombone; Jonathan Reycraft, utility trombone; and Gerry Pagano, bass trombone.
Founding members Myers and Pagano formed the Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony in 2006, transitioning from the symphonic concert stage environment to chamber music settings across the United States. The SLSO, founded in 1880, is the second-oldest professional symphony orchestra in the U.S., preceded by the New York Philharmonic.
Webber, who plays the bassoon, helped arrange the group’s visit to Bemidji because of her professional relationship with Stewart. They worked together as guest artists at a music festival several years ago.
The quartet will open the concert with “Overture to The Magic Flute” by Mozart and conclude with “Preludes” by George Gershwin. In between will be a variety of pieces that Webber believes will wow the Bemidji audience.
“They have a pretty mixed program,” she said. “They either play trombone quartets, which is a really popular genre for trombones to play, or they’ve arranged a lot of pieces for the group. They’re playing some new pieces and some old ones, so it’s going to be a pretty fun concert.”
Here is the schedule for the other concerts in the series:
Sept. 21 — Violetta Duo
Oct. 11 — Bach Society of Minnesota
Oct. 23 — Sherrie Maricle (drummer)
March 2 — Altius Quartet
April 2 — Minnesota Opera Resident Artists
All concerts within the series will be held at 7:30 p.m. in BSU’s Thompson Recital Hall, except for the Oct. 11 concert, which will be at 5 p.m. at First Lutheran Church. Tickets are available in advance by visiting the BSU Department of Music office in Room 301 of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex and will also be for sale at the doors.