BEMIDJI -- Sarah Carlson is accustomed to playing the pipe organ at First Lutheran Church. She’s been the pianist and organist there for 14 years. She also has performed with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra for several years.
But Carlson has not played any Beatles music in church or with the symphony. That will change next weekend when she joins a chamber ensemble from the BSO for two concerts at First Lutheran. Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14.
“This is a first-time experience for me,” Carlson said.
Her concerto based on The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is one of three pieces on the program. BSO musical director Beverly Everett will play her transcription of “Now Thank We All Our God,” and the wind and strings ensemble will perform Aaron Copland's “The Tender Land Suite” with guest vocalists Therese Kulas and Cole Girodat.
Carlson is excited to feature First Lutheran’s Casavant Frères pipe organ, which was installed four years ago, with a popular Beatles song.
“I think they’ll recognize it and kind of hum along as I play,” she said. “It’s great that the symphony is incorporating the organ. It was a big deal for us when we purchased it a few years ago and it was a very good investment. I’m just excited that Beverly is going to play it, too.”
Everett’s hymn, originally written by Bach, was later transcribed for organ by the famed Virgil Fox. “And I have further transcribed it for the winds and strings,” Everett said.
The guest vocalists are returning to Bemidji after performing in the Summer Pops concert in August. Everett says the Copland piece carries a message of hope.
“The suite ends with the song ‘The Promise of Living’ with praise and thanksgiving,” she said.
Individual concert tickets can be purchased in advance at either Lueken's Village Foods locations or online at bemidjisymphony.org. Same-day tickets can be purchased at the door. Prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62 and older and $10 for college students with a valid ID. Students in grades K-12 will be admitted free.
All seats are general admission. Doors open for seating 30 minutes prior to the concert start time. Masks are required.