Bemidji concert bridges 'Between Two Cultures'

by Michael Barone, Minnesota Public Radio
October 18, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On June 30, 2013, Bemidji's Classical Minnesota Public Radio station (KCRB-88.5) aired a special two-hour broadcast of recent concert performances by the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Bemidji State University Concert Choir and Bemidji Chorale. Classical MPR's veteran producer Michael Barone was host, and the program featured several performances recorded by MPR earlier in the season at the Bemidji High School Auditorium.

The broadcast began with Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 by Johannes Brahms, his non-liturgical "German" Requiem with text in the vernacular, intended as a spiritual support for those left behind. The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Bemidji State University Concert Choir (prepared by Bradley Logan) and Bemidji Chorale (prepared by Patricia Mason) are all conducted by Beverly Everett, with guest vocal soloists Edward Huls, bass, and Jennifer Swanson, soprano.

Following the Brahms, the broadcast featured Bemidji Symphony Orchestra performances of two contemporary works that celebrate our region's Native American culture. Linda Tutas Haugen's The Fable of Old Turtle is a creation story based on a book for children by Douglas Wood and Cheng-Khee Chee. Local Native American flutist Keith Bear was soloist, and the story was narrated by Ms. Haugen. Russell Peterson's symphonic suite Between Two Cultures, inspired by three art works of Star Walloginw Bull and co-commissioned in 2005 by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony and Plains Art Museum, embraces indigenous and western European musical cultures.

"There are wonderful musicians in the Bemidji area, and they put heart and soul into these performances," says Brian Newhouse, managing director of Classical MPR. "We were pleased to have been there with our recording equipment and, with this archived online audio, not only to bring this music back to the community in which it was born, but to make it more widely available, too."

This production was supported in part by the Legacy Amendment for Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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