Harmony in the Park 2014: 3 days of Choral Music in Minneapolis, Mankato and Duluth

April 21, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — The land of 10,000 choirs has never sounded so good. This year, Classical MPR presents Harmony in the Park to the third power, with dates in Minneapolis, Mankato and Duluth.

Thursday, June 5, 7:00 p.m., Minneapolis

Sunday, June 8, 7:00 p.m., Mankato

Father's Day, Sunday, June 15, 4:00 p.m., Duluth

Filling the early summer evening with song will be some of the state's finest choral ensembles. These concerts will be a perfect gathering for nature enthusiasts, families, choral music lovers and the perfect antidote for recovering from our long, cold Minnesota winter.

The events are free and open to the public and are perfect for all ages. There's plenty of seating at each venue, so bring your folding lawn chairs or a blanket and your picnic basket and join us for a great evening of music in the great Minnesota outdoors.

Minneapolis, Thurs. June 5, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

With host Brian Newhouse

Minnehaha Park is located at the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, on the banks of the Mississippi in Minneapolis. The park is just across the river from the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul.

Line up

The Singers, a professional 40-voice choir founded in 2004 by Artistic Director and Conductor Matthew Culloton, are recognized nationally for their commitment to innovative programming. The Singers have commissioned and premiered 70 new works from composers including Stephen Paulus and Abbie Betinis. In the ensemble's first ten seasons, seven CD recordings have been issued, most recently At the River: American Folk Songs, Spirituals, and Hymns.

VocalPoint is a 70-voice auditioned choir based at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul and led by Artistic Director Jennifer M. Anderson. VocalPoint challenges people through music to build a better world, and its concerts are emotional journeys through songs from many cultures. The ensemble donates 100% of performance-driven donations to worthy causes that make a dramatic impact in everyday lives, including Open Arms of Minnesota and Neighborhood House.

Six Appeal is a six-man vocal band that navigates multiple genres of music. With formal instruction in singing, music education, and composition, its members have a passion for spreading their knowledge of a cappella music to every audience, and an essential aspect of their mission is to empower young singers though their educational outreach program. In 2012 Six Appeal was named National Champion at the National Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival in San Rafael, California.

Parking is limited to parking meters or designated parking lots, and a parking fee applies. The Hiawatha Light Rail Line trains stop at 50th Street/Minnehaha Park, a short walk from the park.

Mankato, Sun. June 8, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

With host Alison Young

Riverfront Park Pedestrians walking to the park are encouraged to cross Riverfront Drive at Elm Street and use Rock Street to access the park or use one of the access trails located along the Minnesota River. Event parking is available.

Line up

Minnesota Valley Chorale was founded in 1978 to provide Southern Minnesota audiences with a rich and varied choral experience unique to the area. This adult choral ensemble, directed by Eric Harstad, presents performances in Fall and Spring, each concert given both in Mankato and also in a neighboring community. Minnesota Valley Chorale draws on a broad range of musical literature and keeps a tradition of featuring works by Minnesota Composers.

St. Peter Choral Society began in 1979 with a newspaper notice inviting interested singers to perform Handel's Messiah. Now in its 34th season and directed by Sara McKay, the ensemble has given some of the first live performances in the Mankato area of such masterworks as Mendelssohn's Elijah and Haydn's The Seasons. It is also dedicated to the music of living composers, including Minnesota's own Carolyn Jennings, Eric Stokes, and Steve Heitzeg.

The Mankato Riverblenders Barbershop Chorus is celebrating its 40th year of family entertainment through barbershop harmony. Organized as a chapter of the national Barbershop Harmony Society, they've won honors in many division, district and international contests over the years. The Riverblenders perform year-round at churches, sing-outs, picnics, family functions, and other events in the Mankato area, including an annual show.

Duluth, Sun. June 15, 2014, (Father's Day), 4:00 p.m.

With host Steve Staruch

Leif Erikson Park, at 12th Ave E. & London Road in Duluth, is located a few blocks east of the Fitgers Brewery Complex, along the Lake Walk. Ramp parking available. Celebrate Father's Day with food, craft beer and other beverages by Fitger's Brewhouse

Harmony in the Park, the ultimate Father's Day treat: our event in Duluth is a fun, family-friendly event sure to please Dads around the state. Join us for an early afternoon of the best choral groups from the North Shore, and beer and food from Fitger's Brewhouse.

Line up

Twin Ports Choral Project is a Duluth-Superior-based a capella vocal chamber ensemble directed by Brett Amundson, associate professor of music and Director of Choral Activities at the College of St. Scholastica. Recent programs include "To My Beloved Who Breaks My Heart", sacred and secular works that portray the many facets of love, and "Horizons: Songs of War, Peace, and Freedom."

Lake Superior Youth Chorus, also led by Artistic Director Bret Amundson, consists of three choirs of young singers in grades 3 through 10. The Concert Choir, 7th through 10th grade singers, is its main touring and performing ensemble. LSYC brings a holistic approach to its music education, emphasizing the growth and personal development of young choral artists.

Echoes of Peace Choir got its start 12 years ago when Founding and Artistic Director Sara Thomsen organized it for the Art of Peace event in Duluth, a local response to the event and aftermath of 9/11. It has grown to 75 members. Beyond celebrating the joy of singing, the ensemble's mission is to inspire awareness, action and reflection on critical social issues through music and the arts.

Admission to all events is free. Seating at the parks will be first come, first served. There will also plenty of space to spread a blanket to enjoy the festival.

Harmony in the Park™ is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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