A story to tell

MINOT, N.D. – The Minot Symphony Orchestra invites the whole family to its afternoon performance, A Story to Tell, on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall located inside Old Main on the campus of Minot State University.

“Our family concert is being re-imagined with young listeners in mind,” said Ellen Fenner, Minot Symphony Orchestra executive director. “This new relaxed environment is the perfect introduction for newcomers to the symphony. The performance will be shorter in length —approximately one hour — will not have an intermission and will engage and educate listeners of all ages with a combination of familiar and classical works.”

The performance begins with the “Toy Symphony” written by Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s father. A musical work from the 1760s, the symphony includes parts for a toy trumpet, ratchet, bird calls, triangle, chimes, drum, and glockenspiel. Enjoy the fun sounds of the toys played by young musicians from Erik Ramstad Middle School.

The featured soloist will be the winner of the annual MSO North Dakota High School Soloist Competition, Hannah Bohlen. Bohlen will perform the first movement of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Concerto in E Minor” for violin.

Bohlen is a homeschooled senior from Bismarck. She takes music classes at Legacy High school where she is the concertmaster of the LHS Chamber Orchestra. She has been featured as soloist with the Bismarck Mandan Youth Symphony Orchestra and received the Outstanding Performance Award at the ND State Music Solo and Ensemble Festival.  Bohlen currently plays as section violinist in the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra and is concertmaster of the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Youth Orchestra. She plans to study violin performance after graduation.

 The afternoon concludes with a journey through Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as guest narrators walk through the enchanting story of the familiar play while listening to the incidental music written by Felix Mendelssohn. Eric Furuseth, Minot State associate professor of humanities, and Mya Temanson, MSU student, have teamed up to write text to accompany the performance and will narrate the piece while Sarah Nielsen, MSU student, provides American Sign Language (ASL).

 “From a very young age, I've been drawn to Shakespeare. I've interacted with his writing through audiobooks, picture books, novels, the plays themselves, movies, documentaries, classes, recorded and live performances, art, music — so many kinds of creative media,” said Temanson. “Bringing ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ to life with the Minot Symphony Orchestra is an opportunity I'm tremendously excited to take part in.

“I'm currently applying to graduate schools, and the one thing I want to do with my studies is already in motion through this project: to reimagine Shakespeare in ways that touch audiences from all walks of life. It's by no means a new feat — creative people have been doing this over the past 400 years — but it is continuously being made anew.”

Pre-concert activities including an Instrument Petting Zoo and a pre-concert talk will begin at 2 p.m. Eckroth Music of Minot will be on site with the petting zoo, allowing concertgoers of all ages the opportunity to try out a variety of stringed, woodwind, and brass instruments prior to and following the performance. 

The 30-minute pre-concert talk by Tim Baumann, International Music Camp director and symphony member, will provide an engaging overview of the works being performed, the story behind the music, the composer, and historical context.

Tickets start at $30 for adults with senior and student discounts available. Live and livestream tickets are available at www.minotsymphony.com or through the box office at 701-858-4228.

The next performance of the Minot Symphony Orchestra is March 4 featuring the MSU Honors and Young Composer Competition winners. The 97th season will conclude on April 29 with Holst’s “The Planets Suite.”

The Minot Symphony Orchestra is a unique blend of student, community, and professional musicians from the Minot area. The symphony is directed by Maestro Efraín Amaya, associate professor of music at Minot State University.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Minot Area Council of the Arts.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 01/24/23   

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