Bemidji State University’s Sept. 29 Carl O. Thompson Memorial Concert, which traditionally opens the university’s performance season, will feature a special guest solo by Dave Matthews Band trumpeter Rashawn Ross.
The concert will begin at 3 p.m. in the Thompson Recital Hall of Bemidji State’s Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. BSU students are admitted free with a valid ID.
In addition to performances by BSU’s major performing ensembles, the concert will feature student performance by this year’s winners of the concert’s namesake scholarship. This year’s winners are Josh May, a sophomore music and liberal arts major from Maple Grove, Minn., and Allison Laughlin, a senior music and liberal arts major from Grand Rapids, Minn.
May will perform a selection with BSU’s Blue Ice jazz ensemble and play trumpet, and Laughlin will perform a piano solo.
BSU’s Blue Ice jazz ensemble will perform “Junk Wagon” by John Daversa, which will feature a solo performance by Ross, and “Yafeel?” by May. Blue Ice is directed by Dr. Del Lyren, professor of music.
The Wind Ensemble, directed by Scott Guidry, assistant professor of music, will be performing Julius Fucik’s “Florentiner March” and a John Paynter arrangement of Malcom Arnold’s “Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo.”
The Bemidji Choir will perform a variety of pieces ranging from Renaissance-era compositions to pieces written in the last two years, including “Witness” by Stacey Gibbs and “Entreat Me Not to Leave You” by Dan Forrest. The Bemidji Chamber Singers will present a pair of madrigals by Renaissance composer John Farmer and a late-20th Century madrigal by American composer William Hawley.
The Bemidji Choir and Chamber Singers are both directed by P. Bradley Logan, professor of music.
Concert proceeds fund a pair of $1,400 scholarships in Thompson’s name to outstanding music students at BSU who excel in the classroom and as performers.
The concert and scholarships are dedicated to the memory of Carl O. Thompson, who for many years was synonymous with choral music in the northern Minnesota region. He came to Bemidji State in 1937 as a vocal music instructor and eventually founded the A Capella Choir, the Bemidji Civic Oratorio Society and the Lutheran Campus Center. For 20 years, he lectured throughout the United States each summer with the Paul Christiansen Choral Schools and directed numerous high school music clinics and festivals. He was a past president of the Minnesota Music Educators Association, spent 25 years as director of the First Lutheran Church Choir and spent many years as chair of BSU’s music department.
Thompson is remembered for establishing Bemidji State as a leader in providing quality education and in cultural contributions to the region. The scholarship and concert that bear his name rewards a new generation of students who reflect his concern for excellence and commitment.
Rashawn Ross Jam Session
Following the Carl O. Thompson Memorial Concert, Ross will be performing “Jazz Jam with Rashawn Ross” beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Lakeview Rooms at Bemidji’s Sanford Center. Ross will be hosting the jam session along with a backup band made up of local musicians. Anyone is welcome to listen to the session or bring a horn and jam with the band.
Tickets $10 for adults and $5 for students; they are available at the BSU Department of Music or at the Sanford Center Ford Pickup Window.
About Rashawn Ross
Rashawn Ross, an American trumpeter and arranger from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has gained international acclaim as a member of Dave Matthews Band. Ross is an accomplished session musician and arranger; he arranged the horn parts for Josh Groban’s album, “All That Echoes” and played trumped on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Ross has worked with artists in many different genres of music including funk, rock, jazz, hip hop, gospel and country. Some of the notable artists with whom he has worked include Ludacris, Usher, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Yerba Buena, Soulive, Lettuce and DJ Quik.
• Rashawn Ross