Carl O. Thompson concert showcases student musical talent

BEMIDJI, Minn. — The annual Carl O. Thompson Memorial Concert introducing the Bemidji State University 2008-09 performing season will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 28, in the Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and free for students.

In addition to performances by BSU’s major performing ensembles, the concert will feature a student performance by one of the two winners of the Carl O. Thompson scholarship. The vocal scholarship winner performing this year is senior Sara Wabrowetz of Duluth, Minn., who is pursuing a bachelor of science in vocal music education and a bachelor of arts in voice.

Performing ensembles will be:
•    The Wind Ensemble, Director Dr. Darrin Oehlerking, assistant professor of music and director of bands at Bemidji State. This is the premiere wind band on campus, selected through audition. The ensemble explores, studies and performs the highest quality wind band literature. 
•    Jazz Band I, Director Oehlerking. An auditioned group that tours regionally and has performed in Mexico and Hawaii. Highly attended annual performances for the ensemble include “Remember When,” a nostalgic look at the Big Band Era, “Jingle Jazz,” and the annual BSU Jazz Festival.
•    The Chamber Singers, Director Dr. Brad Logan; an ensemble of 16 singers specializing in literature for small choir, such as early English carols, Renaissance madrigals and chansons, and selected contemporary works.
•    The Bemidji Choir, founded by Thompson and now under the direction of Logan. The choir has gained a national and international reputation for excellence. In addition to concerts, tours and recordings, the choir produces Bemidji State’s annual Madrigal Dinners.

Concert proceeds are used to fund two $1,500 Carl O. Thompson Scholarships awarded to the outstanding student musicians at Bemidji State.

Thompson came to Bemidji State in 1937 as an instructor in vocal music and eventually founded the A Cappella Choir, the Bemidji Civic Oratorio Society and the Lutheran Campus Center. He lectured each summer for 20 years at the Paul Christiansen Choral Schools throughout the United States and directed numerous high school music clinics and festivals. He was past president of the Minnesota Music Educators Association, director of the First Lutheran Church Choir for 25 years and chair of Bemidji State’s Department of Music for many years.

For more information, please call the Department of Music at (218) 755-2915.

Sept. 28
– 3 p.m. – Carl O. Thompson Memorial Concert presented by Bemidji State University. Location: Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, BSU campus: Admission: $5 adults, $3 senior citizens, free to all students.