Department of Music’s fall slate kicks off Oct. 9 with Carl O. Thompson Concert

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sept. 27, 2011) — The Bemidji State University Department of Music kicks off its 2011-12 performance season Sunday, Oct. 9, with the annual Carl O. Thompson Memorial concert.

The show is scheduled for 3 p.m. 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 student performances by the two winners of the Carl O. Thompson scholarship. Performing this year will be Matt Sieberg, a senior from Eagle Lake, Minn., majoring in piano performance; and Amber Joel, a junior from Badger, Minn., majoring in vocal performance and business administration. Sieberg will play Chopin’s “Barcarolle, Op. 60,” and Joel will sing the soprano aria “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion,” from Handel’s “Messiah.”

Performing ensembles will be:
•    The Bemidji State University Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Erika Svanoe, assistant professor of music and the University’s director of bands. The Wind Ensemble is a group focused on contemporary wind band pieces as well as 20th century concert band classics.

•    Jazz Band I, directed by Dr. Del Lyren, professor of music. Jazz Band I is an auditioned group that tours regionally and has performed in Mexico and Hawaii. Annual performances include “Jingle Jazz Concert”; “Remember When,” a nostalgic look at the Big Band Era; and the BSU Jazz Festival.

•    The Chamber Singers, under the guidance of director Dr. Brad Logan, professor of music and director of choral activities. The Chamber Singers is an 18-member ensemble specializing in small-choir pieces such as early English carols, Renaissance madrigals and chansons and selected contemporary works.

•    The Bemidji Choir, founded by Thompson, is under the direction of Logan. The 52-member Bemidji Choir has gained a national and international reputation for excellence. In addition to concerts, tours and recordings, the choir produces annual Madrigal Dinners.

Concert proceeds are used to fund two $1,000 Carl O. Thompson Scholarships awarded to outstanding student musicians at BSU.

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.