Thompson concert kicks off fall music season

The Bemidji State University Department of Music offers a preview of its 2012-13 performance season Sept. 30 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 this year’s vocal recipient Amanda Boring. The Kansas City, Kan., native is a senior majoring in vocal performance, mathematics and mathematics education. Lexie Kruse, a senior trumpet performance major from Pipestone, Minn., received the instrumental award.

The following ensembles will each perform for 10-15 minutes:

• The Bemidji Choir, founded by Thompson, also will be directed by Dr. P. Bradley Logan, professor of music. The Bemidji Choir has gained a national and international reputation for excellence. In addition to concerts, tours and recordings, the choir produces annual Madrigal Dinners.
• The Bemidji Chamber Singers, also guided by Logan. The Chamber Singers is an ensemble of 16 singers specializing in literature for small choir, such as early English carols, Renaissance madrigals and chansons and selected contemporary works.
• Jazz Band, directed by Dr. Del Lyren, professor of music. The auditioned group 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 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.

Concert proceeds fund two $1,000 Carl O. Thompson Scholarships awarded to outstanding BSU music students who excel in the classroom and as performers.

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Carl O. Thompson. For many years, Thompson’s name was synonymous with choral music in the region. He 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.

Thompson is remembered for establishing BSU as a leader in quality education and cultural life in northern Minnesota. The scholarship that bears his name rewards students who reflect his concern for excellence and commitment.

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