Five days of performances and events by nearly 30 musicians at more than 25 Bemidji locations—from schools to pubs, the Paul Bunyan statue to Sanford Hospital—drew to a close Saturday night in a dramatic Minnesota Orchestra concert at the Bemidji High School auditorium.

Music Director Osmo Vänskä led the Orchestra in three Sibelius Symphonies, the Third, Sixth and Seventh, with dynamic ranges spanning between the softest pianissimos to thundering fortes—a fervor matched only be the cheers of the standing-room-only audience. That’s a wrap for Bemidji Common Chords 2014.

The Orchestra offers its thanks to this arts-friendly community for a warm welcome and wonderful week of shared music.

In the middle of an afternoon thunderstorm, Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra rehearsed for two hours at Bemidji High School, fine tuning Sibelius for Saturday night’s performance.

Conductor Sarah Hicks and host/violist Sam Bergman brought Bemidji audiences inside the world of Felix Mendelssohn at Friday night’s Inside the Classics concert, touching on the composer’s life as a child prodigy, his talented sister and the elements that make his Italian Symphony extraordinarily beautiful. Held at the Bemidji High School auditorium, the concert is the second-to-last performance of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2014 Common Chords initiative in this first city on the Mississippi.

Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus and fellow jazz musicians entertained late-night guests at the Bemidji Green Mill on Friday—and eventually were joined by Music Director Osmo Vänskä on clarinet. Tomorrow Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra in an all Sibelius concert at the Bemidji High School.

Conductor Sarah Hicks led the Minnesota Orchestra in a Young People’s Concert on Friday–and shared a conducting tutorial for the nearly 800 Bemidji students in attendance. The program celebrated dance music, from Copland’s Hoedown to Bizet’s Habanera, and the excitement of live performance. “Do you prefer hearing music live or recorded?” asked Hicks at the end of the performance to cheers of “live.”

The afternoon concert was the culmination of many education activities Orchestra musicians have participated in over the course of the week. For Bemidji High School Orchestra Director Seth Freundschuh it is about opening up new windows of opportunity for student musicians. “The Orchestra members have been so open in offering advice to students in a friendly and encouraging way,” he says. “I hope this week gives our students a different perspective and motivates them to keep trying.”