Common Chords: Bemidji

Headwaters School of Music

Confident Strings

Student musicians from Bemidji’s Headwaters School of Music and the Arts spent a sunny September afternoon playing side by side with four string players of the Minnesota Orchestra on Tuesday. “Think about long lines and forward movement to make beautiful phrases,” advised violist Gareth Zehngut, one of the Orchestra’s newest players.

In a 90-minute session that was among the first education activities of the Orchestra’s Bemidji Common Chords initiative, the combined ensemble rehearsed four pieces, including a composition by 14-year-old violinist Sophia Ramirez, called Confidence. “Music can give you confidence,” said Orchestra violinist Jean Marker DeVere. “It is a valuable thing you are studying.”

Bemidji Symphony Orchestra

Symphonic Side by Side

The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra’s first rehearsal of the 2014-15 season began with drama on Tuesday night. “Let’s start with Bach’s Toccata and Fugue,” said conductor Sarah Hicks. Hicks—who serves as Principal Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Live at Orchestra Hall series--was guest rehearsing the ensemble for the evening, while Minnesota Orchestra musicians played alongside BSO musicians, offering insights, encouragement and advice on mastering challenging repertoire. (“Rely on your metronome!”)

Established in 1938, the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra is now a thriving regional orchestra offering six subscription concerts this season. The first, upcoming on October 5, will open with that Bach Toccata and Fugue. “I think we are off to a good start after this rehearsal,” says clarinet player Lynnette Murphy.

Hear the Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra in Bemidji

The Minnesota Orchestra is heading for Bemidji! Join us in Common Chords—a festive week of music activities and outreach around town, September 16-20, that culminates in a not-to-be-missed performance at the Bemidji High School Auditorium, Saturday, September 20 at 7:30pm, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä.


Click on a date to see the schedule of events for that day: Tuesday, Sep 16  |  Wednesday, Sep 17  |  Thursday, Sep 18  |  Friday, Sep 19  |  Saturday, Sep 20

Pictures and more!

Check back right here for a daily synopsis and on Minnesota Orchestra's Facebook page for frequent updates of our ongoing adventure in northern Minnesota.

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