October’s colorful cultures
October’s colorful cultural calendar in Minot is full of colors similar to the changing colors of October’s gem, the opal. For the 36th year, in October, thousands of you, men, women and children from Minot and around the country and over the world will be attending the Scandinavian Hostfest. It is often referred to as the “Reiten Hostfest” because 36 years ago Chet Reiten and a small group of Scandinavian individuals, or some of us married to a Scandinavian, decided to honor and remember and preserve that heritage. This gave birth to what has grown up to be a world-renowned festival. This year, once again, every inch of space, brightly decorated by a score of fun loving volunteers, will be filled with crowds of men, women and children, some of them garbed in traditional Scandinavian garments. There will be strolling instrumentalists and trolls, and there will as usual be foods of every kind imaginable tempting you with pungent odors – even lutefisk. The halls will host myriad vendors displaying their special wares to tempt you. Important to everyone will be featured entertainers like the always-favorite Charlie Pride and the one and only Bill Cosby. This year you will be able to compare two Franks. On Oct. 1, Frank Sinatra Jr. heads the lineup of entertainers; most of you will remember his famous father, Frank Sinatra Sr. Rinat Mouzafarov, local talented dance instructor, will take part in the Hostfest as well as many local and out-of-state artists will be performing on small stages, too. Dave Reiten, Chet’s son, assures you that as usual there will be something for everyone out at the State Fair Center building at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds. With Dave and Carla Reiten and tall youthful son John in the wings, it can be predicted that the Scandinavian Hostfest will be an important colorful festival in Minot.
Out on the Minot State University campus, October will be full and running over with color. It is an opportunity for all of you to celebrate 100 years on this campus. For David Fuller and his wife, Nancy, it will be their last year on campus. We wish to thank them for their many years on campus and making Minot State a very special institution as we enter a new century of education. Dates and events on the musical cultural calendar on campus begin with the MSU Jazz Ensemble Concert on Oct. 14 in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at 7:30 p.m. And for chamber music, same place, same time, on Oct. 18, Erik and Dianna Anderson, along with guest artists, will perform on the cello and piano. Strings take center stage on Oct. 21. Then, on Oct. 22, same place, same time, Dianna Anderson, MSU professor will present a concert performing on her favorite instrument, the piano. The Nelson Hall stage will boast members of the Concert Choir, MSU Singers and Women’s Choir, on Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m., directed by Kenneth Bowles, Lukas Graf and Rebecca Petrik. All these musical events on campus in October are free and are sure to add color to your life.
On Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Minot’s Grand Hotel, Bob Demke will once again have his trusty baton ready to direct Minot’s prestigious singing group the Minot Chamber Chorale in their annual Fall Pops Concert. The evening entertainment begins with a time of socializing via the finger food route, and follows with a colorful musical parade of favorites like numbers from “Carousel” and “Fiddler on the Roof” and many more. Breanna Schwann accompanies the chorale. Bob says that a freewill offering will be acceptable and that this offering will help these colorful concerts to continue.
In Minot, colorful culture
promises to continue through October into the entire musical year. Colorful, youthful, talented director Scott Seaton of the Minot Symphony Orchestra can take credit for much of this colorful palette because he chose “Symphonic Colors” for the symphony’s theme this year. Seaton, with his baton at the ready, will direct the first concert of the season in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Titled “Ode to Joy!” this first concert will feature Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Talis” and Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral.” Special guests are Amanda Hall, soprano; Sarah Heltzel, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Glenn, tenor; Chad Armstrong, baritone; the Minot State University Concert Choir; and the Minot Chamber Chorale. This not-to-be-missed performance will celebrate Beethoven and Minot State University’s Centennial. Call for ticket information at 858-4228.
When you are in Nelson Hall on the MSU campus at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, you are guaranteed a colorful evening thanks to veteran band conductor Gordon Troxell. Gordon has selected as the theme for his Brass Band of Minot “Adventures in Music,” and you will discover the theme well chosen. Gordon claims excitement for this concert for several reasons. Added to his 32-member band are three high school musicians who he says are as excited as he is to be playing with the Brass Band. Exciting for the writer of this column will be listening to three trumpeters play a favorite number, “Trumpeter’s Lullaby.” The trumpet was a part of growing up, with a trumpet-playing brother, Marlen, continuing much later on in life being very proud of a trumpet-playing grandson, David. Another exciting part of this concert you are sure to enjoy will be the fifth-grade trumpeters from several Minot elementary schools, presenting several numbers directed by Kari Files and Rochelle Feldner. Your free will offering will help bring more Brass Band concerts in the future.
Ann Nicole Nelson Hall will host this year’s International Art Series. On Oct. 15, you will be treated to “An Evening with Hal Linden.” You will remember Linden as an actor and singer appearing on television, stage and film for over 65 years. He has many Golden Globe and Emmy nominations and is currently touring with his cabaret-style variety show. Call 838-1113 for ticket information to another year of colorful performances.
For three nights and one afternoon Oct. 10-13, all of you can be seated in the Mouse River Players’ Arlene Theater for a fun as well as nostalgic drama “Almighty Bob.” For the three 7:30 p.m. and one 2 p.m. (Sunday) performance, you will see Ken Haarstad in the leading role of aged Bob who thinks he is God and is sometimes right. This is a story that is touching, funny and is a study of aging, love, human relationships and religion. Others in the cast include Dr. Wally-Caleb Halsted, Colleen-Sarah Thom, Clair-Andrea Savory, Joey/JoJo-Todd Mathistad, Mr. Carmichael-Will Smith, Karen-Beth Ryan and Mrs. Parrish-Susan Thom. Directing this crowd-pleaser is Ryan Haider. Season tickets are available and reservations can be made by calling the Mouse River Players at 838-3939.
From Oct. 15 to Oct. 19 at the MSU Aleshire Theater at 7:30 p.m., you are invited to take a trip back in Minot’s history thanks to one of MSU’s professors Nicole Thom-Arens, who wrote the production called “One Hundred Years of Normal.” Director Carlen Gilseth says it is an intriguing title of a story which tells of a Norwegian family immigrating to the Minot area and their connection to the Normal School. If you are an adult the cost is $6, seniors and students can see the production for $5 and MSU students and staff are free with IDs. For ticket reservations, simply call 852-3172.
Talk about color! In October, Nancy Walter, executive director of the Taube Museum of Art, describes this year’s Artfest as an event to promote famous artists by utilizing their style and creativity to educate and inform the Minot community. The FFA Hall inside the State Fair Center will feature Andy Warhol, a well-known pop artist, Oct. 18-19. You may remember what Andy did with tomato soup cans. This annual fundraiser, as always, will feature many local and area artists with their talented wares for sale as well as offering time for friendly visiting. During the Warhol “‘Factory’ Premiere Party” starting at 7 p.m., live music will add color to the evening as you nibble on hors d’ouevres and enjoy some wine. You must be 21 to attend. Silent auction goodies will be part of the evening, too. As usual, there will be art activities for the children, Margaret Lee, children’s art expert, promises. Saturday is promoted as a Family Event. There are children’s art activities starting at 1 0a.m. with kids 10 and under admitted free. For $1, children may participate in a Scavenger Hunt for art supplies to create their own Andy Warhol-inspired masterpiece. This activity allows the parents the opportunity to browse and shop. Saturday, you can discover how fortunate you were bidding on silent auction goodies. You will get $1 off your ticket price on Friday night if you contribute a can of soup. All cans will benefit Minot area “soup kitchens.” Whatever you spend during your time at Artfest will go to keep colorful art in the Taube alive for all ages.
Another colorful event sponsored by the Taube is their art series called “Paint the Town Red” which takes place Oct. 22 at Off the Vine in downtown Minot. Wanna-be artists are invited to register for an evening of creating a colorful collage with the help of Nancy Hankins. The class from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will cost you $35 which covers your supplies for spending a colorful evening as you paint the town red.
If you have a colorful cultural October you have made this writer “Red Hat happy!”
(Arlene Saugstad is a freelance writer who lives in Minot.)