November’s noteworthy culture

In Minot in November, culture’s cup is full and running over. There will be something for everybody of all ages, both sexes; many of the events are free.

During November, Minot State University’s Ann Nicole Nelson Hall will host a bevy of events. Starting out on Friday, in conjunction with the Northwest International Festival of Music, the MSU Division of Music will present a showcase concert at 3:30 p.m. featuring the MSU Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, MSU Singers, Concert Band and a variety of small ensembles. Later in the evening, at 7:30 p.m., the internationally noted percussion duo from the United Kingdom named Maraca2 will perform. On Saturday, the Northwest International Festival of Music will also feature high school participants in concert at 4:30 p.m. with admission of $5.

If you are among those who packed Nelson Hall for Minot Symphony Orchestra’s first concert, you know to arrive early for the Nov. 16 concert at 7:30 p.m. arranged by director Scott Seaton. Scott calls this concert “From Darkness to Illumination.” The illumination comes early, when Scott takes the stage and raises his baton for the first number. From the time the dramatic blonde-topped Seaton directs his symphonic men and women until he lays down his baton, you will have clapped and bravoed an evening of symphonic music to remember.

If you have ever enjoyed the Brass Band of Minot directed by Gordon Troxel, you will want to be in Nelson Hall Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. for the annual Brass Band Christmas Concert. Genial Troxel assures you of a concert of holiday music that will get you into the spirit of Christmas. Where else will you be able to get into the holiday spirit for a free will offering, Troxel asks. With a Troxel twinkle, he invites all of you to be in the audience on Nov. 17.

If you put a flute, violin and cello together, what will you get? On Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. in Nelson Hall, you will see “Sonic Escape,” the International Artist Series’ second concert of their season. There is “nothing like it,” according to other audiences from across the country. The music crosses borders, worlds and time steeped in legends and magic – an evening to enjoy and savor.

In November, downtown Minot will be alive and well, and lighted. Sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association, every downtown establishment will sparkle with things to see, eat, buy and enjoy. A giant Christmas tree at the end of Main Street will be officially lit Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. There will be a chance to eat with Santa and his Missus, and also get your picture taken, as well as a time to mingle with your neighbors and friends as you enjoy the holiday spirit. Nancy Walker, executive director of the Taube Museum of Art, invites all of you while you are downtown to include a trip to the

Taube for the “Festival of Seasons Exhibit and Sale.” In the lower level of the Taube will be the annual “Steal of the Season,” featuring Christmas decorations and memorabilia that someone else contributed that you might like to purchase and enjoy as part of your Christmas decor. If you would like your home included on the Taube’s “Holiday Tour of Homes” slated for Dec. 2, all you have to do is tell Nancy to get on a list and help the Holiday Tour of Homes be a success.

An important part of downtown Minot is the Mouse River Players’ Arlene Theater. This year’s annual Musical Revue will be Nov. 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. “Seasonally Yours” revolves around seasons we celebrate in Minot, such as winter, almost winter, spring, construction, summer, state fair, fall hunting, Hstfest, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Jon and Karen Anderson will be the humorous masters of ceremonies. The numbers will include singing and dancing as we celebrate Minot’s year. The music is a variety of styles from ’50s (“Rockin’ Robin”), folk (“If I Had a Hammer”), light rock (“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”), novelty (“I Want a Hippo for Xmas”) and musical (“June Is Busting Out All Over”). Multi-talented Conrad Davidson will make a cameo on his mandolin. Bonnie Holman will again join the group, as well some new recruits and MRP veterans. An exciting portion of the program will be provided by three talented gentlemen. Dr. John Fishpaw will fly in his son Chase from across the country, and his son Turner will join them from Grand Forks. The Three Fishpaws will be well worth the ticket price of $15. Special credit must go to the talented Virginia Dohm, Holly Eidsness and Dave Bradley, as well as to local band members. And of course, there will be refreshments. In case you would like to be a part of the cast of “All My Sons,” a production scheduled for Jan. 16-19, auditions will be held for this six-man, four-woman play on Friday, Nov. 1, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Arlene Theater. Call 838-3939 for more information.

If you are in St Mark’s Lutheran Church at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, you are assured of hearing the harmonious blending of feminine voices. Voices of Note, a group of Minot’s talented women, will perform their annual Fall Concert on this date. There is no charge, just the opportunity to listen to the Voices of Note as they present their ever-popular annual Fall Concert.

In November, a popular Broadway musical, “Bye, Bye Birdie,” will take the stage in the Arvel Graving Theater at Magic City Campus. Performances will be held Nov. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Directed by veteran Alphonse Koenigsman, choreographed by Paula Simonson, with music directed by Lindsay Kerzmann, this production is a satire on American society set in 1958. The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957. The rock star character’s name, “Conrad Birdie,” is wordplay on the name of Conway Twitty. Twitty has a career as a country music star, but in the late 1950s, he was one of Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll rivals. The cast is composed of the Magic City Playmakers and Thespian Troupe 791. The lead role of Conrad Birdie will be performed by Joby Walter. The rest of the cast includes Elliott Flood, Shelby Cross, Maddie Thompson, Nathan Bowles, Lindsay Berstch, Linnea Maxfield, Shelby McCabe, Brandon Christman and Amanda Kraft. To discover what happens to Birdie, it will cost $8 for adults, $5 for seniors 55 and over and $6 for students.

Members of Minot’s St Joseph’s Auxiliary present their 18th annual Victorian Tea and Yesterday’s Treasures on Nov. 16. According to Becky Hill, president of the auxiliary, this tea is held to keep alive the spirit of St Joseph’s in Minot. Funds from the Tea are used for worthy causes in Minot throughout the year. This is a chance for you to browse vintage, antiques, holiday decorations and collectibles. Linger over a cup of tea and indulge in scrumptious sandwiches, grapes, scones and dessert. Admission for the tea, craft and collectible sale is $8 and the crafts and collectible sale is only $1. This Nov. 16 can be an opportunity for you to tip your tiny tea finger and pretend you are a true Victorian. Bring a friend, Becky says, to the Edgewood Vista Bistro from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll be glad.

According to Marty Graner, longtime member of Minot’s Nodakords, there will be no sleeping on Nov. 23 from 7:30 p.m. until who-knows-when at Minot’s Sleep Inn and Suites. Why? Because Marty says this will be the 46th annual Harvest of Harmony. Many of you, he says, will recall the early days when Steve Maragos sang with this group, as well as many others who are no longer members. Directed by genial Gordon Troxel, the concert will feature numbers like “Celebrate Harmony,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Coney Island Baby” and more. Minot’s own quartet Dakota Blend, plus two Minnesota quartets, Grand Design and Harlequin, will also be part of the evening’s concert. Adding a musical touch to the evening will be an extra special guest, Renee Best-Officer. Marty can clue us in to how a female voice put a spark in an all-male group of passionate songsters. At concert’s end, a lot of you will want to linger for the always-popular After Glow for more harmonizing. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. with seating first-come, first-served. Tickets are $15, or $10 with discount ticket from their sponsors. Sponsors are Sleep Inn and Suites, Nite Train Pizza, Jacobsen Music and Marketplace Pharmacy. When you attend this Harvest of Harmony Concert, you will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The Nodakorders sing for the love of singing.

When you carve the turkey on Thanksgiving Day, be sure to be thankful for November’s noteworthy culture in Minot.

(Arlene Saugstad is a freelance writer who lives in Minot.)