Like its gemstone, the opal, with its ever changing colors, October has, in Minot, an array of colorful events which will appeal to and satisfy the entire family starting out Oct. 1, when Chet Reiten's Norsk Hstfest winds up what began the last days of September.
All the opalescent colors combined to make this internationally acclaimed fall event in Minot one to make especially Scandinavians or those married to Scandinavians happy. If by some unfortunate circumstance, if you haven't already gone, by the time you read this column, you'll still be able to hustle out to the North Dakota State Fairgrounds for some of the colorful entertainment and delicious foods and you'll help to make Chet Reiten glow with true Norwegian happiness.
For four years, Minoter Dan Hansen has organized a fundraiser for worthy causes here in Minot. Using our beautiful Oak Park as his venue, he has managed to help many people with his Rock The Leaves event. This year, a relentless, damaging Mouse River took away this venue.
Arlene Saugstad is a freelance writer who lives in Minot.
Not dissuaded, Dan is moving his Rock The Leaves to Minot's Grand International Inn ... so he's hoping that scores of you will help him help scores of unfortunate survivors of the 2011 flood by spending time on Oct. 1 from noon until 10 p.m. listening to a variety of bands playing colorful tunes, eating and socializing at his Rock The Leaves venue. Dan said that maybe the table leaves could rock as your generous freewill offering soars to new heights for the "I Helped Rebuild Minot" fund. He hopes that you'll part with at least $5 freely for this worthwhile colorful event.
On Oct. 3, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, you may, for free, listen to a colorful concert thanks to a MSU small musical ensemble.
More opal-like musical colors await you on Oct. 4 when you are in your comfortable seats in MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. Thanks to Dave and Ellin Lindee and a host of veteran volunteers you will be in for a one of a kind International Artist Series concert. The Lindees promise you a frolicking musical evening as the "Duelling Divas," two sopranos, duel for your attention with musical spoofs of Wagnerian proportions. Their virtuoso accompanist will add her expertise in solo performances. With egos as big as their voices and true comedic talents, they are likely to make all of you celebrate the prima donna which exists in all of us. Need more information? Just dial 858-0863.
In Minot, for many years, the Minot Chamber Chorale has earned raves of appreciation as a colorfully top-of-the-line vocal organization. Their concerts are always looked for as something not to miss. This year looks like yet another colorful musical event. Director Bob Demke and his vocalists have put together their annual Pop Concert which you can attend when you are in the Grand International Inn October 4th at 7:30 p.m. You'll mentally stroll when you listen to tunes like "Too Much For Words," "Thanks For The Memories," "In The Still Of The Night," "Oklahoma," "Hit The Deck," "Hushabye Mountain," "New York Girl" and "Dancing Through Life." There will be refreshments and time to socialize. The event is for free or your freewill offering.
Now in its 39th season as Minot's Community Theater, the Mouse River Players is about to put on veterans so familiar with their talents, that the mere mention of their names will bring out sellout crowds to the Arlene Theater. Among these mentionable include David Bradley, Ken Haarstad and Terry Aman. Each of these gentlemen possess the rare talent of being able to leave Dave, Ken, and Terry at home as they take on their stage characters.
At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6-8 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 9 you can watch two shows both built around baseball. First, North Dakota's baseball wonder, Roger Maris, and his quest to break the homerun record set by Babe Ruth in "Roger Maris Takes the Stage." That show was written by Canadian author Edward Nunes-Vaz and "umped" by Holly Eidsness and Nancy Pearson, with Josh Snyder in the title role.
The second show, "Rounding Third and Heading For Home" is directed by Ryan Haider who wrote the set of monologues for his master's thesis. The all-male casts also feature Alex Schoenberg-Carton, Thomas Burke, Steve Graner, Joe Koppinger, Tim and Danny Knickerbocker and Derek Van Dyke, and some off-stage voices as well including Perry Olson and Wayne Reiger and Eidsness' granddaughter. There will also be a display of baseball memorabilia. If you have a baseball cap, you are encouraged to wear it. Pearson said that carpeting has been installed on the risers under the chairs. Early reservations are advised by calling (866) 667-1977.
When you leave the Arlene, you will have helped to celebrate the likes of a legendary Fargo baseball player who in 1961 replaced another legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth, as the single-season homerun king of baseball, a North Dakota product of whom to be proud.
Speaking of celebrations and North Dakota products you will find over 40 of our state's finest artists with their creations when you are in attendance Oct. 14-15 for this year's annual Artfest according to Nancy Walter, executive director of the Taube Museum of Art.
Each year the theme for Artfest is chosen around someone or something artistic. This year prepared for French and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec with the theme Moulin Rouge carried out throughout the 4-H Hall located in the North Dakota Fair building.
Premier Night, when, if you are over 21, you can party French style with French appetizers, French wines, and French dessert.
It will, as always, be a top-of-the-line social where you can stroll around, visit with the artists, and purchase some special art works. The Silent Auction, as always, will offer rare opportunities to bid on and if fortunate, take home on Saturday, something unique and special.
Friday hours are from 7 to 10 p.m. and on Saturday when Artfest welcomes all ages, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Although you may purchase tickets at the door Friday for Artfest, the Taube, ArtMain, and Artistry Stylists will also have tickets for sale. Tickets are $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers and $35 at the door.
On Saturday, there will be special art-related activities for children and more opportunities for browsing, visiting, and purchasing and the time for picking up whatever you were fortunate enough to big on and get at the Silent Auction. General admission is $2 and children 12 and under are free. There will be a charge of $1 if children participate in art activities according to Margaret Lee, who has a rare talent with children and art activities especially geared to children.
You will have a special reason to celebrate on Oct. 15 when you are in your seats in MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. Just 10 years ago, Dennis Simmons took up his baton as maestro of our Minot Symphony Orchestra and the rest, as they say, is history.
Full houses and standing ovations have, under his direction, been the order of each performance. And with him came a piano virtuoso -- his wife, Penny. She is an instructor at MSU and has performed during our symphony concerts as a piano soloist par excellence.
Every Minot Symphony concert over the last 10 years has borne evidence of time, effort and dedication which have produced top of the line concerts. His rapport with his concert musicians as well as with his audiences is evident. His theme for this year's concert is dance, so do not be surprised if there is dancing in the aisles during the celebratory concerts.
For the first concert of the 2011-12 season, on Oct. 15, Dennis Simmons will bring to the stage an amazing cellist, Inbal Segev, who in Israel at the age of 5 took up the cello. At the age of 7 she was awarded the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship. At the age of 16, she came to America where she earned degrees at Juilliard and Yale. She has won prestigious honors nationally and internationally and is a founding member of the Amerigo Trio. You will hear her take up her cello and amaze you with her warm, pure, and beautiful rendition of Edward Alger's Concerto in E Minor. Dennis promises that with Inbal and her cello and his orchestra in concert this evening in the Ann Nicole Nelson Hall will indeed be a celebration in which to dance.
October's opal-like cultures show up again and again in MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall when on Oct. 18 the MSU's Jazz Ensemble will take the stage and your attention for free beginning at 7:30 p.m. Then, same place, same time, the MSU Bands will fill the hall and into your ears with Minot's own Joe Alme conducting.
Although there are no particulars, on Oct. 30, Rinat Mouzafarov, Russia's gift to Minot, will have scores of his talented dance students on MSU's stage in the MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall for yet another superb performance you'll not want to miss. Call Rinat at 839-8928. As the chief in charge for the Institute of Dance and Ballet Theater, Rinat will fill you in on all of the necessary details.
So special are October's opal-like cultural events.