Minot State hosts 41st annual Northwest International Festival of Music

Minot State University will be alive with the sound of music Friday and Saturday as high school students participate in the annual Northwest International Festival of Music.

“Minot State University Division of Music is celebrating its 41st Northwest Festival, and I’m delighted to have my friend, choral conductor and celebrated composer Dr. Joseph Gregorio guest conducting the honor choir this year,” Emerson Eads, Minot State assistant professor in music and director of choral activities, said in a press release. “This is a special year for the festival as it enters its fifth decade with more applicants than ever before, and the addition of a string component headed up by music division chair Dr. Erik Anderson. I’m proud to run this festival with my colleague Dr. David Rolandson and the fabulous music faculty and staff from the Division of Music.”

The event gives students the opportunity to work in large group and small sectional music rehearsals and attend an afternoon concert showcasing various Minot State University ensembles. The festival culminates with two concerts – band and choral – that features a total of six ensembles: concert band, symphonic band, chamber strings, cantabile chorus, nova chorus, and concert chorus.

The MSU Showcase Concert will be held on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, highlighting a variety of musical experiences.

“The showcase concert will include performances by the MSU Singers, the Minot State University Concert Choir, the Jazz Band, the Concert Band, and individual student and faculty offerings,” Eads said. “It will also feature a preview of our Nov. 9 concert, ‘Her Voice Resounds,’ with an extract from it featuring two pianos, Briana Schwan, Dr. Dianna Anderson, and Dr. Erik Anderson with cello.”

On Saturday, the students will take the stage at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall.

The Northwest Festival Band Concert will begin at 1:30 p.m. Rolandson will direct the concert band while Chris Harvey, Hazen High School director of bands, will lead the symphonic band. Anderson will take the baton as the chamber strings ensemble performs.

The Northwest Festival Choral Concert will follow, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eads will conduct the cantabile chorus and guest conductor Michael Seil, Legacy High School choral music director, will lead the nova chorus. The choral concert will headline Gregorio, director of choirs at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, as he conducts the concert chorus.

With the start of a new decade of performances, comes a new feature for the high school students.

“We felt it was appropriate to celebrate with a commemorative t-shirt with every registrants’ name on the back, because while the festival is growing, it also nurtures the individual musician,” said Eads.

For more information about the Northwest International Festival of Music, visit https://www.minotstateu.edu/nwmusic/index.shtml.