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‘Her Voice Resounds’: Minot State Division of Music commemorates anniversary of Women’s Suffrage

The Minot State choir rehearsed Wednesday at Minot State University’s Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. Photo submitted by Rick Heit/Minot State University. Submitted Photo

The Minot State University Concert Choir will be filling Ann Nicole Nelson Hall with powerful messages and moving art Saturday for their fall concert.

The choir extended an invitation to female artists across North Dakota to submit work that visually represented one of the eighth movements of Luciano Berio’s “Magnificat.” These pieces will be projected behind the choir as they perform.

“It has never been heard in North Dakota so this is the state premiere,” said Emerson Eads, Minot State director of choral activities and assistant professor of music. “Magnificat” will be one of several selections that will be performed to celebrate the empowerment of women as embodied by the passage of the 19th amendment.

Nineteen pieces were selected to accompany the performance and can be viewed in the Old Main lobby before the show. After Saturday, the pieces will be displayed in the Northwest Arts Center Walter Piehl Gallery from Nov. 14-Dec. 5 and will be for sale. The 30% commissions and any donations will be divided equally between the Northwest Arts Center and the MSU Choir. The choir will use the funds to support in-state travel and performances.

The choir will also be debuting a new piece by Eads, inspired by Minot State poet laureate Huldah Lucile Winsted, “Her Voice Resounds: A Prairie Cantata.”

“I wrote it over the summer and it features text of Huldah Lucile Winsted, one of the first librarians here in North Dakota,” Eads explained. “‘Her Voice Resounds’ refers to the voice of the prairie and that will be accompanied as well with paintings by Avis Veikley.”

The cantata aims to give a voice to Winsted, the poet, to the land itself and to its women. Dr. DeVera Bowles, Minot State voice professor, will be featured as a mezzo-soprano. It will also feature members of the Minot Symphony Orchestra, the Minot High School Symphonic Choir, Minot State instructor of functional piano Briana Schwan and Minot State assistant professor of piano Dianna Anderson.

The year 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. The proposed amendment gained congressional approval in 1919 and the North Dakota Legislature met in special session to ratify the amendment in November and December of that year. The required ratification of three-quarters of the states was met on Aug. 18, 1920.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Minot State University’s Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. For more information about the concert, contact Eads at emerson.eads@minotstateu.edu. For more information about the artwork, contact Gregory Vettel, Northwest Arts Center director, at gregory.vettel@minotstateu.edu.

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