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Let’s Cook: Concert Dynamics

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An occasional treat is a very good idea; here in Minot we can enjoy a musical treat that occasionally has an international flare. Most often, the International Artists Series which was established in 1948 brings in musicians from the United States. Over the years this organization has featured a remarkable spectrum of musical venues. From vocals to strings, from Broadway to Scotland, they have wondrously taken us to center stage with each performance.

When one is considering the finer things in life — art, music, poetry, and of course, dessert — all come to mind. The IAS is an organization that embodies them all and presents them in the lavish yet understated Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the campus of Minot State University. Sometime when exiting Old Main after a concert, the performance endures. I can recall several times when we stood on the front steps and were greeted by gorgeous moonlight that caressed the delicate pink flowering crab trees as their fragrance welcomed spring. It simply does get any closer to “Some Enchanted Evening” than this.

So far art, music and poetry have all been stated above. Left is dessert, and for many of us attending these concerts, dinner is 5:30 is often a quick hot dish at home. Curtain at 7 and intermission at 8 includes a stroll to the McFarland lobby for coffee, sometime punch and homemade treats. One can possibly find angel food cake, frosted carrot cookies, covered pretzels, almond cake, a variety of bars and even gluten free cookies.

For the past year, serving at the International Artists Series Concerts has been done by Phi Beta Lambda, a professional business fraternity at Minot State University under the leadership of Jan Repnow or by National Association for Music Education (NAfME) at Minot State under the direction of Kateri Miller. Both groups are grateful for this opportunity to do some fundraising for their organizations.

This opportunity to serve a reception is a wonderful learning experience for the students. They see first hand the importance of planning, knowing how to set a table, and also how to establish a working flow for the traffic. They also witness the joy that comes from homemade baked goods. Yes, they are extra work to make but so worth it. Another benefit to hosting this mini reception comes when students see patrons engaging in conversation. A treat in hand and engaging lobby conversation make a resplendent pair indeed.

Over the years, there have been countless people that have supported the International Artists Series. Thank you to patrons, ticket sellers, sponsors, volunteers and board members for all your work to keep this worthwhile organization going in the Magic City.

The choice that folks made back in 1948 to bring the International Artists Series to the Minot community reminds us that their choice not only changed the direction of their lives but that of many others. Many have been inspired to continue piano and other music lessons after seeing a performance and hearing the performers musical journey. Recently, the quartet, Sons of Serendip, finalist from “America’s Got Talent” graced our stage. Their journey, stories and stage presence were inspiring. While in the lobby, I overheard a group of college students say “what a performance — college students would have loved this concert.” That is now on our to do list!

This Sunday, April 3, Classical Guitarist, Edgar Cruz will be performing at 3 p.m. and yes, there will be lunch served at intermission. The tried and true recipe included will be part of the assortment.

Sour Cream Drops

¼ cup shortening

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup sour cream

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

In a medium mixing bowl, cream shortening, sugar and egg. Add sour cream and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Drop by tablespoonful 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Frost with the following

Burnt Sugar Frosting:

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 to 4 teaspoons of water

Melt butter in a small saucepan until golden brown; stir in the sugar, vanilla and enough water to achieve a spreading consistency. Frost. This will yield 2 ½ dozen.

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