More Than You (Perhaps) Know About Our Region

Sam Black

Vivaldi in motion with two cellos
Vivaldi in motion with two cellos
Bach’s Brandenburg #2 ready to go
Bach’s Brandenburg #2 ready to go

The Arrowhead region is comprised of seven Minnesota counties:  Aitkin, Itasca, Carlton, St. Louis, Lake, Cook, and Koochiching. When I write about the LOCAL  ARTS  I hope to include some of what takes place across our broad region.  As Region 3 of the Minnesota State Arts system, we are the largest geographic section of the state, although we are currently fourth in population.

Really Local Activity

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Matinee Musicale, Arrowhead Chorale, the Twin Ports Choral Project, the Twin Ports Wind Orchestra all take place right here in Duluth. Also, there are community band and orchestra options, as well as activities from all the academic institutions in our lakeside community.

Regional Riches

 As you move around the region, you will find the Mesabi Community Orchestra in Virginia, the Red Cedar Community Orchestra in Rice Lake, WI, and the Heartland Symphony Orchestra in Little Falls. I hope you choose to stay in contact with these groups that perform regularly throughout our musically rich region.

Nine Years of Woodland Workshop

 Ever since the summer of 2008, the Woodland Chamber Music Workshop has taken place in the middle of Cook County, MN. For the past eight years, this workshop, under the leadership of Josh Aerie,  has occupied space at the Surfside Resort, part of the larger Bluefin Resort world of northeastern MN.  Every year, dozens of musicians from around the US come to Tofte, MN, to share in making music with small ensembles of similar musicians.
This year, 25 musicians from North Carolina, California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Virginia, came to share in this workshop. On Wednesday through Saturday these musicians rehearse in their small groups with assistance from the teaching staff. Then two concerts happen.
On Friday night the staff musicians offer a concert, then on Sunday morning, all the participating musicians share a gala performance with the music they have been working on all week. This year, individuals and duets chose to join the full ensemble in playing concertos with chamber orchestra and their own special instruments. J.S.Bach, with Jonathan Stanley and the E major violin concerto, Lisa Winter and Nora Moss offered a double flute concerto by Cimerosa. Cellists Libby and Naomi offered a Vivaldi concerto for two cellos, then Lina Belar brought her trumpet, and Linda Cook added her violin for the J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto #2 and this curious assortment of instruments.
This was complemented by a variety of chamber groups sharing Brahms, Piazzolla, Bridge, Handel, and Boccherini. These public concerts in Tofte each June are open to all who want to listen to live music as it happens.

Music and Art around us

Meanwhile, music is alive and well around Duluth this next week, not to mention the new artwork at the Tweed Museum, as well as Arna Rennan’s new collection of paintings at Zeitgeist from now until the end of August. Drop in for a glass of wine, look at the paintings, listen to the music, and maybe stay for a classic movie. Welcome to the new world of summer in Duluth, MN.