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An occasional treat is a very good idea; Here at Minot we can enjoy a musical treat that sometimes has an international twist. Most often, the International Artists Series, created in 1948, brings in musicians from the United States. Over the years, this organization has presented a remarkable array of musical venues. From vocals to strings, from Broadway to Scotland, they brought us to the front of the stage wonderfully at every performance.

When you consider the finer things in life – art, music, poetry and of course dessert – it all comes to mind. The IAS is an organization that embodies them all and presents them in the lavish but low-key Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the campus of Minot State University. Sometimes, leaving Old Main after a gig, the performance lingers. I remember several times when we stood on the front steps and were greeted by a beautiful moonlight caressing the delicate pink-flowered crabeaters as their scent welcomed spring. It just comes close to “An enchanted evening” that.

So far art, music and poetry have all been mentioned above. There’s dessert, and for many of us attending these concerts, the 5:30 am dinner is often a quick hot meal at home. The 7 a.m. curtain and 8 a.m. intermission include a stroll through the McFarland lobby for coffee, sometimes punch, and homemade treats. One can possibly find angel food cakes, frosted carrot cookies, covered pretzels, almond cakes, a variety of bars and even gluten-free cookies.

For the past year, Phi Beta Lambda, a professional business fraternity of Minot State University under the direction of Jan Repnow or by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) of Minot State under the direction of Kateri Miller. Both groups are grateful for the opportunity to fundraise for their organizations.

This opportunity to serve a party is a wonderful learning experience for students. They see firsthand the importance of planning, knowing how to set a table, and also how to establish a workflow for traffic. They also witness the joy that comes from homemade baked goods. Yes, they are extra work to do but so worth it. Hosting this mini-reception has another benefit when students see customers engaging in conversation. A treat in hand and an engaging conversation in the lobby make a resplendent pair indeed.

Over the years, countless people have supported the International Artists Series. Thank you Patrons, Ticket Vendors, Sponsors, Volunteers and Board Members for all your hard work to keep this organization going in the Magic City.

The choice people made 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 those of many others. Many have been inspired to continue piano lessons and other music lessons after seeing a performance and hearing the performers’ musical journey. Recently, the Sons of Serendip quartet, finalists of “America has talent” graced our stage. Their journey, their stories and their stage presence were inspiring. In the hall I heard a group of students say “what a performance – the students would have loved this concert.” It’s now on our to-do list!

This Sunday, April 3, classical guitarist Edgar Cruz will perform at 3 p.m. and yes, there will be lunch served during intermission. The included proven recipe will be part of the assortment.

Sour cream drops

¼ cup shortening

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup sour cream

½ teaspoon of vanilla

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ tsp salt

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

Drop by tablespoonfuls 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. Glaze with the following

Burnt Sugar Frosting:

2 tablespoons of butter

½ cup icing sugar

½ teaspoon of vanilla

3 to 4 teaspoons of water

Melt butter in small saucepan until golden; stir in sugar, vanilla and enough water to spread. Gel. This will make 2 ½ dozen.

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