Tightly tied together, tradition and culture, here in Minot in December, they will be, as usual, taking central stages for the amazement and enjoyment of all of you with most of the events free.
By the time this column is being read several hundred of you will have feasted and had your share of fun out at Minot's Holiday Riverside where the Minot Chamber Chorale songsters will have put together their annual Renaissance Feast. If, by chance you've put off making reservations, you could be lucky if you dial 838-8709 for the Saturday performance. You will socialize in the gaily decorated rooms, reminiscent of the glamorous days gone by and feasting at 6 p.m. with your friends while musicians and singers provide vocal and instrumental music and buffoons bounce around tickling your fancies. What a traditional manner with which to start off the Christmas season.
All decked out with tinsel and bright balls, Christmas trees will be lit up and waiting for Santa but how many trees can sing? As in years past, members of the First Assembly of God will have a Singing Christmas Tree for your listening pleasure. From the tiptop of this huge tree, arranged on secure stands, choir members will share a variety of Christmas carols. You may hear this tree Dec. 2, 3, 7, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 and 11 at 4:30 p.m. The tree is located at 1805-2nd St SE. The tree's singers will be happy to receive your free will offering. After listening to this one of a kind tree, it is suspected there will be an offering presented freely.
Arlene Saugstad is a freelance writer who lives in Minot.
Traditionally in December, the Taube Museum of Art located in downtown Minot at 2 N. Main St. has put together their Holiday Tour of Homes. This year, with some new "twists" this tour billed as "Flooded With Magic" will be held Dec. 3 from noon until 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at any home as well as at the Taube, Art Main, Interiors Plus, Artistry and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Door prizes include a $250 gift certificate from I. Keating and an original painting done by two of Minot's well-known respected artists, Vern Skaug and Joyce Hendrickson. These two artists will be creating these door prizes as you watch them at the Taube during the tour. If you are fortunate in a drawing, one of these originals could be hanging on one of your very own walls.
You must come into the Taube to register for the door prizes, but you need not be present for the drawing. If you want or wish to purchase jewelry made to your order, two ladies from Velva will be in the Taube to take care of wants and wishes. There will be lots of other unique pieces of art for sale in the upper gallery of seasonal decor too. In the lower gallery, gently used Christmas items in the "Steal of The Season" you'll discover items that somebody else doesn't need that may just catch your eye. During your time in the Taube, guitarist Leonard Haabak will pluck the guitar's strings while you drink cider and eat cookies made by executive director Nancy Walter's mother from Stanley and members of the Taube Board of Directors.
From the beginning of the month of December, during regular library hours, Jerry Kaup, Minot Public Library's director, invites all of you to step inside to see the talents of Teresa Gill. Her way with stained glass and beadwork is sure to amaze you, he said. During this colorful cultural season, stained glass surely has a place for free. Also on display will be some of the ways our Red Cross plays an important role in Minot.
If there were a vote taken, Handel's "Messiah" would come out a winner where Christmas music is concerned. With that in mind, on Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. when you are among the crowd to hear Minot's prestigious Heritage Singers perform the Messiah, you will have heard the very best of the season. MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson's stage will hold 150 songsters, including the Heritage Singers, Voices of Note, and MSU and Minot High students. Truly, according to maestro extraordinaire, Ken Bowles, this year's performers are all "homegrown" which makes him very proud. Soloists this year are Alyssa Bryer, Perry Rubbert, Claire Hoselton, Bruce Wolf, Doug Wolf and Tim Olson. Members of the Minot Symphony Orchestra with Dennis Simons conducting, will provide just the right notes to accompany the vocalists. When Ken Bowles lifts his familiar baton and the chorus begins the lovely Hallelujah, your goosebumps will go into action and you will want to sing "Hallelujah!" too. Your freewill offering more than likely will be freely given as you depart Ann Nicole Nelson Hall inspired and spirit-warmed.
On Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, Joe Alme will wield his well-wielded baton and MSU's Band will be in its Christmas Concert. Just five years ago, this respected and loved director answered a request for a band director and, as the saying goes, "the rest is history." This year's concert will be free and Joe and his band members will make your attending a Christmas band concert to remember.
On Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. if you are in MSU's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, you are going to hear Minot's finest fresh voices of elementary school children lifting their voices in a Christmas Concert. It is for sure that when you listen to the talented voices of members of the Western Plains Childrens Chorus, your Christmas spirits will also be lifted. The concert is free for the listening.
On Dec. 18, the Heritage Singers will present their annual Festival of Lessons and Carols. This will take place in Minot's First Lutheran Church at 4 p.m. Familiar passages from scripture and carols shared by this talented group of men will help to make your Christmas season memorable and meaningful and it is free.
If you have ever listened to internationally celebrated pianist, Lorie Line at the keyboard of a piano, you will be excited to learn that she will be in concert Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in our very own MSU Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. Starting at the age of 5, experimenting with the piano keys, she had many lessons, instructors, and practices to win prestigious awards, cut many solo records and albums as she followed her talents and passion for the piano. It will cost you $48 to hear her and her Pop Chamber Orchestra, but considering her talents at the keyboard, you could be happy and thrilled to have been among those present for her Minot concert.
On Dec. 10, members of MSU's Campus Players will bring to the stage in the MSU's Aleshire Theater, Charles Dickens' moving Christmas story, A Christmas Carol. Be assured that if you are in the audience to watch the miserly old Scrooge and the little lame Tiny Tim, your hearts will be warmed as the true spirit of Christmas comes alive. This year's production is being directed by Daniel Johnson. Call 858-3878 should you need more information.
And now, in the words of Tiny Tim, as the carol concludes, let this column also end "God bless us, everyone."