A lot goes on behind the scenes to provide the kind of performance that the Minot Symphony Orchestra will put on Saturday at the Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at Minot State University.
This is the entry in the group's lineup set for the Family Concert, which not only highlights the winner of the Minot Symphony Orchestra high school competition, but is performed twice for visiting schools the day before.
The violin soloist is Minot High School senior Jack Fagerland, a regular member of the Minot Symphony Orchestra, who will be performing Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Opus 61 in D Major.
"This is the piece he played for the competition," said Dennis Simons, conductor of the MSO. "When students present their selections (for) judging, Jon Rumney (MSO concertmaster) makes sure there are orchestrations readily available so they can play at the Family Concert if they win."
Fagerland has also been accepted this year to both the Naval Academy in Annapolis and West Point.
"I'm tending toward West Point," Fagerland said. "My grandfather graduated from there. But I will certainly keep music as a sideline in my life."
One of the group's goals is to introduce children to the joys of classical music, live music performance and performing themselves. Luanne Erickson, president of the Minot Symphony Association's board of directors, knows how to get children interested.
"We want them to be vested in the concert," she said. "So back in October I sent a letter to area schools explaining the centerpiece 'Billy the Kid Suite' (by Aaron Copeland) and asked them to have their students listen to the music and produce artwork for us to display during the show. So from the 'Open Prairie' movement there are pictures of the prairie."
There is enough to cover three display boards, with "Wanted" posters to be placed around the lobby.
"I really want to commend the teachers and school district for encouraging the students," she said. "Also Jacobsen's Music for providing instruments for a 'petting zoo' before the concert and during intermission. That allows everyone, adults and children alike, to try their hands at possibly unfamiliar instruments."
Performances at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday are free for students, who are coming from 40 schools located from Devils Lake to Watford City, involving some 1,200 to 1,500 children altogether.
"Each child will receive a free ticket to the Saturday concert, along with a half-price discount ticket so they can come back with a parent," Erickson said. "The kids will have a real stake in this, and for many it will be the first time they'll have an opportunity to come to the symphony."
The pre-concert lecture with first cellist Erik Anderson begins at 6:30 p.m., with the petting zoo starting at 7 p.m. and the concert itself at 7:30 p.m. The petting zoo will be available during the intermission as well.
The concert opens with the "William Tell Overture," known to many from the Lone Ranger television series, and in keeping with the 'Dance' theme of the season, the performance includes "Clog Dance" from "La Fille Mal Garde."
"This is one of the oldest ballets still performed," Simons said. "And of course we have to have the 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' by Tchaikovsky. Next is the 'Skaters' Waltz,' although we're not trying to encourage winter," he added, smiling.
Closing the evening, he said, is Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance."
"You really can't follow that with any other piece," Simons said.
Prices vary according to seat selection and age, with an additional charge for the pre-concert lecture, which is otherwise included for season ticket holders. For reservations, call 858-4228.