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BSC and Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra combine poetry with music

Published: May 04 2015
BSC poetry class
BSC poetry class students during a recent discussion.
Bismarck State College collaborates with the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra Sunday, May 10, for a concert that connects spoken word with musical voices.

Set for 3 p.m. in Sidney J. Lee Auditorium, the "Poetry Partners" program features readings of 12 original poems by BSC students and four by English instructor Michael Tomanek interspersed with classical and contemporary music.

Alternating with poetry, orchestra members will combine into small chamber ensembles to perform works by John Rutter, Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak and Darius Milhaud, along with contemporary composers Harold Arlen and Duke Ellington and others.

Among the pieces are "Sonatine-Humoresque" by Jean Hubeau, "Stormy Weather" by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, and "Joy Spring" by Clifford Brown.

Seven students in English 222 "Introduction to Poetry" class wrote one or two poems over spring semester. Working with themes of music, movement and language, they work-shopped each other's poems in class. BSC art professor Michelle Lindblom, an orchestra board member, arranged the collaboration with Tomanek last fall.

"This was an idea which came about as a way to collaborate with BSC, since I teach here and have connections," Lindblom said. "Poetry is music and music is poetry, so what a perfect collaboration."

BSC students with selected poems are sophomores Dylan Horner ("I trudge forward" and "the imperfectly perfect melody"), Allison Keller ("Where Words Fail, Music Speaks" and "In a Daze"), and Marcus Tademy ("Listen").
Freshman poetry students are Daniel Henke ("Sign Language" and "Untitled"), Marcie Woehl ("trailrunner" and "Untitled"), Kat Evenson ("Crescendo" and "The Yellow Sign"), and Bethany Morman ("Gravity is Working Against Me").

Creating the music are orchestra performers Rhonda Gowen (clarinet), Dennis Gowen (trumpet/flugelhorn), Marnie Kraft (flute), Laura Prokopyk (violin), Michael Langer (piano), Leslie Peterson (French horn), Nils Aardahl (bass), and Mary Hoberg and Elizabeth Odegard (viola).

General admission at the door is $18 for adults, $15 seniors, $10 students (high school and college) and $5 for children 15 and under (one free child admission with paid adult or senior ticket). For more information, visit or call 701-220-3808.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.