Village Arts Hosts “Music of the Twenties” Spring Concert | News, Sports, Jobs


Sue Sitter/DND Chris Halvorson, right, sings “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” with Heartland Ukuleles players at Tillman Hovland Auditorium, April 3.

The music that thrilled past generations of rugby residents entertained a crowd in the Tilman Hovland auditorium during the presentation of Rugby’s Village Arts “Music of the 20s” April 3.

The evening began with lively singing accompanied by the Heartland Ukuleles, who played numbers such as “Five Foot Two” and other 1920s favorites.

Some of the musicians dressed up as flappers with sequined headbands and beaded dresses. Others dressed in 2020s outfits wore headbands to pay homage to the music of a century ago.

Members of the Heartland Civic String Orchestra performed tunes by George Gershwin and other composers. Chris Halvorson, Rugby, led both the ukulele and strings section. Special guest Anthony Schreier of Minot State University co-directed the string section and brought in other Minot music students to perform as well.

Schreier took the conductor’s podium to lead the symphony orchestra

“It has been an absolute pleasure to be in front of these musicians and the growth they have shown over the past few weeks has been phenomenal,” Shreier said of the Village Arts musicians.

Schreier pointed out that although most of the performances featured 1920s songs, “You may notice that the pieces we have chosen for this concert are not 1920s themed.

“When my fiancée and I were looking for music for this concert, we kind of took some liberties about what the Roaring Twenties meant. So Sammartini’s Concertino in G was actually composed in the 1720s. We thought that wouldn’t be a big stretch. The Magic Flute was an opera that was written by Mozart and there were 22 actors on stage for the original production of that, that’s where the 20s came from.” Schreier explained how he kept the 20s theme in his program.

“Jean Baptiste Lully’s French Baroque suite was composed when he was in his twenties.” Schreier added.

“In the Baroque era they had these big sticks that they used to beat the ground and that’s how the maestros kept the tempo. Well, they were also very sharp and he accidentally stabbed himself in the foot with his truncheon,” Schreier said, sharing some anecdotes from Lully’s life. “Fortunately, we now have shorter batons and no longer have to worry about dying from a foot infection.

“The last one, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, is a classic and this arrangement is absolutely perfect,” Schreier added.

The Village Arts Choir, conducted by Andee Mattson, performed next. After the renderings of “It’s not bad behavior,” “Turkey in the straw”, and other 1920s favourites, Mattson presented a special number composed for former rugby music teacher Tilman Hovland, for whom the Tilman Hovland Auditorium is named.

One of Hovland’s former students, Dave Halvorson, composed the piece. Halvorson told the audience how Hovland inspired his own love for music and motivated him to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. Halvorson has also released songs. He now teaches music in schools in Tioga.

“In the 70s, Mr. Hovland was my teacher,” Halvorson said. “In the audience we probably have a few of his students, or on stage we might have some of his former students. I remember how great our bands were. We played everything under his direction. It was amazing and he taught us so much.

Halvorson credited Hovland with the ability for student rugby to perform statewide and win numerous competitions. “Every year, our college band played at the North Dakota Music Teachers Music Festival. They chose the rugby group to play there every year. It was because of Mr. Hovland. Halvorson said.

“I think it’s every teacher’s dream to see their students continue with music and continue to love music,” Halvorson said while introducing his article. “That’s what the song is about.

“With sincere thanks, this is for you, Mr. Hovland,” Halvorson added, his voice quavering with emotion.

After the performance, Mattson invited the audience to stay for a sheet cake reception featuring a sheet music design by Julia Petrovich, who has also played in the orchestra’s string section and teaches visual arts classes. for Village Arts. Mattson encouraged community members and alumni to write messages for Hovland on note cards provided at reception.

Mattson also invited Hovland to say a few words to the audience.

“It’s pretty insufficient to just say thank you, but that usually says it all.” Hovland said, adding that he had enjoyed teaching his students for decades at rugby schools.

“And it’s great to see things continue,” Halvorson added. “I thank you all for having had the privilege of working with you.”


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