Young Dakotans welcome ensemble

By Lindajoy Fenley

At the Monday evening welcome reception, Mayor Mike Levsen congratulated the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble for their efforts to bring diversity and cultural exchange to the community during their upcoming residency in Aberdeen, SD. Jeff Bahr of the Aberdeen American News asked the traveling musicians how they liked giving workshops and traveling to new parts of the world, and what Israel and its culture were like.

Stacy Braun, executive director of the Aberdeen Area Arts Council, said she was thrilled her community had been chosen to host Arts Midwest World Fest a second time. (Aberdeen was a World Fest community during the 2003-2005 cycle.) Braun prepared a delicious harvest dinner with pheasant and buffalo dishes, hearty homemade soups served in bread tureens plus tasty homemade desserts. Jim Walker said his Capital Theater is ready for the World Fest performance on Saturday.

Each of these Aberdeen citizens, as well as others attending the Monday evening reception, greeted the World Fest ensemble with genuine interest. The welcome that stood out, however, came from a group of high school girls representing a youthful sector not normally found at community receptions.

A couple of weeks ago, Kelsey Kimbler heard a school announcement about the upcoming concert. When she excitedly told her friend Shelby Braun about the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble coming to town, Shelby nonchalantly replied that her mother was organizing the ensemble’s visit. Shelby hadn’t gotten excited about the program but assumed her mother would probably take her to the concert. After hearing the ensemble play two pieces Monday, Kelsey, Shelby, and their younger sisters McCamey and Brooke, are sure to pass the word about the concert to fellow students who won’t have any other chance to see them.

In Aberdeen, the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble will visit six elementary schools, two senior centers, and the local 3M plant, but not one high school. Braun confirmed that it is difficult to schedule workshops for the upper grades, a problem that has proven true in many other communities.

Nevertheless, we hope that word will travel around the community and that many will join us for the public concert this Saturday, November 6th at the Capitol Theatre on Main in downtown Aberdeen. Information about the event is available on the Aberdeen Area Arts Council website.

Aberdeen high school students pose with members of the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble.
Aberdeen high school students pose with members of the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble.
Man with notepad interviews a musician.
Jeff Bahr of the Aberdeen American News interviews Sefi Asfuri Hirsh.
Woman speaking and gesturing in an art gallery.
Stacy Braun is director of the Aberdeen Area Arts Council, our World Fest partner in Aberdeen.
Aviad, Talya, Sefi and Avri perform in an art gallery.
Aviad, Talya, Sefi and Avri perform amongst South Dakota art.


Stacy is a fantastic cook. she welcomed us with an uforgettable great delicious squash soup!!

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