Baladino enjoys a banner week in Thief River Falls, MN

By Ken Carlson

The very long drive from Rhinelander, Wisconsin to Thief River Falls, Minnesota was worth every mile. Baladino was welcomed with a beautiful banner and serenaded in Hebrew, and the group thoroughly enjoyed its week in the community.

All residency weeks include ensemble workshops with student and adult audiences of all ages. And there’s always a public concert that we hope serves as an exclamation point for the entire week of activity. But our work in Thief River Falls resulted in a completely new experience for this program. Thanks to an eager and curious group of high school students and supportive teachers who helped make it all happen, Baladino simultaneously led four Arts Midwest World Fest workshops!

Each Baladino member dug more deeply into their musical expertise and spent an hour working with students who shared those abilities and interests. As you see from the photos below everyone enjoyed some productive fun in the process. The public concert was indeed an exclamation point with a great crowd on hand. What a great week in Thief River Falls!

All photos below are by Eric Young Smith, the road manager on tour with Baladino.

Students at Franklin Middle School sang for Baladino….

…and the art students made a welcome banner.

Yshai Afterman conducted a percussion workshop in the Lincoln High gymnasium, where the drum corp was set up for an evening volley ball game.

With the help of Daniel Sapir, Yael Badash conducted a master class with choral students of Darcey Reese, director of the Lincoln High School Choirs.

A young string player took a spin on Tomer Moked’s oud.

And Lincoln High School wind players found new ideas about melody and improvisation while working with Yonnie Dror.

Finally, the group enjoyed a fun reception with Northwest Minnesota Arts Council members and friends at the Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce building. Special thanks to our community partners, Mara Hanel from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and Sara Olson from Thief River Falls High School—the two ladies standing in the back row to the left of the piano. They did an incredible job preparing students for Baladino’s visit and creating a welcoming atmosphere for sharing and learning!

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