Special Guests
Saturday, October 24, 1998

THE ENSEMBLE SINGERS OF THE PLYMOUTH MUSIC SERIES first sang together in 1991. The 24-member chorus is part of the Plymouth Music Series, which-under the direction of world-renowned conductor, choral scholar, and performer Philip Brunelle-has grown over nearly three decades into one of the premier music organizations in Minnesota. Commissions and world premiere performances have included works of Dominick Argento, Conrad Susa, Stephen Paulus, Libby Larsen, Randall Davidson, and David Baker. The Ensemble Singers are heard on the Angel, Collins Classics, and RCA labels. An American Romantic (Collins Classics), a recording of Dominick Argento's music, was released this year. Upcoming European dates include Stockholm's "Midwinter Festival" in December, and the World Choral Symposium in Rotterdam next summer. The group will perform Handel's oratorio Cleopatra at Bethel College's Benson Great Hall on November 7 as part of the 30th anniversary season of the Plymouth Music Series. Performing with the Ensemble Singers tonight: soprano: Kathleen Hanson, Barbara Nelson, Andrea Schussler, Amy Walter-Peterson, Linda Zelig; alto: Anna M. Dick, Rosita Elhardt, Nina M. Heebink, Barbara Kastens, Karen Lovgren Kennedy, Christy Pritchard; tenor: Robert Griffin, David O. Henderson, Thomas Larson, Jordan Sramek, Glen Todd; bass: Jerry Johnson, Michael Jorgensen, Arthur LaRue, Michael P. Schmidt, Robert C. Smith.

MARIA JETTE appeared this summer at the Oregon Bach festival, singing Bach's Mass in B Minor, Mozart's Requiem, and Haydn's Creation under the baton of Helmuth Rilling. Her other varied roles have included Monteverdi's Poppea, Handel's Galatea, Britten's Fido, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and several performances of Robert Kapilow's mini-opera version of Green Eggs & Ham. A Twin Cities resident, Jette has performed locally with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, Lyra Concert, the Plymouth Music Series, Ex Machina Antique Music Theatre, and others. She has also been heard with prominent groups around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution's 20th Century Consort, the Wratislava Cantans Festival in Poland, the Academia Bach in Caracas, and at New York City's 92nd St. Y with the New York Chamber Symphony. Jette also does commercial and theatrical soundtracks. Two upcoming recordings feature Schubert songs and a selection of Britten's folksong arrangements. Jette will sing the title role in the Plymouth Music Series' performance of Cleopatra in November.

JOYCE SUTPHEN was born the oldest of nine children on a farm near near St. Joseph, Minnesota, and received her bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. She began submitting poems for publication in the early 1990s, and while working on her Ph.D. dissertation, she received several awards and grants for her writing, including a Gessell Award for Excellence in Creative Writing, a Loft Mentorship, the Barnard New Women Poets Prize, and a Jerome Travel and Study Grant, among others. Currently an assistant professor at Gustavus Adolphus College, she has conducted poetry workshops at literary programs such as the Split Rock Arts Program in Duluth, the Marshall Writer's Festival, and the Good Thunder Reading Series in Mankato. Sutphen's book Straight Out of View was published by Beacon Press in 1995, and she recently had an essay selected for inclusion in a new book on Shakespeare's sonnets due out at the end of 1998. This year she received a State Arts Board Fellowship and a Norcroft Writing Residency, as well as a Jerome Travel and Study Grant, which will take her to Sligo, Ireland.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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