The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), the Capri Theater and Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church proudly present “Northside Celebration” at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 19 at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, 3355 N. 4th St. The two collaborative concerts will celebrate our North Minneapolis community through music. Tickets are free, but reservations are required and can be made at thespco.org/northside, or by calling the SPCO Ticket Office at 651-291-1144.
The centerpiece of the concerts will be the world premiere of True North, a work for choir and chamber orchestra commissioned by the SPCO for the Northside Celebration, composed by Northside resident Timothy C. Takach, with lyrics by spoken word and hip-hop artist Desdamona. Desdamona’s lyrics were inspired by writings of students in the Capri After School Theater (CAST) Program, as well as students from PYC Arts & Technology High School. Narration and readings of stories, reflections and poetry by Northside artists will be woven throughout the musical selections.
“The SPCO is thrilled to expand our partnership with the Capri Theater and join forces with Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church to create and premiere a new work that celebrates the vitality of the Northside,” said SPCO Artistic Director and Principal Violin Kyu-Young Kim.
The 90-minute concerts will also feature performances by a specially formed Northside Celebration Choir made up of singers from Fellowship and other North Minneapolis church choirs, directed by Fellowship’s Minister of Music, Sanford Moore. In addition, an ensemble of SPCO musicians will perform Strum by acclaimed American composer Jessie Montgomery.
A reception will be held after each concert, and the atrium of the church will feature an exhibit of Bill Cottman’s photos that artfully depict life in North Minneapolis.
The inspiration for this concert originated three years ago during a luncheon with Northside community residents and representatives from the SPCO and the Capri. Amidst avid support for a continued SPCO presence at the Capri, several themes surfaced during the discussion, including intense community pride in the face of adversity, a desire for opportunities to collaborate and feature local artists, and a desire to emphasize connection and strengthen relationships in the community.
In response to this feedback, Dennis Spears, Artistic Director of the Capri’s Legends Series, suggested that the two organizations take their partnership to the next level by collaborating to make music together, with the community, and with the support of Sanford Moore and the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. Understanding the power of music and coupling this with themes of hope, pride, collaboration and strong community connections, the Northside Celebration was born.
“There are a number of different cultures living and thriving here in North Minneapolis,” said Spears. “Through this concert, we will bring together a rainbow of residents and shine a powerful ray of hope and love all across this community. We will light up the Northside with songs, music, dance and spoken word!”
“This collaborative effort of bringing together artists, musicians, singers and audiences from different backgrounds and experiences is a testament to this community, this city, this state and this world that we can come together in one voice and demonstrate that respect, grace and appreciation of one another are something to celebrate,” said Moore.
More info: thecapritheater.org and thespco.org/northside. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.