BREEZY POINT -- About 300 community college students and faculty arrived at Breezy Point Resort today for the two-day Minnesota Fine Arts Festival.
The annual event, now in its 13th year, is chaired this year by Steve Anderson, Central Lakes College instrumental music instructor.
Instrumental and vocal students from 14 of Minnesota's community colleges will participate in the festival, which is intended "to get everyone together for an exchange of ideas and to share our musical experiences," Anderson said in an interview this week.
Starting at 1:30 p.m. today, the students participated in a series of clinics and rehearsals in their respective disciplines, in preparation for a public concert at 5 p.m. Friday in the resort's conference center.
Guest instructors include John Tesch, band director at Minnesota State University, Moorhead; Herminio Diaz, a jazz band director emeritus from Inver Hills Community College; and Tim Sawyer, choral director at Northwestern College in St. Paul.
Friday's schedule includes several hours of rehearsals for the choir, concert band and jazz band before the public concert, which is free.
The guest conductors have selected the pieces for the concert, which will include four numbers by the concert band, five by the jazz band and four by the festival choir.
"The festival gives you (participants) bigger ears and bigger eyes in what you bring to your school every day," Anderson said. "It can open eyes to the possibilities as a performer or as a teacher in the field.
"It's also a way for students and teachers to recharge their batteries by talking to others doing the same thing but in slightly different ways," he said, "and it gives them a chance to work with well-known clinicians."
The festival will also involve several members of Anderson's Community Band who are not students at CLC.
Individual groups will perform separately at "showcase" events throughout the two-day event. The jazz band will provide the entertainment for a Thursday night dance open to participants.
The festival is sponsored by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Two-Year Fine Arts Council, which represents the state's community college music and art departments.
Cost of the festival is picked up through student fees charged by each participating school, Anderson said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.