Those who live in the North Country know the power of night-total blackness with maybe a flicker of moonlight on the water and the nocturnal sounds of the forest. Night is the theme of the eighth season of the Lakes Area Music Festival which begins Sunday.

"We will spend much of August in the dark mystery of the wee hours," John Taylor Ward, the festival's associate artistic director, stated in a news release. "Night is the time when lovers meet; it is when we dream; and sometimes under the cover of night we shed our daytime personalities to reveal our innermost selves."

The season begins with a community concert showcasing local talent from the Brainerd lakes area at 2 p.m. Sunday at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. The night time theme will only be hinted at in this first concert. The festival will plunge into the mysteries of the night at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Tornstrom.

Sunday's community concert will feature John Koopmann on trumpet, who currently is the director of the orchestra and beginning band at Staples-Motley Public Schools. He also is principal trumpet of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, a position he has held since 1988. Koopman studied music at St. Olaf College, Concordia College and the University of Minnesota, and has performed widely in the Twin Cities and Upper Midwest. Koopmann will play the first movement of a trumpet concerto by Johann Hummel, with Andrew Altenbach conducting the


Other highlights of Sunday's concert:

• A Beethoven trio played by Kelsi Wright, clarinet; Spencer Frie, cello; and Cathy Taylor, piano.

• A solo piano work by Felix Mendelssohn performed by high school student Joey Tranvik.

• Two choral works sung by the Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota, including "In the Night We Shall Go In," with Frie playing cello accompaniment.

• Three pieces sung by the Consensus Ensemble, including "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square."

• Selections from Ralph Vaughan Williams' "English Folk Song Suite," with Altenbach conducting.

Wednesday's concert titled "Moonlight" is all about the mysteries of night, the news release stated. It will open with solo piano works performed by Tanya Gabrielian. An arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Chaconne, originally written for solo violin, will open the program, followed by two Nocturnes by Frederic Chopin. To close the first half of the program, another arrangement will be performed: a solo piano version of Ludwig van Beethoven's violin sonata titled "Spring."

Gabrielian returns to the Lakes Area Music Festival after her debut last summer. She holds degrees from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and a prestigious Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School in New York City where she currently resides. She has won numerous competitions and has performed on four continents in acclaimed venues including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Sydney Opera House, and as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and others.

"Transfigured Night" by Arnold Schoenberg will conclude Wednesday's concert. The piece, also based on a poem, depicts a man and a woman walking through a moonlit forest. The woman confesses she is pregnant, by another man.

The man comforts her saying, "Do not let the child you have conceived be a burden on your soul." The couple leaves together in silence, his arm around her. The piece ends in a mood of quiet, dreamy romance. The sextet will be played by Jonathan Magness and Chloe Fedor, violin; Sifei Cheng and Samantha Rodriquez, viola; and Madeleine Kabat and Scott Lykins, cello.

A pre-concert lecture about the repertoire to be performed will be presented in the venue beginning at 6:30 p.m. featuring musicologist Emily E. Hogstad. Following the performance the audience is invited to join the performers for an Afterglow reception at Prairie Bay in Baxter.

The Lakes Area Music Festival, an annual summer series attracting some of the country's leading instrumental and vocal performers, will take place Sunday through Aug. 21. All performances will take place at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd and are presented without charge. There are 130 instrumentalists and vocalists from 24 states and five countries who will be featured, collaborating on chamber music, symphony orchestra, opera and ballet.

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Sidebars are as follows

Upcoming LAMF concerts to be performed:

• 2 p.m. Sunday, community concert, Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

• 1:30 p.m. Monday, open rehearsal, Tornstrom.

• 7 p.m. Wednesday, Moonlight concert, Tornstrom.

• 1:30 p.m. Aug. 5, open rehearsal, Tornstrom.

• 6 p.m. Aug. 5, Lakeside Cabaret, Grandview Lodge (tickets available on the LAMF website)

• 1:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 6, Master Class, Tornstrom.

• 6 p.m. Aug. 7, Lakeside Cabaret, Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, (LAMF website for tickets)

Outreach Concerts Announced

The Lakes Area Music Festival has partnered with local organizations this summer to present 14 new outreach events. Musicians on the LAMF roster will perform and interact with underserved members of our community, as organizers brings its mission of accessibility outside the walls of Tornstrom Auditorium and directly to those who can most benefit.

Among the proposals that were selected are four performances at the Crow Wing County Jail; a creative songwriting workshop at the Mid-Minnesota Women's Center Shelter; musical storytelling at the Brainerd Public Library; an interactive "jam-session" at TheShop Brainerd; and an instrument petting zoo with Kinship Partners. Proposals from Essentia Health, Northern Lakes Senior Living, Cuyuna Care Center, Aitkin Health Services, Woodland Good Samaritan Village and Heartwood Senior living were also selected to be carried out.

These increased outreach activities are made possible through generous funding from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation.

The Lakes Area Music Festival was founded in 2009 by Artistic Directors Scott Lykins and John Taylor Ward.

Outdoor Yoga Event Announced

The Lakes Area Music Festival musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will provide live music during an outdoor yoga class at 11 a.m., Aug. 13, at the Brainerd High School football field. The class will be led by Jennifer Smith of Nisswa Yoga.

The event will be open to all members of the community without charge; donations to support the outreach programs of the LAMF will be accepted. The class is open to yogis of all levels, from beginner to advanced, and mats will be provided for those who don't have them.

The event is a part of a new outreach initiative of the organization, bringing music out of the concert hall and making it accessible out in the community. In addition to instruction by Smith, local yoga teachers from Nisswa Yoga, Karmady Yoga and Fitness, YMCA, Lakes Area Yoga Association, Park City Yoga Adventures, Brainerd High School and more will provide demonstrations and assist throughout the practice.

Live music will be performed by Kathryn Bennett, violin, and David Auerbach, viola, of the Minnesota Orchestra; Kayla Moffett, violin, of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; and cellist Michael Kaufman from Los Angeles.