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The MAFAC mix

When it comes to bringing in artists and groups, it’s all about finding the ‘right mix’ for the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council

May 3, 2008
By Cindy Votruba
If it wasn’t for the support of the area community, the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council wouldn’t be able to provide cultural performances from around the world.

MAFAC is bringing five more concerts for the 2008-2009 Performing Arts Series, ranging from Russian folk dancing to five Spanish brass players.

Kicking off the 2008-2009 season is the local musical revue “All My Favorites” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28.

All My Favorites recently hit a milestone in giving away more than $100,000 to area arts organizations.

All of the concerts are at the Schwan Community Center for the Performing Arts at Marshall High School.

The MAFAC performance committee works with Allied Concert Services to select the upcoming seasons, MAFAC coordinator Paula Nemes said.

“They give us a presentation on artists they are representing for this year, and we pick from there,” Nemes said.

MAFAC has a $30,000 budget to work with for its performance series, Nemes said.

“The challenge is choosing the right mix,” Nemes said. “Sometimes we have far too many ones we like to choose from.”

MAFAC performance committee member Carol Reuvers said the committee has to work within that budget.

“We have a ‘quality’ budget,” Reuvers said. “Dollars make a big difference too.”

Students get a good deal, $25 for the entire season, Nemes said.

“Bob Meffert meets with general music classes in the fall,” Nemes said.

Nemes said the support of the season ticket holders keeps the performance series going.

“We couldn’t do the concerts if we didn’t have the subscribers,” Nemes said. “We need to have that guarantee.”

Having a variety is important, Reuvers said.

“So we don’t have the same thing, choral groups or instrumentals,” Reuvers said.

And the committee also strives to bring in family-friendly entertainment, Reuvers said.

Barynya, a Russian folk troupe based in New York, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. The group was formed in 1991.

“They use traditional instruments and dancers,” Nemes said.

On Barynya’s Web site, it said the group uses Cossack, Ukranian and Russian gypsy dancing, along with different instruments, such as the garmoshka, a Russian button accordion.

In past years, MAFAC has brought in a Welsh chorus and dancers from Mexico, Nemes said.

“One of our goals is to have something cultural,” Nemes said.

Reuvers said the committee also brings in an act that is local or a Minnesota artist. The Schubert Trio will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. The group consists of Dan Rieppel on piano, Thomas Rosenberg on cello and Helen Chang on violin. Nemes said Rosenberg teaches at the University of Minnesota and Chang performs with the Minnesota Orchestra

The group performs more than just music by Schubert, Nemes said.

“They also do modern compositions,” Nemes said.

The second half of the performance series resumes in March.

“We try to avoid the snowbird season,” Nemes said.

On Saturday, March 7, 2009, the Spanish Brass Quintet will take the stage. The concert is at 7:30 p.m.

“We like to bring somebody from out of the country,” Nemes said.

The Spanish Brass Quintet has a wide repertoire, which includes Bach to Duke Ellington.

“They choreograph their own music,” Nemes said.

Romanza will be the last concert of the series at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 26. Nemes said Romanza is a trio of tenors from Canada.

“They will do everything from Italian arias to folk music and popular songs of today,” Nemes said.

n Season tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors, $120 for a family of four and $25 for students. To order tickets, call 507-532-5463 or stop by the Marshall Area Fine Arts Center.


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