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First City Singers Seeks a Director

The First City Singers, a non-audition vocal performance group, is seeking a volunteer with choral direction experience to lead weekly rehearsals and occasional performances at area senior living facilities. Rehearsals are 1pm Mondays at Headwaters Music and Arts. First City Singers also welcomes additional men and women ages 55 and older to the group; for information about the volunteer director position or becoming a member, contact organizer Kathy Hughes at 218.751.5129

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9 Practice Tips From Jessica

It is a busy time of year, going from summer into fall. Our Music Program Coordinator Jessica Westlund has a few practice tips for all of us to start our fall off right. We found these tips very helpful - we thought you might, too!

  1. Cheerful hearts and full tummies make for good practice - eat a snack before picking up your instrument.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water before a lesson to create a clean practice space.
  3. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice is most effective when done 4-5 times a week.
  4. Follow the list your teacher gave you. Take time to go through everything and prepare for the next week.
  5. Play every song 3 times through to get it locked in.
  6. Practice before play. It is good to get in the habit of rewarding yourself for practicing. It shouldn't be a chore, but like chores it is easier to do before the evening gets underway.
  7. Remember to bring your books to every lesson, this way you will be ready when the teacher is ready.
  8. The new year means new supplies - remember to bring a notebook and pencil. A music bag is a great way to keep track of everything music related, throw it near the door the night before so it is ready to go.
  9. Remember to give sufficient notice if you are going to  miss a day (and remember, we have days set aside at the end of every semester dedicated to make up missed lessons).

P.S. You are invited to join us on September 16th for our Fall Kick Off! It will be a great time to meet teachers, check out instruments, eat cotton candy and generally have a good time. Read more here, and plan to join us!

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Sept. 1st First Friday Opening Exhibit and Coffeehouse

Headwaters’ Art Camp(3-4pm) –

After a week of art and learning participants of Headwaters’ Art Camp will be displaying their art in an exhibit open to the public. Participants, ages 9-18, will be displaying work made with guest instructors Tom Daly, Al Bellleveau, Stacey Stang, Joanna Dymond, and Susan Kedzie, author and illustrator of A Thousand Purring Cats.

A Thousand Purring Cats Opening Reception and Artist’s Talk (4:30-6pm) –

Headwaters Music and Arts is excited to host the first showing of the completed works rendered in pastels for Susan Kedzie’s first children’s book entitled A Thousand Purring Cats.

Susan Kedzie comes from a career in Wildlife management and has a deep love for nature and science. She says “Today, I am happily fusing my passions for art, science, and writing together into creative projects.”

A Thousand Purring Cats warmly embraces the healing power of positive relationships. Playful text and images invite smiles and laughter with a surprise tug at your heart, while lively characters gently nudge your child closer when they need it most.

The public is invited to the opening reception from 4:30 to 6 pm, there is no cost to attend. The exhibit will be up through the end of the month.

First Friday Coffeehouse (7-10) –

Headwaters Music and Arts will hold First Friday CoffeeHouse in association with the Northwoods Folk Collective on Friday, September 1st, 7-10 pm. The CoffeeHouse events will feature local musicians, singers and writers sharing their talents in 10-15 minute sets. Artists will be scheduled ahead of time with limited slots reserved for sign up the night of the event.

Event organizer Don Zieman notes that “the goal of First Friday CoffeeHouse is to create a place where local artists can bring their music and compositions to a beautiful setting and perform for local members of the community. Please come out and enjoy the local talents!”

Admission is $3 per person or $7 per family. For more information contact Headwaters at 218.444.5606.

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Opening Reception for David L. Smith, August 4th

Join us on August 4th to welcome David L. Smith, with his found-object sculptures.

Raised in Southern California, David live in Minnesota for a short time while he worked toward his BS in Art Education before he moved to Siren, Wisconsin in 1979 to teach art. David taught art to  K-12 students for 20+ years in Siren. During that time he earned his  MFA in Sculpture  and taught several intro level classes at the University of Minnesota / Duluth. He says "after retirement I missed teaching children, went through a depression, sought therapy, and started my own work in sculpture in my own little shop."

David describes his work as  “found object sculpture with influences of folk art, surrealism, and outsider art." The pictures he shared evoke a sense of travel and movement. Some of the objects he incorporates are from second hand stores. The "old" objects give a sense of history to his work. David also uses pieces of instruments, giving a sense of creation, as well as some of his own woodwork. The instruments and fine woodwork  are a  good contrast to the used objects.

The opening reception for the show, titled Time Funnel, will be from 4-6pm on August 4th, with an artist's talk at 5pm. The show will be up through the month of August so if you can't make it Friday you still have an opportunity to see it.

After the reception, starting at 7pm, we will hold our monthly First Friday CoffeeHouse. All are welcome to attend, the cost is $3 / person, $7 / family (read more).

Artist's Statement

My work would probably be classified as found object sculpture with influences of folk art, surrealism, and outsider art. I like to repurpose objects from the past and put them into a new environment. The pieces that I do are like entries into a journal of my life. It's my way of communicating with others-what I think about and feel. It's this combination of woodworking and objects that I seek from second hand stores, that that help me tell stories ranging from serious to humorous. I feel my strong point is playing with items that fit together like a puzzle. My favorite art quote is Picasso's statement saying when he was a child he could draw like an adult and spent the rest of his life trying to draw like a child. So in par, I feel teaching children has brought me where I am today and that Jesus has given me this time to experiment.

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Coming Home: Songwriters Cultural Exchange

Contact: | 218.444.5606
When: Friday June 9th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Headwaters School of Music and the Arts | 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601
Who: All Ages
Why: The performance features performers who have all drawn on their culture and family traditions to create authentic and meaningful art. The event will shed light on why these songwriters do what they do.

Berit Dybing, Erlend Odnes Kløvning, Caige Jambor and Corey Medina will take the Headwaters Music and Arts stage on June 9th from 6-9pm. Coming Home: Songwriters Cultural Exchange will be a mix of craft talk and performance. The audience will have the opportunity to listen to the four young singer/songwriters give insight into the songwriting process in between performances of their own songs.

Berit Dybing is a free-lance singer-songwriter/ entertainer from Bemidji, MN. She is now circulating around Minnesota and Europe, after spending a year studying Jazz and Vocal Performance in Norway.

Erlend Odnes Kløvning is a free-lance musician and performer, from Hamar, Norway. He has spent the upper half of his life studying jazz music and playing the guitar. After graduating from a music-intensive high school in Stange, he continued his jazz studies at Trøndertun Folkehøgskole in Melhus, Norway.

Berit and Erlend share a band called Bareland. The band bloomed out of the experiences they shared while studying at Folkehøgskole the last year. Their music is inspired heavily by the concept of identity. Berit’s texts and Erland’s melodies circle each other and speak of the relationships people form, and the environment that surrounds them.

Caige Jambor is a touring musician from Bemidji, MN. He comes from a strong musical background. Caige taught himself to play guitar at a young age. Since then he has been exploring different genres and instruments.

Corey Medina is a Native American Blues Artist from Shiprock, NM. Corey currently plays, writes and produces music with the Incepticons while also traveling with his band known and The Brothers. Corey Medina and Brothers set out to spread light to dark, and hope to the hopeless with their raw, soulful, intimate music and stage presence.

This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Community Arts Education Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Coming Home: Young Songwriters Workshop

Saturday, June 17th. Workshop / 10:00 – 5:00 pm, Registration required
Show case / 6:00 – 9:00 pm, open to the public

Headwaters School of Music and the Arts | 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Workshop / Ages 13-21. $25 per person
Showcase / Open to the public | 218.444.5606

Participants will leave the 7-hour day feeling inspired, with a basic understanding of methods that have kept the creativity flowing for professional songwriters for ages. Participants will also leave with a few pieces of original and collaborated work to add to their repertoire.

Berit Dybing is drawing on her recent experiences in Norway as a performer and songwriter to host a Songwriting Workshop Saturday June 17th, 10:00 - 5:00 pm at Headwaters Music and Arts. She will be joined by fellow instructors Erlend Odnes Kløvning, Caige Jambor, and Cory Medina. Together they will encourage participants to explore and draw upon their own heritage and culture throughout the workshop.


In the morning the Workshop will focus on Lyrics, working in groups to collaborate on texts and melodies that fit together, while exploring technique that the individual can tailor to themselves, they discover which works best for their own specific writing style.


The afternoon will be spent focusing on the full picture: Composition. The group will work together to create a backbone for the texts that were written, and shape the melody with harmonies and rhythms that will turn any simple “song” into an expressive work of art.


Following the workshop the participants will have an opportunity to take part in a songwriters showcase. The Showcase is meant to present the young writers with an opportunity to perform their work for an audience. The showcase is open to the public, and starts at 7:00PM.


This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s General Fund through a grant awarded by the Region 2 Arts Council.