Lyric Annex to host flute choir from UMD

Members of the University of Minnesota-Duluth Community Flute Choir are shown with Director Dr. Paula Gudmundson, fist row, far right. The choir will perform at the Lyric Annex Thursday in Virginia, wrapping up the Lyric Center for the Arts' second House Concert Series.

VIRGINIA — A Duluth-based choir will fill the Lyric Annex on Thursday evening with century-old traditional ballads to tunes like “Annie’s Song.”

But this choir is not made up of voices. Each note will come from a flute.

The Lyric Center for the Arts’ House Concert Series is wrapping up its successful second season with a first-time performance by the University of Minnesota-Duluth Community Flute Choir.

“We will be performing a varied hour and 15 minute program which includes works for solo flute and for flute choir,” said Director Dr. Paula Gudmundson, assistant professor of music at UMD.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Annex. Tickets are $15 and can be pre-purchased online at LyricCenter4Arts.com.

The UMD Community Flute Choir is a chamber music ensemble “committed to learning and performing music for multiple flutes, including piccolo, alto and bass flutes,” Gudmundson said. Members of the ensemble will introduce the different types of flutes.

It is a diverse group of musicians, ranging from high school students to older adults who “want to play later on in life,” says the professor. The choir is open to non-majors and majors alike on the UMD campus and to Duluth and Superior, Wis., community members.

Each semester the choir performs on campus and at various venues in the region.

“We were very excited to be invited to perform at the Lyric as part of their performing artist series,” said Gudmundson, a native of Costa Rica who has lived in Duluth for several years. “We are excited to share the variety of flutes and music for this combination of instruments.”

Audience members can expect to hear such songs as “Black Is the Color (of My True Love’s Hair),” “Oblivion,” John Denver’s “Annie’s Song,” and “Legends from Greenwood,” in which three North American legends, including Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox, are featured.

“We are pleased to bring UMD’s flute choir to the Lyric,” said Terri Nystrom, coordinator of the concert series. “This is the last performance in our 2019 series.”

The series included evenings with local groups, Big Waves and Bonfires, and The Divas; Twin Cities musicians Lehto & Wright; and the Randy Lee Jazz Ensemble of Duluth.

“We have some great sponsors for our performance season at the Lyric,” said Mary McReynolds, executive director of the Lyric Center for the Arts. “It’s so wonderful to have such enthusiastic local support.”

Business leaders play an instrumental role in the Lyric’s continued efforts to renovate the historic theater and build awareness of the importance of the arts in the community by sponsoring the center’s concert series and performing arts groups.

“Plans are underway for the 2020 House Concert Series,” Nystrom said. “We’ll be solidifying dates and performers, along with reaching out for donor support.

“We are grateful for our audience and sponsorship support and thankful to work with so many talented performing artists,” she added. “It’s been exciting to watch this program grow over the past two years.”

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