Community Gospel Concert
The 2nd Annual Community Gospel Concert was another outstanding event sponsored by the Big Stone Arts Council (BSAC). Nearly 400 people attended this free concert on Sunday afternoon, April 29th. There were ten participating choirs, duets and soloists. The audience enjoyed traditional gospel songs such as Amazing Grace and What a Friend. By contrast, original lyrics and music were also performed.
As a fundraiser for BSAC, attendees purchased $5 voting ballots for their favorite performance. This year’s honor went to Kara Helgeson. Ballot proceeds support BSAC art activities. All performing groups were offered a $100 participation gift. Performers were as follows: Julie French, First United Methodist Church Choir, Jack and Gwen Whitley, Kara Helgeson, Trinity Lutheran Church Choir, Paul Ragan, Tammy Ragan, The Clinton Women’s Ensemble, Amy Lang, and 4 in Harmony: Loran and Dennis Rademacher, Mark Bierschback, and Don Stock.
This year also began a new tradition. Each year a person from the community will be selected to receive The Pinnacle Award, to acknowledge a community member who has supported the arts with exemplary contributions. This year’s award was presented by the Arts Council and the Chamber to Vicki Oakes. Over the last few years, Vicki has been a tireless contributor, believing in BSAC’s mission. A few of her latest contributions are: advancing BSAC’s technological ability to interface with the public by building the Big Stone Arts web-site, providing tech support as needed, and adding on-line event registration and Paypal capabilities…all off the clock! Vicki promotes the arts by voluntarily videotaping art events and posting them on different community web-sites for public viewing. She has also served as a Cultural Center Initiative consultant and strategic planning participant for BASAC.
The afternoon High Tea following the concert was hosted by The Granary Food Co-op. This delectable and opulent experience was enjoyed by all! Each table was adorned with linens and eclectic hand-crafted teacake stands over-flowing with delicious treats baked by supporters. Proceeds from the High Tea free-will donations and purchased teacake stands will help the Granary defray the cost of a new cooler.
Big Stone Arts Council acknowledges Doug Holtquist for sharing his vision for the Annual Community Gospel Concert and High Tea, which has been extremely well attended and enjoyed by all ages. Special thanks to Ray Ogdahl for his beautifully arranged floral bouquets and to our corporate sponsors: Parker and Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. of Ortonville, Lou’s Greenhouse of Big Stone City, The Granary of Ortonville, and Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Milbank. Many thanks to Patty Haukos for the original program artwork and design layout. BSAC is also sincerely grateful for the generous support from members and other friends of the arts.
BSAC continues to welcome artists and non-artists to help support their mission, ‘To Promote and Develop the Arts in the Big Stone Lake Area’, and contribute to community vitality through quality art events such as the Community Gospel Concert.