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Holmes Theatre to host Musical Hors D'Oeuvres

The Viotti String Quartet will play with a harpist and string bass player during the Historic Holmes Theatre's Musical Hors D'Oeuvres on Saturday evening. Tickets are available at 844-SHOW or online at

Hors d'oeuvres: A French phrase commonly used to refer to appetizers served apart from the main course of a dinner, this hard-to-spell term has a more literal definition as well: "Outside the work."

Both terms might be applicable to Saturday night's festivities at the Historic Holmes Theatre, where sampler platters of appetizers prepared by Country Kitchen will be served up to pre-party guests in the ballroom as a prelude to the main event, a concert known as "Musical Hors D'Oeuvres."

Presented by musicians from the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra (FMSO), this concert will include a string quartet as well as harp and string bass players. The six-piece ensemble will present a program featuring a mixture of pop and classical music selections, entitled "From Debussy to Disco -- Dancing Through the 20th Century."

"We wanted to offer the Detroit Lakes audience a taste of the symphony," said Linda Coates, executive director of the FMSO, explaining the origin of the term 'Musical Hors D'oeuvres'. "For the past couple of years, the entire FM Symphony Orchestra has come to Detroit Lakes to perform, but financially that just wasn't feasible this year.

"In discussing alternative options with Amy (Stearns, manager of the Historic Holmes Theatre), I suggested the symphony's chamber music series," she added.

Subsequently, they discussed the possibility of having a chamber ensemble program that featured a sort of "sampler" of the kind of music that would typically be offered at a full FMSO concert.

"We have different combinations of musicians performing in the program," Coates said.

For instance, in some sections of the concert, only the Viotti String Quartet (Alison Wallace and Justin Hayes, violin; Tim Nelson, viola; and Alyssa Miller, cello) will play, while in others, they will be accompanied by harpist Sarahlyn Robinson-Scott, and in others, by string bassist Alex Pershounin (who also teaches bass at Minnesota State University Moorhead).

As the name suggests, selections will include everything from classical pieces by French composer Claude Debussy to a rousing rendition of the Gloria Gaynor disco classic, "I Will Survive."

In between there will be selections by rock groups Queen and Led Zeppelin as well as classical composer Maurice Ravel.

There will even be an original composition by FMSO bassist Alex Pershounin, "Sonata a la Blues," which will be heard for the first time at the Detroit Lakes concert.

"You will get to hear it before our (local) audiences do," Coates said.

The connecting thread between the pieces to be performed at Saturday's concert is that they all have a basis in dance.

"It's a really creative mix of popular music and classical," Coates said. "But what's also wonderful about these chamber concerts is that it's so much more of an 'up close and personal' experience for the audience.

"The level of musicianship is really fun to see. When it's just a handful of players the interaction between them is more visible. I love chamber music concerts for just that reason."

The chamber concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Historic Holmes Theatre; the pre-party will take place across the hall in the Holmes Ballroom, starting at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the show only are $22 for adults, $11 for students; you can add an appetizer sampler platter at the pre-party for just $3. Sampler platters -- featuring BBQ Ribbies, Fiesta Roll-Ups, a Half Club Wrap, Chicken Salad on Flat Bred and Cream Puffs -- can be purchased separately at $8 in advance or $9 at the door. Individual appetizers will also be available for purchase, and there will be a cash bar.

Come early and experience the Winter Marketplace, going on all day in the ballroom starting at 10 a.m., as the official kickoff to the 2009 Polar Fest Celebration.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 218-844-SHOW, visit the Holmes Theatre Box Office at 806 Summit Ave. or order tickets online at

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454