Somali Museum brings culture to Central Minnesota through dance

The St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra is partnering with the St. Cloud State University Concert Choir to celebrate the university’s sesquicentennial

The Somali Museum of Minnesota is making its last stop on a tour of Central Minnesota historical societies.

The Stearns County Historical Society will host the Somali Museum Dance Troupe and some Somali authors at its event Feb. 23.

“Our mission is preserving and sharing history,” said Ann Marie Johnson, the Morrison County Historical Society curator. “We’re hoping people learn a little bit more about Central Minnesota history and a different culture.”

The dance troupe is made up of Twin Cities high school students who will perform traditional Somali dances.

“They’re highly energetic and it will just be a blast,” Johnson said.

More: What Minnesota’s Somali population looks like: young, Minnesota-born and working

The dance troupe rounds out the four-session tour by the Somali Museum of Minnesota. The group hosted a Somali Kebed weaving event, a Somali Culture 101 presentation and a Mobile Culture Show at various historical societies in Central Minnesota during the month of February. The local historical societies hope to host similar programs highlighting other various cultures in the near future.

The dance troupe event is free and open to the public. The event runs from 2-4 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Stearns History Museum, 235-33rd Ave. S. The performance will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Somali authors will be on hand to share and autograph their books, including Habso Mohamud sharing “It Only Takes One Yes!”


The St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra is partnering with the St. Cloud State University Concert Choir to celebrate the university’s sesquicentennial.

Together, in conjunction with the orchestra’s principle choir the Great River Chorale, the three groups will perform Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9.”

“Beethoven really unleashes the creative potential of the symphony in his ninth by adding a number of instruments not normally heard in a symphony,” said Artistic Director Brian Dowdy. “He expands the musical scope of the symphony in length and complexity.”

In addition, the work includes voices.

“It’s an operatic finale close to an already epic and dramatic symphony,” Dowdy said.

The work has become an inspiration for generations of composers and Dowdy said it’s the perfect piece to celebrate the sesquicentennial because inspiring the next generation is what education is about.

“It’s very much on point for celebrating the university and 150 years of education,” Dowdy said.

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In addition, he said, there’s a strong humanist theme in the words to Beethoven’s Ninth where “all are called to gather as a community of human beings around joy and celebration.”

The pieces allow Dowdy to highlight members of the orchestra who are a part of the university.

Additionally, the concert program includes Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Tower’s “Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman” and Larsen’s “Fanfare for a Learned Man.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 in Ritsche Auditorium at St. Cloud State University. There will be a pre-concert discussion beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $5 for students and are available at

Girls Night Out

Girls Night Out: A Tribute to the Superstar Women of Country brings together female vocalists to pay homage to the well-known voices that have come before them.

The show includes tribute to the likes of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, among others.

“We need to give these people the recognition they deserve in a suppressed industry,” said Donnie Doyle, the show’s drummer and organizer.

He brought together the voices and talents of Erica Hanson, Jen Urbach and Alison Huttner for the production.

More: St. Cloud’s 50-hour trivia weekend marathon hits its stride in 40th year

“They do a killer job, they’re just passionate about what they do,” Doyle said.

As Doyle created the program for the event, he chose songs he said have a common thread and create a bigger story. For him, the idea began when Hillary Clinton ran for president, and shortly thereafter came the “Me Too” movement.

“I felt all the suppression,” Doyle said.

Through this musical journey he said he wants to acknowledge the suppression and the women of country who, through the years, have explained it and risen above it in their storytelling.

“These songs come across and they say something,” Doyle said.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 and tickets are available at

Sarah Colburn is a freelance writer who regularly previews Central Minnesota entertainment events for Up Next. Email her at


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