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Area Voices: Dr. Beverly Everett, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra Conductor

Dr. Beverly Everett and Katie Carter

“Compared to men in music director positions, it’s still only about 13% [women]….and I think there are different reasons for that and I think it’s partly…what people are used to. It has to do with the European influence on classical music… some of the orchestras in Europe…it was as far as into the [19]90s, when some of those major orchestras like Vienna and Berlin first even allowed women into their orchestras.” – Dr. Beverly Everett on why the gender disparity between male and female orchestra conductors.

Dr. Beverly Everett conducts both the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra and the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra.  This year the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 80th anniversary and to celebrate, Dr. Everett has incorporated many special guests and experiences into the BSO’s performances.  This weekend, the BSO will welcome Sarah and Sadie Hamrin to the stage. Both sisters are virtuoso strings players who spent many years playing with the BSO prior to leaving Bemidji to study music at Baylor University in Texas.  Sarah is a junior viola performance major.  Sadie is a freshmen violin performance major.  Accompanied by the orchestra, Sarah and Sadie will perform Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and Williams’ Schindler’s List.  Concert goers will also experience Copland’s Lincoln Portrait narrated by Bemidji resident Ernie Rall as well as Dorsey’s Fanfare No. 1.

In this segment of Area Voices, in addition to discussing the upcoming performance, Dr. Everett discusses the career path of a symphony conductor, meaningful advice from her conducting peer Giancarlo Guerrero that made a profound impact on her career choices, and the reasons behind a gender discrepancy in her line of employment.  She also shares  insight of how directing a smaller symphony opens opportunities to experiment with adding intriguing elements like film and literature and experimental music into the symphony concerts.  

The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra concert begins at 3pm at the Bemidji High School Auditorium, Sunday, March 31st.

Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.