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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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3/17/2005 Linfield artist-in-residence to share Scandinavian culture

McMINNVILLE - A prominent Norwegian-American actor, author, storyteller and musician will present an entertaining introduction to Scandinavian culture during a two-week series of events at Linfield College.

Rolf Kristian Stang, artist-in-residence at Linfield, will perform in local elementary schools, participate in Linfield classes and present four public appearances during his two-week residency, April 4-18. He is best known for presentations in which he brings famous Scandinavians to life. Appearing in costume, Stang will visit third grade classrooms in McMinnville as storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. He will narrate "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" in a children’s concert featuring the Linfield College Community Band and present a talk for sixth graders at Patton Middle School as Viking explorer Leif Eriksson.

Audiences come away both educated and entertained, according to Joan Haaland Paddock, Linfield professor of music and director of bands.

"He doesn’t just tell a story," she said. "He brings today’s issues to life so audience members can understand them better. They walk away with a renewed sense of values and respect for all cultures. No matter what our roots are, it’s important to look back to the past to know where we are and pave a way for the future."

At Linfield, Stang will visit classes in children’s literature, theatre history, music and modern languages, and speak with Linfield students about study abroad and international involvement. In addition to working with students in the classroom, Stang will present four public performances.

"IBSEN, The Quiet Eye of the Hurricane" will be held Monday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room at Nicholson Library. Stang will perform in costume as Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, touching upon the dichotomy between Ibsen’s need to articulate his insights into human nature and his stubborn naïveté regarding the impact he would have on contemporary society.

"Scandinavian Music Sampler Recital" will be presented on Thursday, April 14, at 8 p.m. in Melrose Auditorium. Stang will provide "living program notes" for the recital, which features Linfield students, music faculty and guest performers. Works by Nielsen, Ramsøe, Grieg, Grainger, Delius, Buxtehude and others will be performed. Pieces include music written for soloists in cello, piano, violin, soprano and baritone voice; and chamber music for brass quartet and woodwind quintet.

"My Name is GRIEG, EDVARD GRIEG" will be held Friday, April 15, at 8 p.m. in Melrose Auditorium. The performance is a one-man dramatic presentation featuring Stang as Edvard Grieg on June 15, 1907, Grieg’s 64th and final birthday. Linfield adjunct professors Debra Huddleston, piano, and Jackie Van Paepeghem, vocals, will also perform. There is no admission charge, but tickets are required. Call 503-883-2275 to reserve.

"Sounds of Scandinavia," the Linfield spring band concert, will be performed Sunday, April 17, at 3 p.m. in the McMinnville Community Center. The Linfield College-Community Band, under the direction of Paddock, will perform music by Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius and others. Stang will narrate a musical rendition of Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." Chris Engbretson, Linfield sophomore, will perform the first movement of the Grieg piano concerto.

Stang, who resides in New York, has performed throughout the nation at venues including the Smithsonian Discovery Theatre in Washington, D.C., and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and before nearly 50,000 elementary school students. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Augustana College in Illinois and a master’s in music at Columbia University. He also studied at the Juilliard School in New York and the Musikhochschule and the university in Hamburg, Germany. In 1997, he was decorated with the Saint Olav Medal by King Harald V of Norway and in 1998, he was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Linfield College Music Department at 503-883-2275.