Dickinson, Fargo, and Grand Forks Performers Join Professional Cast from Across Nation
The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, in conjunction with StageWest Entertainment, is excited to announce the cast of the 50th Anniversary Season of the Medora Musical. After the conclusion of thousands of auditions in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Tennessee, 12 Burning Hills Singers and two hosts have been selected for this year’s landmark performance.
The “Queen of the West,” Emily Walter, will join “Wild West Prestidigitator,”Bill Sorensen, as co-hosts of this year’s show. Walter enjoyed several seasons as a Burning Hills Singer in the mid-90’s before traveling the world as a professional entertainer. She began hosting the Medora Musical in 2010 and this year will use her powerful voice to lead the cast as they celebrate the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt and the old west.
Meanwhile, the on-stage antics of Bill Sorensen will add a touch of magic and humor to the storyline – while he ever so slightly pesters his fellow cast members, to the delight of the crowd.
This year’s cast of Burning Hills Singers features a healthy mix of returning stars and great new talent. One talented newcomer is Fargo native, Olivia Berglund, who joins fellow North Dakotans Damon Fichter, Dickinson, and Misti Koop, Grand Forks, who return for their second and third seasons, respectively.
Berglund, who is currently enrolled in Music and Communication Studies at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, couldn’t be more excited about her first year performing in the Medora Musical. “I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity. As a native North Dakotan, it is such an honor to be able to perform at such a legendary place in my home state.” She continues,
“It has felt completely surreal ever since I got the call
that I was chosen for the cast, so it is crazy that it will all be coming to fruition in a few weeks! Being chosen to be a part of such a long-standing tradition is an indescribable feeling and I am beyond excited to start the rehearsal process and perform in Medora this summer!”
While newcomers like Berglund inject exciting, new energy into the show, it’s the veteran professional performers, like Chet Wollan, Candice Lively, Kevin Korczynski and others who help polish the Medora Musical – elevating it to a caliber that rivals any show on Broadway.
For Wollan, who will be performing for his ninth season, kicking off this year’s Medora Musical is like a homecoming. “I absolutely love performing on that stage, in the Burning Hills Amphitheatre. And I didn’t even start as a true member of the cast – my first show actually came when I was a fill-in Sherriff Bear!
“Now, going into my ninth season as a Burning Hills Singer, I’m just as excited as that first night,” Wollan say. “Because, while I travel all over the country performing like a lot of the other cast members, there isn’t another stage or show like the Medora Musical.
This is an amazing place to perform a great show, for wonderful fans and I can’t wait to get the 2015 season started.”
The full lineup of very talented Hosts, Burning Hills Singers, and Coal Diggers Band members is listed below. Co-Hosts of the Medora Musical
- Emily Walter – “Queen of the West”
Originally from Racine, WI – Now calling Bismarck, ND home – returning
- Bill Sorensen – “Wild West Prestidigitator”
Bismarck, ND – returning
2015 Burning Hills Singers
- Olivia Berglund Fargo, ND
- Jessica Bradish Des Moines, Iowa
- Damon Fichter Dickinson, ND – returning
- Klayton Hinshaw Geneva, Indiana
- Patrick Robert Kelly San Jose, California
- Misti Koop Grand Forks, ND – returning
- Kevin Korczynski Belair, MD – returning
- Candice Lively Strawberry Plains, TN – returning
- Ken Quiricone Stratford, CT – returning after a spell
- Kimberly Steffen Spencer, IA – returning
- Janet Wiggins Wichita, Kansas
- Chet Wollan St. Anthony, MN – returning
2015 Coal Diggers Band
- Ed Avila, Bass North Plainfield, NJ
- Marcus Bohn, Drums St. Paul, MN
- Nick Kellie, Guitar Wigan, England
- Josh McFerren, Fiddle Grazeyburg, OH
- Roger Rettig, Pedal Steel London, England
- Chad Willow, Keyboards Two Harbors, MN
The 50th Anniversary of the Medora Musical shows every night, June 5 – September 12, at 7:30pm MDT. Tickets go on sale April 27 at Medora.com and 1-800-MEDORA-1.