Posts tagged Emily Walter

Women of Medora: Emily Walter

This article was originally posted in Inspired Women Magazine and was written by Stephanie Fong.

Emily Walter has spent a three-decade career traveling the world as a professional vocalist and actor. She’s served as a singer in the U.S. Air Force Band, entertained in shows on cruise ships, and —among many other things — has personified the title of Medora’s “Queen of the West.”

Her first professional job in music materialized after enlisting in the United States Air Force.

“My position as a vocalist with The Strategic Air Command Band was my first full-time singing job. I was just out of college and I never dreamed that I would become a veteran of The Desert Band, performing for the troops in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It was an incredible honor and my training in the SAC Band critically developed the musical, professional, and disciplinary skills I have to this day. I couldn’t have had better training,” Emily says.

Fast forward to the early 1990s, when Emily wowed fans of the Medora Musical as a Burning Hills Singer best known for crooning Patsy Cline tunes each night under a starry Western sky.

Emily Walter is third from the left.

“I sang my first Patsy Cline song on the Burning Hills Amphitheatre stage in 1993. It was ‘Sweet Dreams.’ The response was so overwhelming that the following year, the producer gave me a choice between ‘Crazy’ and ‘She’s Got You.’ I chose the latter,” Emily recalls.

Those successful summers singing Patsy Cline in Medora led to something bigger that holds a major place on Emily’s resume — the Patsy Cline estate named her one of the few entertainers approved to portray Patsy Cline, leading to performance tours across the country and internationally. She continued to perform in a variety of genres and locations, adhering to her personal formula for success: hard work, dedication to her craft, and willingness to travel.

SHE CAME HOME TO NORTH DAKOTA

Emily returned to Medora in 2010 to host the Medora Musical, and the character she portrayed that year soon became a part of her identity for years to come.

“When I returned to Medora nearly two decades after my time as a Burning Hills singer, the producer Curt Wollan and I were talking about me taking the host position in the Medora Musical, and he popped out with, ‘Emily Walter; Queen of the West!’ I loved it from that very moment,” Emily says.

Emily’s “Queen of the West” character combined the elegance of a pageant queen — complete with tiara-clad cowgirl hat and sequined gowns — with the strength of an Air Force veteran and the voice of a Broadway star. Little girls attending the Medora Musical soon started buying and wearing pink cowgirl hats with tiaras, becoming Queens of the West in their own right. 
“That was my favorite tie to the show…seeing a child walking downtown in their ‘Queen of the West’ hat! I can’t tell you how many photos were taken in those hats. Sometimes they would show up with one they’d had for five years, and it looked so loved,” Emily says.

HER OWN LOVE STORY

And at the current point in her incredible journey, Emily has found herself planting deeper roots in Medora, explaining: “I fell in love with Medora in 1993. I fell in love in Medora in 2011.”

Of her own Medora love story, Emily puts it simply.

“I enjoyed (the traveling performer) life very much, and it enabled me to see the entire world doing what I loved, but when I met Rolf (Sletten) in 2011, I was ready to slow down. The result was that I truly ‘came home to Medora,’” Emily says.

Rolf Sletten was the Bully Spirit Award winner for 2019 – this is the highest honor the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation awards.

After hosting the Medora Musical for several seasons, Emily took on new challenges as part of the Medora team — helping launch and grow Medora’s popular Gospel Brunch and the Magical Medora Christmas Tour. 
In addition to these popular Medora productions, Emily continues to pursue other favorite projects including Patsy Cline and Karen Carpenter Tribute shows and performances with the Bismarck/Mandan and Bemidji (Minnesota) Symphony Orchestras.

Whatever musical project she is dedicated to, and wherever travels with Rolf take her, Emily continues to embody the Queen of West role. 
“It’s just me, that Queen of the West persona,” Emily says. “Me, with close ties to the town, the music, the people, the history, and the legacy that Harold and Sheila Schafer built. Rolf wrote two books about Medora and Theodore Roosevelt. This stunning place is deeply embedded in both of us and it’s great to share that passion together.”


A Magical Medora Christmas Tour Coming to 24 Communities Across the Region

Show returns for the fourth season, tickets on sale now

Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation announced today the return of fan-favorite show, A Magical Medora Christmas! This year the show will travel to four states performing 30 shows in 24 communities. A Magical Medora Christmas features past and present stars of the Medora Musical. Starring in this year’s tour is former host of the Medora Musical and “Queen of the West”, Emily Walter, Broadway stars Jared Mason, and Job Christenson, musician Chad Willow, and the host of the show, Bill Sorensen bringing the spirit of Christmas to audiences through his gift of humor, magic and love. READ MORE »

A Magical Medora Christmas Tour Dates and Times

(This announcement was for the 2017 tour of A Magical Medora Christmas. See 2018 Tour Dates and Information here.)

Four past and present Medora performers will entertain audiences during 28 shows, in 22 communities, across 4 states this Nov. & Dec.

The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) is pleased to announce that A Magical Medora Christmas variety show will tour this holiday season across North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota.

 

The family-friendly Christmas show will feature the musical talents of Emily Walter, Jared Mason, and Job Christenson, as well as the comedy and magic of Bill Sorensen.

Read on to see see tour dates and times!

READ MORE »

The Medora Gospel Brunch is a Deliciously Good Time

And the food is great too!

 

You’ll never experience anything quite like The Medora Gospel Brunch!

 

It leaves you feeling full, not just with delicious food, but in spirit too! READ MORE »

Winter Fun Abounds in Medora this December

On the first day of Christmas, Medora gave to me! 3 days of Cowboy Christmas, 2 nights of A Magical Medora Christmas, and one Bold St. Nick’s Fatbike Race!

December in Medora is packed with fun family activities, great shows, and a mountain bike race! Yea that’s right, a mountain bike race! Read on to get all the details on a jam-packed December in Medora!

READ MORE »

Tour Dates for a Magical Medora Christmas Show

Coming to a town near you!

Five legendary Medora performers are bringing a family-friendly Holiday Show to audiences in North Dakota and western Minnesota!

During 24 shows in 19 communities, A Magical Medora Christmas show will feature vocal performances by the amazing Emily Walter, the multi-talented Jared Mason, and the wonderful Job Christenson.

Throughout the show, Bill Sorensen will wow you with spectacular magic and some hilarious banter with everyone’s favorite steel guitar player, Roger Rettig!

 

Head below to see if a Magical Medora Christmas show is stopping in your town!

READ MORE »

Nominate Medora’s Emily Walter for the North Dakota Music Award’s Favorite Female Vocalist Award

Nominate Medora’s Emily Walter for the North Dakota Music Award’s Favorite Female Vocalist Award

Hey y’all! The “Queen of the West,” Emily Walter, is competing to be one of the top 4 finalists in the North Dakota Music Award’s Favorite Female Vocalist competition!

emily walter NDMA graphic 2016 

RIGHT NOW, all you have to do is follow this link, scroll down to question 12, write in “Emily Walter”, then hit done. Now pat yourself on the back! You’ve just helped “The Queen of the West” take one more step to becoming the North Dakota Music Award’s Favorite Female Vocalist!

The nomination process is open till November 15, up until that date, you can vote for Emily up to five times. The top four nominations in each category will move on to the voting round December 1, 2015 – January 20, 2016 & the winners will be announced February 13, 2016 at the event to be held at the Historic Belle Mehus Auditorium in Bismarck. 

Bill Sorensen and Emily Walter to co-host Medora Musical

Bill Sorensen and Emily Walter to co-host Medora Musical

Former Bismarck Mayor and show veteran set to banter on stage once again in 2014

(MEDORA, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation is pleased to announce the return of the exciting duo of Bill Sorensen and Emily Walter as co-hosts to this year’s Medora Musical.

The part of my job that I did best last year – in character of course – was really annoying the Queen of the West.

Sorensen, a former Bismarck Mayor and long-time performer co-hosted the 2013 Medora Musical as its Wild West 

Prestidigitator and comments with a smile, “The part of my job that I did best last year – in character of course – was really annoying the Queen of the West. I think the crowd got a kick out of that dynamic last year and I’d be fibbing if I said that I’m not really looking forward to doing that again this year.”

Bill Sorensen 2013

“Truly,” he adds, “Being able to spend last summer co-hosting the Medora Musical was one of the greatest experiences of
my life. It was both a thrill and an honor to be asked to return for a second season.  Medora is my favorite place because of its natural beauty, rich history, and great entertainment – and because I get to meet and work with some of the most wonderful people in the world. I can’t wait to spend this summer in Medora.”

I get to perform on the most scenic stage I know, in a town I adore, with people I love.  All that in exchange for Bill Sorensen!

Walter, a Wisconsin native, was a Burning Hills singer from 1993 through 1995, and has hosted the Medora Musical READ MORE »

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