Helena-area arts and entertainment news


Helena Symphony performs Saturday

The Helena Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, along with five guest soloists during the evening, returns to the Helena Civic Center for Masterworks V: The Bells of Ecstasy on Saturday, March 23.

The Symphony will perform what is considered by Rachmaninoff to be his greatest work. “The Bells” sets the descriptive words of Edgar Allan Poe to paint musical poetry.

The Helena Symphony also presents one of the first performances of New Zealand Composer John Psathas’ “The All-Seeing Sky,” an evocative work for two percussionist soloists and orchestra, and Alexander Scriabin’s mystical “Poem of Ecstasy” is an erotic, existential, all-consuming experience.

Guest percussionist Lynn Vartan is an international performer and educator who is an advocate for diversity in music. She is known for her dynamic athleticism and exciting energy on stage.

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Guest performer Weichen Lin is a respected marimba performer, and chamber, contemporary and orchestral musician. Lin is the principal timpanist of Counterpoint Ensemble and Taipei Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.

Single concert tickets can be purchased ($65-$20 plus a $5 transaction fee) online at www.helenasymphony.org, by calling the Symphony Box Office at 406-442-1860, or visiting the Symphony Box Office located on the Walking Mall at the Placer Building, 21 N. Last Chance Gulch, Suite 100, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Musikanten Montana Baroque Concert

Musikanten Montana continues its 20th season of concerts in Helena with a performance of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, as part of St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral’s Holy Week offerings.

Amanda Balestrieri mugshot


Musikanten’s soloists for the March 26 performance are soprano Amanda Balestrieri and contralto Anne Kania. They will open the concert with two motets by Claudio Monteverdi. Wendy Yuen accompanies on the organ, with Musikanten’s Artistic Director Kerry Krebill conducting.

Anne Kania mugshot


Wendy Yuen mugshot


This 13th century poem portraying the grief of the Virgin Mary as Jesus dies on the cross has been set by countless composers throughout the centuries.

The early 18th century Italian opera composer Pergolesi wrote the setting most often performed, and it is perhaps the most vivid and heart-wrenching. The 40-minute piece is set for two women soloists, soprano and alto. The women of Musikanten also will sing, acting as a Greek chorus in support of the grieving mother. 

St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral is at 511 N. Park. The concert is performed without intermission, and is approximately an hour in length.

Admission is free, with suggested $25 donation at the door. Reserved seating will be available for Musikanten Angels (annual donors of $100 and above). For more information, call 406-442-5175 or visit Musikanten Montana’s website at www.musikantenmt.org.

Latin folk fusion music at The Myrna Loy

Founder of the Juno-award winning band The Paperboys, Tom Landa, brings his newest band Locarno to The Myrna Loy stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4.

Prepare for a lively evening of Latin folk fusion music or what Landa likes to describe as an “amped up Mexican/Latin folk band.”

Latin folk fusion takes the stage at The Myrna Loy

Locarno blends Mexican folk tradition with world roots at The Myrna Loy Thursday, April 4.

“We’re a Latin folk fusion band with a heavier emphasis on Mexican music or Mexican-inspired music…the majority is original compositions.” he says.

While the Paperboys are known for their Celtic influenced folk/pop, Locarno explores Landa’s Mexican heritage. He was born in Mexico City and lived there until he moved to Canada in his teens.

“We take different folkloric styles and use a more modern approach,” using electric guitar, fiddles, trombone, trumpet, bass drum, voices and more.

They have appeared on the CBC, performed at the Luxembourg World Music Festival and regularly headline Canadian music festivals.

Tickets are $25 and are available at the box office, 15 N. Ewing, themyrnaloy.com or call 406-443-0287.


Brew and View at The Myrna

Brew and Views at The Myrna Loy, 15 N. Ewing, are the best way to enjoy your favorite cult classic movies. Part costume party, part street party, part watch party.

The event starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, and the film debuts at 8 p.m. for an evening of weird, as Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro kidnap us, stuff us in the back of their trunk, and take us for the ride of our lives in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

Visit themrnaloy.com to get tickets and more information.

Carroll College annual Faith & Reason Lecture

Join us for the annual Carroll College Faith & Reason Lecture on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. in the Lower Campus Center.

Dr. Todd Salzman, Creighton University, will present “Pope Francis, Conscience, and Magisterial Teaching: Retrieving Tradition.”

This event is free and open to the public. It is being brought to you by Carroll College Academic Affairs, the Carroll College Theology Department, and the Sr. Annette Center.

Biblical scholar to speak at Carroll

Carroll College will host Theologian and Biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma, a professor at Steubenville University, at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 22, in the Lower Campus Center. Bergsma specializes in Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

This lecture, Light from the Dead Sea Scrolls on the Gospel Accounts of the Last Supper, is in conjunction with his participation in the Diocese of Helena Eucharistic Conference and will be of interest to Carroll students, faculty, and community members.

Doors open at 6:30 with light refreshments. This event is free and open to the public.

Library event features author via Zoom

The Lewis & Clark Library will feature a virtual event at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23 with author Matt Lewis. 

Join us on Zoom for a fascinating look at the story of the sons of Edward IV, allegedly murdered on the orders of Richard III. Lewis will examine the motives and opportunities afresh as well as ask a crucial but often overlooked question: what if there was no murder?

Visit www.lclibrary.org to register and learn more.

  • April 13: 2 p.m. film screening “The Right to Read,” watch the award-winning film produced by Lavar Burton. “The Right to Read” shares the stories of those who fight to provide our youngest generation with the most foundational indicator of lifelong success: the ability to read.
  • April 21: 2 p.m. The Power of Poetry. Poets Melissa Kwasny, Sean Hill and Montana Poet Laureate Chris LaTray will be together for one very special Sunday at the Lewis & Clark Library. Join us for readings and conversation, hosted by Library Director John Finn. Free and open to the public.
  • April 25: 6:30 p.m. Montana and the Triple Crown. Lecture by author Brenda Wahler.
  • May 13: 7 p.m. Helena Civic Center an evening with the author. Jacqueline Winspear, a prolific and award-winning writer of the well-known Maisie Dobbs mystery series, will be live in Helena for a discussion and book signing.

Birdwatching kits available at library

The Lewis & Clark Library has teamed up with the Last Chance Audubon Society to create birdwatching kits for the public to check out. The kit includes: High-quality binoculars, Montana Audubon Bird Guide, Birds of Montana Field Guide, and Birding in the Helena Area Pamphlet.

These kits are available at the main branch in Helena as well as the Lewis & Clark branches in East Helena, Lincoln, Augusta and on the Bookmobile. Ask a staff member to check out a kit. You can use the kit for 14 days.

Learn more about Last Chance Audubon Society and Montana birds by visiting their website at www.lastchanceaudubon.org/. See Lewis and Clark Library branch locations and hours at www.lclibrary.org.


Spring Art & Craft Show

The 38th annual Spring Art & Craft Show will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at the Helena Civic Center Ballroom.

The show will feature over 80 vendors with unique handmade items.

Admission is $5. Children under 12 are free.

Ledger art for children

The Montana Historical Society will teach a special workshop on ledger art for children at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at the Lewis & Clark Library, 120 S. Last Chance Gulch.

Participants will learn about the history and meaning of ledger art and storytelling in Plains Indian culture. They will then receive materials and instruction to create their own art using historic ledger paper. Prior registration is required.

Visit www.lclibrary.org or call 447-1690.

Celebrate arts in education with two exhibits

Youth Electrum 2024, a showcase of K-12 student artwork throughout the Helena School District, is on exhibit in the Bair, Nicholson, and Held Galleries at the Holter Museum of Art from April 5 to May 8.

Experience this longstanding annual showcase where students can exhibit their work alongside their peers in a museum environment and share their incredible work with the wider Helena community.

The annual Helena College Capstone Exhibition features the second–year art students unveiling their capstone art projects. The Capstone art projects are on display in the Millikan Gallery at the Holter from April 5 to April 21.

Join us in congratulating these students as they launch their careers as artists, creatives, and more.

An opening reception for both exhibits will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, April 5. 

Cash bar (with non-alcoholic options) and appetizers available.


MPN to hold improv classes 

The Montana Playwrights Network is offering Improv Class Encore acting classes on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on April 3-May 1 at 1319 Helena Ave.

Explore acting techniques that free the mind and build confidence through improvisation and acting skills.

Errol Koch mugshot

Errol Koch

The classes are taught by Errol Koch, who is a longtime member of both the Helena and theater community working as the artistic director of the Virginia City Players and off-stage with various other companies around Helena. He has worked with Improv Mining Company for many years as well as Cow Tipping Comedy.

Registration for the class is available at www.montanaplaywrights.org, by going to buytickets.at/montanaplaywrightsnetwork/1196259 or by text at 406-235-0353.

Submissions to the Around the Town calendar should be emailed to [email protected] and should be 200 words or less. Submissions should be written in story form, no flyers please. Call Phil Drake at 406-447-4086 if you have questions.

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