Duluth Bethel celebrating 150 years with expanded Concert for Recovery

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Duluth Bethel is celebrating 150 years of helping people on their recovery journeys.

Executive Director Dennis Cummings says it was incorporated in 1873. It’s gone through many iterations over 150 years.

“We’ve accumulated almost 2,000 pictures and all this history,” Cummings said.

Bethel’s Concert for Recovery is returning for a third time. But this year, it’s a two-night event.

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the Big Top Chautauqua Blue Canvas Orchestra will perform in the DECC’s Symphony Hall. The group will perform music specially written to honor Duluth Bethel.

“The materials are so rich,” Big Top Chautauqua Music Director Ed Willett said. “You can get any one of these images and it’ll launch you on a song subject. When you have that, that’s your inspiration.”

“To take the facts of a thing and get to the heart of a matter, and I see Bethel as an incredibly heart-filled situation,” Cheryl Leah, a composer, said. “It was good as a poet and a lyricist, which I primarily am, to try to meet that challenge where I take a bunch of facts and make it come to life but also impart the genuine, sincere compassion that Bethel really has.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and music starts at 7:30.

On Thursday, Sept. 7, the Concert for Recovery goes to Bayfront Festival Park. The Mick Sterling Tribute Show begins at 8:30 p.m. Opener Tommy Wotruba starts playing at 6:30.

Both Concert for Recovery shows are free and open to the public.