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Jacob Morgan (front), Nicholas Ashman (back left), Corbin Pikula and Cade Pikula

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Dancers compete at two United We Dance competitions

More than 230 Brainerd Just For Kix dancers made up of eight teams competed at a March 5 United We Dance competition at Eastview High School in Apple Valley. Two Brainerd teams also competed at a March 6 event at Brainerd High School. 


The Brainerd results at Apple Valley: The Wee Jazz 2A took second place with 9 rank points with the routine “Go Bananas” instructed by Ali Clough; The Mini Jazz 2A, first place, 5, “ The Buzz of The Bees,” Clough; Middle Kix 4A, sixth-grade kick, first, 7, “All Night,” Clough; Rising Stars Jazz (younger division), second, 10, “Walk Like An Egyptian,” Clough; Starmakers Jazz, third, 16, West Side Story’s “America,” Adina Balenger; Dream Team, first, 5, “Eyes on Fire,” Balenger; Junior Kix 3A, second, 15, “Puppets,” Jamie Clough; and Junior Lyrical, second, 12, “Jar Of Hearts,” Balenger.

Brainerd results at BHS: Middle Kix 4A, first, 3, “All Night,” Clough; and Middle Jazz 2A, first, 3, “Release Me,” Balenger.

Just for Kix hosts first solo and small group competition

Just For Kix hosted its first solo and small-group competition at Eastview High School in Apple Valley on March 5. Fifty fourth- through 12th-grade dancers competed in the event, with six Brainerd area dancers participating.

Jamie Wallace and Olivia Sedlachek competed in the fourth-sixth grade Duet/Trio Jazz category, taking home top honors with their performance of “Avalanche.” Nicholas Ashman, Jacob Morgan, Cade Pikula and Corbin Pikula performed to “Check It Out Mix” in the sixth- through ninth-grade Small Group category and placed third.

Summer Theatre auditions April 2 at CLC

Central Lakes College Summer Theatre auditions are scheduled April 2 in the Dryden Theatre on the Brainerd campus. This summer’s productions are the musical “Annie” and the Ray Cooney farce “It Runs in The Family.”

“Annie” needs a cast of 15 girls and five boys ages 7 to 13 along with nine males and nine females age 14 and older. Children will audition at 10 a.m. and adults at 1 p.m. Actors should prepare 16 measures of an up-tempo song and bring two copies of their sheet music along with a 5-by-7-inch headshot to the audition.

The production plays in July for 15 performances, with rehearsals starting June 6. Dennis Lamberson directs, Jessica Huppler is the musical director and choreography is by Wendy DeGeest. For information, contact Lamberson at 855-8202 or by email at

Opening June 15 for 10 performances and directed by Patrick Spradlin will be “It Runs in The Family,” which takes place in the Doctor’s Common Room of St. Andrew’s Hospital as David Mortimore tries to keep his wife from meeting his former girlfriend. The fun includes Mortimore’s hapless colleague, a police sergeant, a senile patient, an assortment of matrons, a syringe full of tranquilizer and costume from the Christmas pantomime. The cast calls for six men and six women over the age of 18.

Auditions will start at 1 p.m. and actors will read from the script. For more information, contact Spradlin at 855-8255 or by email at

‘Youthful Talent’ concerts scheduled

The Heartland Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Josh Aerie, will present the final concert series in their 2010-11 season at 7:30 p.m. April 2 in Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd and at 2 p.m. April 3 in the Charles D. Martin Auditorium at Little Falls High School. 

“The Heartland Symphony Presents: Youthful Talent” will feature Kenzey Ostrowski, winner of the orchestra’s youth concerto competition. Ostrowski, a senior at Brainerd High School, will perform Weber’s virtuosic Concertino for Clarinet as guest soloist with the orchestra.

The concert also will feature selections from Elgar’s “The Wand of Youth” and Bizet’s “Symphony in C.” The Symphony, written when Bizet was just 17 years old, displays youthful wit, energy and tremendous burgeoning talent. “The Wand of Youth” is a collection of short, playful pieces written for a children’s play of the same name. 

Tickets are available at the concerts or by calling the HSO office at (800) 826-1997.

The Heartland Symphony holds its youth concerto competition on a biennial basis to provide young musicians throughout central Minnesota the opportunity to perform a substantial work with an orchestra. Young musicians up to age 18 are invited to audition for a panel of judges, with the winners receiving the chance to perform as featured guest soloist on the orchestra’s spring concert. The next round of auditions will be held as part of the orchestra’s 2012-2013 season.

For more information, visit or email

The Heartland Symphony also is offering an opportunity for those interested to “Be the Conductor” at the April 2-3 spring concerts. For every dollar donated at the concert, you will receive a chance to conduct the orchestra on a special piece. 

‘Mornings at Seven’ performances announced

PEQUOT LAKES — The Pequot Lakes Community Theater will present “Morning’s at Seven” at 7 p.m. March 25-27 and April 1-2 and 2 p.m. March 27 and April 3 at the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium.

C.J. Anderson and Lauren Nickisch and Charlie and Sue Johnson will appear as married couples in John Osborne’s poignant 1938 comedy. The action occurs in their adjoining small-town Midwest back yards, created on the Pequot Lakes stage by Tim Leagjeld and Allan Olson. Erik Steen is the director.

There are two more sisters in this ensemble cast, played by Sharon Hartley and Nancy Waller. Michael Sander plays another brother-in-law and Dan Rohr and Maggie Boland the roles of a son and his fiancee. Stage management duties are handled by Meredith Bjorkquist, with technical direction by Jenny Moon.

Curtis & Loretta in concert

 NEW YORK MILLS — Curtis & Loretta will present Minnesota Heritage in Song at 7:30 p.m. April 2 at the New York Mills Cultural Center . 

Advance tickets are $12 or $15 at the door. Student admission is $5 any time.

Traditional folk music duo Curtis & Loretta present a brand new program, “Our Minnesota Heritage in Song,” which grew out of a project created for the 2008 Minnesota sesquicentennial. The concert is entirely based on songs sang in Minnesota in 1858, when it was a new state.

Dressed in 1800s costumes, the duo makes history come alive with their seamless harmonies and period instruments, including  banjo, celeste (a charming antique keyboard that plays bells), folk harp, mandocello, harmonica and guitar. 

 The Friends of Fort Snelling and Bob Waltz, editor of Inside Bluegrass, with a grant from the Sesquicentennial Commission, published “The Minnesota Heritage Songbook,” a collection of folk songs either collected in or  illustrating the history of Minnesota. Curtis & Loretta recorded 13 of the songs on the accompanying CD and the  book was sent to schools and state parks across the state. The duo performed the songs at the Minnesota  Heritage Songbook book-release concert at Fort Snelling and at the Sesquicentennial Bigtop Chautauqua.

Northern Lites welcomes new members

NISSWA — Northern Lites begins its spring season April 5. 

The group of singers gathers from 6-7:30 p.m. each Tuesday at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa to sing old Broadway tunes. Directed by Cindy Hannem, the goal of the group is to have fun singing together. The group performs at a variety of events in Brainerd and Nisswa.

If interested in joining the group or for more information, call Mike Edmunds at (218) 963-2112.

Students participate in Junior Music Festival 

PEQUOT LAKES — A total of 175 students participated in the 29th annual Junior Music Festival on March 5 at the Pequot Lakes Public School.

Established by the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Junior Festival program is for students 18 and younger who study with a qualified teacher as a member of the Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs. Students prepare one piece from a required list of American composers and one of their own choosing. Students may work toward a gold cup, earning points on the basis of performance. A maximum of 5 points is given for a superior performance and 15 points are required to earn a gold cup, 30 for the second and 45 for the third.

Renee Anderson, Pequot Lakes, is the festival chairperson and the judges were Scott Ruffing, Patridia Lundeen, Lois Jensen, Nola Varilek and Sue Lenzen. Teachers who had students in the festival were Nancy Albertson, Renee Anderson, Trena Boone, Lila Clarke, Kara Craine, Kate Davis, Pat Dullum, Rebecca Gordon, Sue Kavanaugh, Teresa Kingsley, Carolyn Nygard, Harriet Piehl, Sara Porter, Elizabeth Schwanke, Cathy Taylor and Lisa Walker.

Receiving superior ratings:

Erin Brine-Doyle, Jackie Brine-Doyle, Hannah Doerr, Laura Halvorson, Alli Miska, Joshua Senst, Cassidy Chaney, Elizabeth Ciesluk, Izzie Cook, Nessa Engen, Bridget Erickson, Erin Fisker, Alexa Fyle, Luke Fyle, Jack Gangl, Dirk Henry, Quintin Lubke, Olivia Lundgren, Emma Pitzl, Rylie Young, Janey Zeigler, Alex Morford, Katie Morford, Jacob Beckmann, Emma Bestul, Lynne Borowicz, Taylor Borowicz, Alycia Goode, Jennifer Hendrickson, Gunnar Niemeyer, Grace Riedel, Laura Smith, Rebecca Smith, Emma Storbakken, Meagan Tollefson, Jessica Walters, Micah Wood, Laura Platt, AJ Thompson, Zephaniah Goggleye, Joshua Hankel, Liberty Hanson, Emma Hopman, Mikeela Jones, Anastasia Mattson, Tori Neff, James Thompson, Margaret Thompson, Thomas Thompson, Ellie Trowbridge, Madison Trowbridge, Colleen Tschida, Caitlin Murray, Abigail Plemel, Megan Plemel, Isaac Birchem, Melina Birchem, Olivia Birchem, Jacob Butcher, Anna Felthouse, Miah Hansen, Jacque Norman, Randi-Lynn Norman, Arielle Roubal, Karl Satterlund, Bethany Bjorlo, Caleb Bjorlo, Rebekah Bjorlo, Lauren Forsythe, Hannah Kennedy, Matthew Majerle, Gavin Metz, Shayla Metz, Cody Platta, Alexander Rice, Allison Rice, Megan Rodgers, Morgan Schmidt, Caitlin Steffen, Morgan Steffen, Hanna Swanson, Jamie Wallace, Julia Wallace, Cassandra Weyaus, Maxwell Wheeler, Lauren Benson, Emma Ferrie, Megan Hensel, Gabe Maurer, Kathryn McDonald, Alexis Menghini, Luke Meyer, Preston Owen, Lauren Reed, Anna Streed, Sophia Urbaniak, Madi Carley, Emily Danielson, Haley Griggs, Jordyn Hulsether, Josiah Klang, Amanda Kunde, Dan Larson, Lydia Larson, Shelby Lorenz, Luke Lundstrom, Andrew Muesing, Jenny Muesing, Danny Olson, Wyatt Steinke, Samantha Strong, Matthew Thompson, Sara Wennerstrand, Katherine Wig, Maria Bell, Max Boran, Jordan Higgins, Sarah Nesheim, Abby Schreier, Anne Campion, Caitlyn Carkhuff, Mackenzie Dondelinger, Ellie Hughes, Kathryn Iverson, Alli Krantz, Nick Krantz, Jonathan Larson, Madison Leas, Taylor Leas, Lily Loschko, Aaron Nibbe, David Nibbe, Abby Pelowski, Maren Pelowski, Riley Pelowski, Erika Schwalbe, Harry Seymour, Magali Seymour, Sara Whiteman, Brianna Adkins, Montanna Aragon, Amber Burtard, Anna Downie, Elizabeth Downie, Cameron Gearns, Abby Grider, Josey Grider, Molly Grider, Rachel Kline, Stephanie Malecha, Ellie Smith, Clayton Taylor and Kira Taylor.

Receiving excellent ratings: Sarah Ciesluk, Luke Gangl, Brant Dabill, Devin Rudolph, Dani Peterson, Ava Thompson, Isabel Thompson, Megan Tschida, Jaden Lindner, Emily Birchem, David Schroeder, Anthony Rice, Leah Danielson, Travis Steinke, Mark Boran, Abby Rubado, Kate Campion, Kate Kurtzman, Libby Kurtzman and Max Seymour.

Receiving their first gold cup: Hannah Doerr, Cassidy Chaney, Elizabeth Ciesluk, Luke Fyle, Jack Gangl, Olivia Lundgren, Emma Pitzl, RylieYoung, Janey Zeigler, Emma Bestul, Gunnar Niemeyer, Rebecca Smith, Colleen Tschida, Jaden Lindner, Abigail Plemel, Megan Plemel, Olivia Birchem, Anna Felthouse, Miah Hansen, Katie Morford, Alexander Rice, Megan Rodgers, Morgan Schmidt, Preston Owen, Danny Olson, Max Boran, Sarah Nesheim, Abby Schreier, Anne Campion, Kate Campion, Nick Krantz, Abby Pelowski, Anna Downie and Josey Grider.

 Receiving their second gold cup: Hannah Kennedy,  Luke Lundstrom, Andrew Muesing, Samantha Strong, Kathryn Iverson and Elizabeth Downie.

 Receiving their third gold cup: Amanda Kunde, Cody Platta, Katherine Wig and Mackenzie Dondelinger.