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Aitkin choirs to present concert

AITKIN — The Aitkin High School Choirs, consisting of ninth through 12th graders, Madrigals, Handbell Choir and Guitar Classics will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the high school auditorium.

The groups are directed by Kelly Blake and accompanied by pianist Becky Klingelhofer.

The concert will begin with the Madrigals, a select group of singers. They will sing “The Gift to Be Simple,” the madrigal, “April Is in My Mistress Face” and the spiritual, “Shut De Do.”

Next the “Fists of Fury” Handbell Choir will play “Prayer for Peace” remembering those who lost their lives on 9/11. The will also play “Fantasy No. 3” by Douglas Wagner.

The ninth grade choir will sing “Sing Hosanna Sing,” “Rock-A-My Soul” and the Russian dance song, “Troika.” Guitar students will perform “Ode to Joy,” “Au Claire De La Lune,” “La Bergamasca,” “The Riddle Song” and “Scarborough Fair.”

The Concert Choir will sing: “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal” arranged by Alice Parker; the spiritual “Ezekial Saw the Wheel;” “Baba Yetu,” The Lord’s Prayer sung in Swahili with Alec Kinzer singing the solo; and “If Music Be the Food of Love” a choral work by David Dickau.

Manic Drive to perform Saturday

Manic Drive will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at the CrossRoads Music Café in Brainerd.

Manic Drive performs pop and harder rock music and will have a full light show with them. The band’s 2010 radio single “Walls” hit top 10 Christian CHR Billboard Charts and was the No. 1 on America’s largest CHR network Air 1 radio. It’s radio single “Music” recently hit top 30 Christian CHR Billboard Charts and stayed in the top 10 for more than a month. 

Tickets are $9 at the door.

The concert is sponsored by Brainerd Area Youth for Christ and The CrossRoads Music Café.

Billy McLaughlin to

perform Feb. 11

STAPLES — Billy McLaughlin and Electric String Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 as part of the Staples Motley Area Arts Council’s concert series at Centennial Auditorium in Staples.

McLaughlin is recognized as an innovative performer and composer who embraces the advantages of acoustic guitar amplification, unorthodox techniques and altered tuning while celebrating a gift for melody. His enormous yet fluid acoustic guitar tone has carried him around the world, to Billboard’s Top-Ten Chart, and, most recently, through a devastating medical disorder called focal dystonia. McLaughlin has had to re-learn the guitar left-handed and is in the early stages of what might be described as “one of the great musical-comeback stories of all time.” His story is the subject of an award-winning documentary film called “Changing Keys – Billy McLaughlin and the Mysteries of Dystonia.”

McLaughlin left his native Minnesota and his teenage rock band to study guitar at the University of Southern California where he graduated with honors. He developed a signature technique that enabled him to create a harp-like effect on the acoustic guitar. This unusual approach led McLaughlin to extensive national touring, earning multiple NACA Campus Entertainer awards and a multi-album international contract with Virgin Records Narada whose first release, Fingerdance, peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard charts.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students in advance, or $15 and $7 at the door. Tickets are available on the Arts Council’s website at or at the Staples Motley Public Schools Community Education Office at (218) 894-2497. Anyone purchasing six or more advance sale tickets to any event, or series of events, will receive the special season price of $10 per ticket. Any student with proper identification can purchase a Student Rush Ticket one hour before the show for only $1.

Flamenco performance

on stage Feb. 11

PEQUOT LAKES — The Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts presents Deborah Elias Danza Española in a trilogy of traditional Spanish Flamenco — dance, guitar and song — in a performance at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 on the Pequot Lakes High School stage.

The performance entitled Flamenco, Pure and Strong is a journey from flamenco’s deepest song to its most lively expressions. Special guest singer Vicente Griego provides the powerful flamenco singing that is the foundation of the flamenco art form. The chords of guitarist Trevor May present flamenco from the most serious cante jondo, to the lighthearted cante chico. Deborah Elias directs, choreographs and is the lead dancer with Deborah Elias Danza Española. A classically trained musician, Elias is known for her rhythmic footwork and lyrical style.

Advance tickets can be reserved by calling the Pequot Lakes Community Education office at (218) 568-9200. Tickets will be sold at the door starting one hour before the show. Ticket prices are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors (age 60 and over) and $13 for youth (age 18 and under).

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889