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Entertainment briefs - Nov. 8

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BHS jazz concert planned

The Brainerd High School (BHS) jazz program will present its fall jazz concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. The concert will feature the BHS Jazz Ensembles I and II as well as the BHS Windfall Choir. Selections will include many jazz standards such as “Blue Bossa,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Lil’ Darlin’” and “Blue Trane.”

Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors.

Two Great River orchestras to perform fall concert

AITKIN — The Great River Strings directed by Richard Aulie, and the Ripple River Strings, directed by Arnie Anderson will present its fall concerts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at Salem Lutheran Church in Deerwood and 3 p.m. Sunday at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin.

Making its premier appearance will be the Ripple River Mandolin Orchestra under the direction of Anderson.

The public may come early to review and bid on items provided by the orchestra members, friends of the orchestra and local businesses. The silent auction starts one hour before the concert.

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and $20 for families. Children under 6 are free.

The Great River Strings kicks off its 14th season with a look back at the past. Using music and reflections from founding members, they will share the story of how this community orchestra got its start and how their energy and passion have provided them with new musical venues. Music by Mendelssohn, Humperdinck, Faure, Kahn, A. Vivaldi and A. Anderson will help the strings “Dream a Little Dream.”

The dream started in the summer of 1999 when customers of Mary Bourn, former owner and operator of the Dogpatch, would hear comments about the musical instruments she had hanging on the wall of her shop. Comments such as,”I used to play but there is no convenient opportunity for me today.” Or, “My children played in their school orchestra in their former school.”

After several organizational meetings, development of a mission statement, budget and recruitment of a conductor (Aulie) from the Crosby-Ironton School District, an invitation was extended to all in the surrounding area who wanted to be involved in the venture.

The first concert of the Great River Strings and The Great River Strings Ensemble, which was composed of players who wanted to play more challenging music, was held Nov. 20, 1999, at Westside Church in Aitkin with 14 musicians conducted by Aulie.

Soon there was not enough space to practice at the Jaques Art Center and the group moved to the basement of the Aitkin United Methodist Church. In 2000, Aulie began the Ripple River Strings which was formed to encourage beginning string players of all ages. Instruments were donated and refurbished and provided at no cost to players.

By January of 2001 it was necessary to move again and for the next nine years, the strings met in the Aitkin High School band room. In September of 2009, Anderson was hired to direct the Ripple River Strings. By this time many members were dreaming of a home of their own and in September of 2010 the orchestra, composed of 43 musicians, was given the use of the vacated Crosby-Ironton Junior High band room along with an office and rooms for lessons.

As they settled into their new home, the dreaming started again when Anderson dreamed he was conducting a “mandolin orchestra.” No one questioned this would happen and the premier performances of the Ripple River Mandolin Orchestra will be Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the concerts call Lynn at 218-678-3034.

Author McGhee to make appearances at several libraries

Author Alison McGhee will make an appearance at several Kitchigami libraries in the Brainerd lakes area.

McGee will appear at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Wadena City Library; 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Brainerd Public Library; 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Longville-Margaret Welch Memorial Library; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Walker Public Library; 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cass Lake Community Library; noon Nov. 15 at Pine River Public Library; and Nov. 16 at Pequot lakes Public Library.

McGee, a Minnesota award winning author of books, will present to different age groups. She is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author.

McGhee writes for all ages and in all forms, from poetry and stories to novels and picture books and essays, and her books are popular with critics and readers alike. Her novel “Shadow Baby” was a Today Show Book Club pick and her picture book “Someday” was featured on National Public Radio. Several of her books have been Borders Original Voices selections, Booksense 76 picks, Children’s Book of the Month club and Junior Literary Guild selections. Her many awards include four Minnesota Book Awards, the GLCA National Fiction Award, Friends of the American Library Award, American Library Award Best Books for Children and Parents’ Choice Award.

This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage.

Craft show set at Westgate

A craft and vendor show will be held this weekend at the Westgate Mall in Brainerd.

The show will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 17 and from 12-4 p.m. Nov. 18.

‘Close Encounters’ to be on exhibit

Art Matters Gallery, located in the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd, opens an exhibition of 40 photographs entitled, “Close Encounters,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

“Close Encounters” asks the viewer to consider the exhibited photographs: Why exhibit these pictures?

The exhibition will be on display from 1-4 p.m. through Nov. 17, or appointment by calling 330-1780 through January 2013.

Art Matters offers a variety of landscape, abstract, impressionistic, religious and other types of photographs, related items, such as note cards and select DVDs and “Impressions,” an award winning book of photographs and poetry.

Go to to view the fine arts sports photography website of Art Matters.

Paul Sailer next presenter in Speaking of Books

Wadena author Paul Sailer will be the Nov. 15 presenter in the Speaking of Books series of programs in the Joe Plut Reading Room at Prairie Bay Grill and Catering in Baxter.

The event starts at 4:30 p.m.

Lifelong Minnesotan Sailer has been interested in World War II aviation history for many years. He received his bachelor’s of science degree, with an emphasis on American History from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1969 and a pilot’s rating from the Army’s Advanced Flight School at Fort Rucker, Ala., in 1970.

Sailer flew UH-1D Iroquois and OH-58A Kiowa helicopters with the 20th Engineer Brigade in Vietnam in 1970 and 1971.

Sailer was named “Writer of the Year” for 2012 by the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame for his book, “The Oranges are Sweet.” It tells the story of Major Don M. Beerbower and the 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group before and during World War II.

Ninth Air Force ace Beerbower was Minnesota’s highest scoring fighter pilot in World War II with 18 1/2 aerial and ground victories.

Beerbower’s story is little known. Sailer has been credited for an “amazing job, obviously one that is a labor of love for him, in bringing together so many sources, in weaving them together into a compelling tale that illuminates life in Minnesota in the pre-war period, for those in the service being shipped out, and for those in the terror of combat,” said Iowa State University professor Charles M. Dobbs of the department of history.

Sailer combines clear, accurate writing with wonderful diary entries, letters and personal remembrances and a series of photographs to help bring his story to life.

“It goes far beyond the combat aspect of the war and delves into the human aspect of just what goes into making a true patriot,” said Tom Schellinger, a retired Northwest Airlines captain, chairman of the Aviation Hall of Fame award committee.

“It is a masterful job of research, giving us not only the ‘big picture’ but the small moments and the little details that recreate the lived experience of these fliers,” said Roland Dille, president emeritus, Minnesota State University Moorhead. “That experience is put into the larger context aided by a series of very clear maps.”

The program and reading runs from 4:30-6 p.m., and books will be available for purchase and signing. Those attending the free event may receive $5 off the night’s dinner. Guests are asked to RSVP to 824-6444 and receive more information.

Wine tasting event scheduled at Beanery Cafe

AITKIN — The Northern Lights Wine Club will present “Wine for the Holidays “Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé!” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Beanery Cafe in downtown Aitkin.

The annual holiday wine party features wines for seasonal entertaining, especially the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau. Sparkling wine, Riesling, Rosé, Zinfandel and dessert wines also will be tasted.

An informal and educational food and wine event for everyone interested in expanding their knowledge and love of fine wines. This is the place for wine beginners to learn about wine and why it can be a life long, enjoyable experience and the experienced wine lovers can benefit by using the event to brush up on their wine knowledge and tasting skills.

Tickets are $25 for Northern Lights Club members and $30 for non-members. Reservations are required and tickets are available online or by calling the Beanery Cafe 218-927-7811.

FWAC announces grant awards

The Five Wings Arts Council (FWAC), recently awarded grant funding for arts projects in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. Funding to support arts organizations and their activities as well as schools and communities comes from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota.

General Operating grants of $2,500 were awarded to the Great River Arts Association, Brainerd; Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Little Falls; Lamplighter Community Theater, Staples; Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra, Long Prairie; Staples Area Women’s Chorus, Staples Area Arts Council, USA Community Chorus, Swanville; and $1,150 for Longville Area Community Chorus.

School Arts Projects grant were awarded to Brainerd High School, $5,000; Freshwater Education District, Staples, $4,400; Lindbergh Elementary School, Little Falls, $2,100; Nisswa Elementary School, $2,100; Staples Elementary School, $5,000.

Community Arts Access Project grants support a variety of arts related activities in communities throughout the area. The following applicants were awarded project grants: Central Minnesota Boys Choir, Staples, Regional Boy Choir Festival, $1,965; Crossing Arts Alliance, Brainerd, Writing Basics Workshop, $2,720; Crossing Arts Alliance, Brainerd, Four Artists: Four Visions, $3,710; Great River Arts Association, Little Falls, Theater production; $2,270; Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Little Falls, Winter Concert Season, $3,750; Legacy Chorale, Brainerd, Fall Concert Series, $3,550; Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra, Long Prairie, Holiday Concert, $2,820; Minnesota Folklore Theatre, Walker, “I’m Not a Bully” Project, $4,290; Minnesota Folklore Theatre, Walker, “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” Production, $4,925; Pequot Lakes Community Theater, Pequot Lakes, “Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe” Production, $1,200; St. Francis Music Center, Little Falls, Spring Music Festival, $2,990; Screen Porch Productions, Outing, Spring Music Festival, $4,250; Sounds of Spirit Lake, Menagha, Summer Outdoor Concert Series, $4,560; and Stimulating Economic Progress, Wadena, Protect and preserve the Murals of Wadena,$5,000.

The Small Grants program is an ongoing grant program to support first-time and late-breaking arts opportunities. Recipients of $1,000 grants in this category are: Abandoned Scout Camp, Hewitt to support the BarterFest; Brainerd Writers Alliance, Brainerd, to support Writing Workshop and USA Community Chorus, Swanville, to support Vocal Music Master Class for high school singers.

Two student artists received a mentorship award to support their advanced study with regional artists. Students are selected to participate in the Artist Mentor program based upon their past arts experience and training, their motivation to continue more in-depth study of their arts discipline and their level of proficiency in their art form. Sarah Koopman, daughter of John and Cynthia Koopman of Motley, will study violin with violinist David Arnott of Sauk Rapids. Megan Roles, daughter of Susan Mulroy of Staples will study cello with Jeff Menten of Park Rapids.

At the Artisan Level, funds from the McKnight Foundation were approved for the following artists to further develop their careers: Kathleen Braud, Little Falls, watercolor painter, $2,000; Lonnie Knutson, Brainerd, Visual Artist, $1,925; Kent Scheer, Wadena, Sculptor, $2,000; and Doris Stengel, Brainerd, Poet, $2,000. Through the same funds, Greg Webb, Walker, musician, guitar maker, was granted $1,000 in the Apprentice category of grants.

The next deadline for applications for the Community Access, General Operating, School Arts and Individual Artist grant programs is Jan. 15, 2013. Small grant applications and Student Artist/Mentor applications are accepted at any time. Information about any of the grant programs may be found at or by calling 877-654-2166.

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