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Entertainment briefs - Nov. 15

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■ BHS orchestras to

perform Tuesday

The Brainerd High School (BHS) Orchestra Program will present their fall concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

Two Brainerd orchestras will perform orchestral masterpieces from England, Austria, Italy and America representing Baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary styles of music from nearly 400 years of composition.

The Sinfonia Orchestra will start the concert with the first movement of “Antique Dances and Airs” by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi followed by “Peasant Dances” by American composer Elliot Del Borgo. Next the orchestra will perform “The Faraway Place” by William Hofeldt. Sinfonia Orchestra will end with “Variations on a Well-Known Sea Chantey” by American composer Richard Stephan. Sinfonia Orchestra will have three of the pieces directed by Carlin Stiles, a student teacher from the College of St. Benedicts.

The Chamber Orchestra will begin their portion of the concert with the first movement of “Serenade for String Orchestra” by George Whitefield Chadwick. The finale of the “Concerto for Three Violins and Orchestra” by Johann Sebastian Bach will follow.  The three soloist in this concerto are, senior, Anja Smith, junior, Yuki Hirai and violinist Ava Figliuzzi. The soloists will return to their seats and the orchestra will perform “Intermezzo” from the Cavalleria Rusticana by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni. Next the chamber orchestra will perform the first movement of “Sextet No. 2 for Strings” by German composer Johannes Brahms.

The concert will conclude with the first movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The concert is open to the public and a free will donation will be accepted to be used in the youth orchestra program.

■ Bitter Spills to perform in Nisswa Nov. 30

NISSWA – The Bitter Spills make their Grassroots Concerts series debut at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa.

Rich Mattson and Baby Grant Johnson formed their duo in 2006 “to keep the folk tradition alive” and apply their eclectic musical heritage to the acoustic intimacy offered by the reputable concert series.

“We started out doing acoustic shows together and going back and forth, him playing a song, then me playing one,” said Mattson. “After a few of these gigs we decided to learn songs together and dedicate ourselves to keeping the folk tradition alive and take some road trips together.”

The pair headlined last June’s Great American Radio Show broadcast live from Central Lakes College in Brainerd over KAXE northern community radio. Their performance made new believers while warming the hearts of a statewide fan base.

Since the late 60s, the two musicians have hooked up with hundreds of other artists to perform in dozens of bands and small ensembles of massive talent. They come from rock roots and are driven by friendships rather than fleeting fame.

Mattson has produced recordings for musicians who appreciate his northern Minnesota independence and virtuosity as a multi-instrument talent and passionate vocalist. While still solidly tied to the lively Minneapolis music world, he relishes home near Eveleth, where he converted a church into a studio.

Having performed in tribute bands and at wedding receptions along the way, Mattson at 45 remains buoyed by his career choice.

“After all these years being in bands it’s still a blast,” said Mattson. “I can’t imagine living without this creative outlet and the bond of playing music with friends. The bands I’ve been in all through life have been my best friends ... That’s what happens when you keep it real and the money doesn’t ruin everything. I’d much rather have friends and the enrichment that playing music and working with music people offers.”

“Grant is one of my best buddies and we dig deep for old folk chestnuts to perform.”

Admission is $10 at the door for adults and $5 for children under 12 with listening attention, when accompanied by an adult. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Non-profit Grassroots Concerts are made possible in part by a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council through the Minnesota State Legislature. The concert series encourages those attending to bring non-perishable items for the food shelf.

For information go to, call 218-839-4092 or email

■ AHS bands to perform with Mankato wind ensemble

AITKIN — The Aitkin High School bands will join forces with the Minnesota State Mankato Concert Wind Ensemble for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in the high school auditorium.

The Aitkin ninth grade concert and jazz bands under the direction of Chris Halvorson will share a night of music with the college wind ensemble under the direction of Amy Roisum-Foley. There is no admission, but a free will offering will be accepted for the Aitkin band program.

Each of the Aitkin bands will be performing two or three musical selections with the college band to follow. The Aitkin students will join the guest ensemble to finish the concert with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” arranged for band by James Ployhar and “Amen!,” arranged by Frank Ticheli.

Mankato’s wind ensemble is a select instrumental group of approximately 45 wind and percussion players. This group offers the student an opportunity to read and perform the finest contemporary wind ensemble and traditional band literature. Featured in their program will be Movement I “Gandalf” and Movement V. “Hobbits” from Johan de Meij’s “Lord of the Rings,” Edvard Grieg’s “Funeral March” and Karl King’s “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite.”

Roisum-Foley is the director of bands and associate professor of music at Mankato, where she administrates and conducts the Concert Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band and conducts and coaches chamber ensembles. Her teaching also includes graduate conducting, undergraduate conducting and instrumental music education courses. Roisum-Foley has served as guest conductor and clinician for honor bands and festivals throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Carolina and Canada.

■ Paint yourself into your community show at

New York Mills

NEW YORK MILLS — “Our Town: Paint yourself into your community” show will be featured through Dec. 29 at the New York Mills Cultural Center.

Everyone in the community is invited to help create images of their vision of individual, family and community identity on the walls of the Cultural Center gallery. The center will have the simple tools needed, such as paper, markers and paint.

In December, the center will celebrate all the images and stories that tell about who we are and who we hope to be as part of the day-long celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 21. Then, at 7 p.m. Dec. 21, will be the annual Longest Night Music Festival.

■ Paddy Keenan to

returns to New York Mills

NEW YORK MILLS — Paddy Keenan, who plays the uilleann pipes and the Irish bellows-blown bagpipes, will perform Saturday in New York Mills at the Cultural Center.

Keenan is one of the oldest of Irish musical instruments and it is quite different from the Scottish Highland Pipes which are mouth blown and meant as an outdoor instrument.

Keenan will perform with Celtic guitarist Eugene Durkee. Tickets are available at the center or by calling 218-385-3339. Admission is $12 advance sale and $15 the night

of the concert. Students pay $5 and members get $2 off ticket price.

For those who bring a donation of food for the Mills Food Shelf will get an extra $1 off the admission.

Keenan took up the pipes at the age of 10, playing his first major concert at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, when he was 14.

He later played with the rest of his family in a group called The Pavees. At 17, having fallen in love with the blues, he left Ireland for England and Europe, where he played blues and rock.

■ Author appearance

in Pierz

PIERZ— Author Deborah Ann Thomalla will appear at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Pierz Public Library.

Thomalla of Bowlus will be available to sign copies of her book, “The Bumblebee Cousins.” Meet Wyatt and Nolan, “The Bumblebee Cousins.” As the pair of bees migrates back to Minnesota for the spring, they reunite with all of their granite garden friends like the fireflies, butterflies, bumblebees and other neighbors.

■ WDC to present musical comedy

WADENA — The Wadena-Deer Creek Drama Department will present the musical comedy “The Lady Pirates and Captain Bree” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 15-17 on the stage of the historic Wadena Memorial Auditorium.

According to director, Jay Patterson, the musical is a silly story about lady pirates who capture a British ship.

“The main character is Miss Captain Bree who falls in love with a British officer named Captain Jennings,” said Patterson. “In fact, all of the lady pirates finally find their man in a ‘MAN’ner of speaking. It’s a musical and there will be walking the plank, sword fights and general run-of-the-mill chaos.”

More than 40 students in grades seven through 12 are involved in the all-school production, from acting to technical support.

They include the following: Marie Hunt, Alyssa Gilster, Marissa Jahnke, Bev Fank, Samantha Kirkland, Hope Norenberg, Grace Mertens, AJ Tollefson, Beth Schmitz, Sarah Decock, Tiffany Shultz, Hope Dumpprope, Sarah Najjar, Melissa Boyer, Morgan Sibert, Raine Curtis, Kayla Peterson, Maizie Miller, Maddy Hinojos, Jodana Albers, Wyatt Fitzsimmons, Adam Leverson, Derek Garcia, Henry Arrigoni, Logan Schmitz, Isaac Berger, Caleb Monson, Hailey Holm, Katelyn Windels, Michael Small, Jordan Geiser, David Wegscheid, Tabetha Baker, Anna Kraemer, Molly Kraemer, Hannah Wedde, Anissa Mench, Esther Berger, Mitchel Haman, Marissa Jahnke and Darylann Webb.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Tickets are available at the door or from students in the play.

Musical history tour to

be in Brainerd and Wadena

The Brainerd Public Library will present “Tiptoe Through The 60s: A Musical History Tour” at 7 p.m. Sunday that will be hosted at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Baxter. This multi-media concert will present the triumphs, tragedies and trends of the 1960s, told in songs and stories with more than 300 images shown on two giant TV screens. This concert is written and performed by Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard, with visual design and technical direction by Alan Frechtman.

The concert will give the audience a chance to sing along to songs such as: “Hit the Road Jack,” “Surfer Girl,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Hey Jude,” “Hello Dolly” and many more hits of the 60s. You can also get in the act by submitting your personal stories and song ideas online at the event website: Many of these stories and song requests will be incorporated in the show.

This event is suitable for all ages. This free Legacy Program is funded in part with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage. For more information, contact the Brainerd Public Library at 829-5574.

This musical tour also will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Wadena.

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