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Entertainment briefs - Jan. 3

■ Acclaimed autoharpist to perform in NYM

NEW YORK MILLS ­— Acclaimed autoharpist Bryan Bowers will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. Admission is $12 advance sale and $15 the night of the concert. Student admission is $5. Tickets are available by calling 218-285-3339.

Bowers is a major artist on the traditional music circuit. A well-known singer-songwriter, he has redefined the autoharp.

For nearly four decades, Bowers has been to the autoharp what Earl Scruggs was to the five-string banjo. He presents instrumental virtuosity combined with warmth, eloquence, expression and professionalism.

From his rather unglamorous beginning as a street singer, Bowers has become a major artist.

Bowers relocated to Seattle in 1971 and played for coins as a street singer and in bars for the right to pass the hat. Once he had polished his technique, he headed east.

“The Dillards heard me in D.C. when I went to the Cellar Door,” Bowers said in a news release. “I introduced myself and played the `Battle Hymn Of The Republic’ to show them how the harp worked. Sam Bush, Curtis Burch and Courtney Johnson of the New Grass Revival were there. I didn’t realize how presumptuous I was being. The Dillards took me to a bluegrass festival at Berryville, Va., and when they got an encore, they put me out there for their second encore, saying `Here’s a guy you ought to hear.’ The bluegrass community has been real supportive.”

Bower’s creativity and talent have won him induction into Frets Magazine’s First Gallery of the Greats, after five years of winning the stringed instrument open category of the magazine’s readers’ poll.

This distinction put Bowers along side other luminaries such as Chet Atkins, David Grisman, Stephan Grappelli, Itzhak Perlman, Tony Rice, Rob Wasserman and Mark O’Connor, recognized for their personal accomplishments.

In 1993, Bowers was the first living member inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame to stand only with Maybelle Carter, Kilby Snow and Sara Carter.

In 2003, he organized and co-produced Autoharp Legacy in which he brought together 55 autoharp players and created the definitive three-CD set of autoharp music.

In addition, Bowers’ critically acclaimed recordings on Flying Fish/Rounder Records are “The View From Home,” “Home, Home On the Road,” “By Heart,” “Friend For Life” and “For You.”

In 2006 Bryan’s landmark recording, “Bristlecone Pine,” was released on Seattle Sounds with distribution assistance by Plectrafone Records.

Autoharp partner and close friend Ron Wall directed and created the recording.

Several of Bowers’ friends from throughout the years offered musical assistance, including: Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush, Mark Howard, Alan O’Bryant, Pat Enright, Dennis Crouch, Stuart Duncan and Ron Wall.

■ ‘Home Sweet Home’ exhibit to open

AITKIN — The Jaques Art Center in Aitkin will open its ninth annual juried exhibit entitled “Home Sweet Home” on Friday. The opening reception will be held from 12-3 p.m. Saturday.

Prizes will be awarded at 1 p.m.

The exhibit will be open until Jan. 16. Art must depict a home as its prime subject. For more information call the center at 218-927-2363.

■ CLC calling for musicians

The Central Lakes College (CLC) Music Department is looking for musicians for the pit orchestra in the production of “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.”

“We are looking for a violinist, a drummer, percussionist and brass and woodwind players,” said Steven K. Anderson, music director. Candidates must be able to read music and be available for rehearsals and performances in January and February on the Brainerd campus of CLC.

Those interested should contact Anderson at 855-8215, 831-3652 or

■ 12th Night of Christmas

Concert set Sunday

The 10th annual 12th Night of Christmas Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) in Brainerd.

Entrance into the concert will be a free will offering.

The annual Twelfth Night of Christmas Concert will include singing Christmas carols and a variety of music to be performed including:

• A Wind Ensemble featuring Lori Howe, saxophone, Lance James, recorder, Becky Stadem, French horn playing “Once in Royal David’s City.”

• Hans Blix and the Weapons Inspectors featuring singers Kristen Blann on fiddle, Mike Duval on guitar, Laurie Chamberlain and Phil Hunsicker, both on guitar and Kent Montgomery on mandolin.

• Recorder Ensemble featuring Leslie Hobson, James, Theresa Kingsley, Shirley Lintner performing “Adoramus Te Christe” and “Ave Verum.”

• A flute duet with Jenny and Claire Gunsbury playing “What Child is This?”

• A brass quartet with Stadem and Claudette Kitzman on french horn and James and Joe Stattine on trombone.

• A guitar/vocal soloist, Kade Platta, playing his own compositions of “Underneath the Mistle-Toe” and “My Red Wagon.”

• Saxophone soloist, Lori Howe, playing “Ave Maria.”

• Duet for violin and viola, Sandy Larson and Leslie Zander will perform Op. 70. No. 1 by Leopold Jansa.

• Vocal ensemble, CONSENSUS featuring Jennifer and Dave Pelowski, Virginia and Dan Rohr, Sonja and Laurie Chamberlain, Jennifer and Brian Stubbs and Grace Forbord will sing “The Holly & the Ivy,” “Lullay My Liking” and “White Christmas.”

• Organ and piano duet with Judy Rickbeil and Laura Raedeke playing “Christmas Medley.”

The Music Committee of First Congregational UCC dedicates this concert to the memory of Ann Grussing.

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.
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