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Entertainment briefs for Dec. 28

The Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts welcomes Shaffer’s Lost 40 to Pequot Lakes 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 for a concert featuring energetic bluegrass. Submitted.

Shaffer's Lost 40 to play in Pequot Lakes Jan. 6

PEQUOT LAKES—The Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts welcomes Shaffer's Lost 40 to Pequot Lakes 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6, for a concert featuring energetic bluegrass.

The multi-generational Shaffer family includes leader Sherm; his wife, Bonnie; son, Bill; daughter, Lacie; and her husband, Bradley.

The local band is a staple at the annual Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River and members are known to frequent jam sessions at Coco Moon Coffee Bar in downtown Brainerd.

Fans of bluegrass are well aware of Sherm's pronounced, energy driven sound that has become his trademark over the years. This talent allows him to not only deliver amazing sound via his playing and singing; it also can be seen and heard in the bluegrass instruments he builds and restores. These include fiddles, guitars, banjos, mandolins and dobros.

Bonnie, sings lead and harmony vocals, plays rhythm guitar, banjo, and bass. Her vocals blend harmoniously with every member of the family and leaves listeners wanting to hear more.

Sherm and Bonnie, who have been married 40 years, grew up in musical families, so it is no wonder their offspring display melodic DNA.

"She has always been an influence to our kids," said Sherm of the family matriarch. They have grown up in an environment where their mom and dad were always singing. "We are both thrilled that our passion has been passed on to our children."

Daughter-band member Lacie Philippi and husband Bradley fit perfectly into the bluegrass genre with their passion for homespun entertainment. At their wedding ceremony last October they provided time and space for guests to participate in jam sessions. They have honed their own musical skills in such jam sessions.

Lacie and brother Bill are jam session mainstays who encourage fellow musicians to enter the bluegrass realm.

"Most of the stuff Bill and I have learned throughout the years has been from attending different jams and picking up on styles from other people," said Lacie. "Sometimes it's just a few of us that know each other at the jams and sometimes there will be five people there you've never met. Either way, it's like a language that everyone just kind of picks up as they go."

The Jan. 6 show, sponsored by Nisswa Tax Service, will be staged in the Pequot Lakes High School Theater, where admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (60-up), and $10 for youth (18-under).

If you miss this concert the next opportunity to catch the ensemble in official concert venue won't be until Aug. 23, 2018, at the Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River.

Seats may be reserved (including credit card payment) on the website, or by calling Pequot Lakes Community Education at 218-568-9200.

Lakes Area Music Festival to kick off new year with Virtuoso Baroque

The Lakes Area Music Festival's next Winter Series concert will be Virtuoso Baroque at 2 p.m. Jan. 7, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1420 South Sixth St., Brainerd.

Minnesota Orchestra's Roma Duncan will lead a baroque chamber ensemble of LAMF musicians in a piccolo concerto by Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach's fifth Brandenburg Concerto.

No tickets are required; donations to the Lakes Area Music Festival are accepted in lieu of set ticket fees.

Dance classes at St. Francis Music Center

LITTLE FALLS—Dance lessons for ages 3 and up will be offered at St. Francis Music Center, Little Falls, starting Jan. 6.

Dance classes at the Music Center follow a strong, age-appropriate dance curriculum. The program is designed to give young students an introduction to dance that covers basics in tap, ballet, jazz and creative movement. The main goal of the dance program is to teach dancers to be creative, physically fit, flexible, confident and artistic.

Dance classes will meet Saturday mornings. There are classes for 3-year-olds from 9-9:30 a.m., 4- and 5-year-olds from 9:30-10:15 a.m., and 6- to 12-year-olds from 10:15-11 a.m. There will be two 8-week sessions followed by a dance recital in April.

Missy O'Connell, dance instructor, is an exercise instructor at the St. Cloud Family YMCA and a kindergarten teacher at Athlos Academy. Missy also dances with the Minnesota Dance Ensemble, a nonprofit dance company specializing in modern and jazz. Missy strongly believes that dance, in one form or another, is for everyone, and her passion shows through her love for her students.

To register for dance classes, visit and click on register now.

For questions or more information, call St. Francis Music Center at 320-632-0637.

St. Francis Music Center is a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

Minnesota author to speak at library

The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library are now bringing acclaimed authors to the Brainerd Public Library the first Monday of every month at noon to speak about their latest work and the craft of writing. These events give local book lovers a chance to connect with up-and-coming and award-winning authors from around the Midwest.

On Jan. 8 at 12:00pm at the Brainerd Public Library Brian Freeman will be presenting his "Stride's Duluth" slide show, which takes readers on a tour of real-life places in the Northland that he uses in his thrillers—from the landmarks of Canal Park to the infamous "Graffiti Graveyard." Freeman will also be talking about his newest book, "The Voice Inside" which will be available for advanced sales at this event.

Freeman is a bestselling Minnesota author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride series set in Duluth. Since 2005, he has sold books in 46 countries and 20 languages. His standalone novel "Spilled Blood," based in southwestern Minnesota, won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the International Thriller Writers Awards, and his novel "The Burying Place" was a finalist for the same award. Other winners of this award have included renowned authors Stephen King, John Sandford, and Jeffery Deaver.

All presentations begin at noon at the Brainerd Public Library. Attendees are welcome to bring a packed lunch or enjoy the light refreshments provided. These presentations are sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library through their volunteer and fundraising efforts, and are free of charge to the public.

For more information on any of the events, contact the library at 218-829-5574 or visit the library's Facebook page at