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Entertainment Briefs - Oct. 4

Sopranoist Jennifer Olson will sing music by George Frideric Handel and Johann Strauss II during the Heartland Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert Series scheduled Oct. 13-14. Submitted Photo1 / 2
Jacqueline Schwab will perform a concert titled “I Lift My Lamp: Vintage Songs and Dances of Immigrant America” scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills. Submitted Photo2 / 2

HSO announces fall concerts

Heartland Symphony Orchestra will begin its 42nd season of presenting classical music in west central Minnesota with two concerts scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium in Little Falls and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

The theme for the Fall Concert Series is "Opera Around the World" and will features music from different operas, countries and time periods. Opening the concert is the "Overture" from "The Barber of Seville" by Rossini, a work composed in Italy during the classical period. The following piece by Zoltan Kodaly comes from a folk opera named "Hary Janos," a work written in 20th century Hungary.

As in past years, HSO's Conductor, Alexander Corbett, will work with students of St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls to prepare them to play with the symphony at the Little Falls concert. They will perform two pieces by Giuseppe Verdi: "La Donna e Mobile" from Rigoletto and the "Anvil Chorus" from Il Trovatore.

The second half of the program opens with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Dance of the Tumblers" from "The Snow Maiden Suite."

Highlighting the program will be soprano Jennifer Olson singing music by George Frideric Handel and Johann Strauss II.

Another highlight of the program will be the addition of 20 students from the University of Minnesota Morris' Chamber Orchestra who have joined HSO for the fall season. The combined orchestras will conclude the concert with music by Bedrich Smetana.

Heartland Symphony, a 45-piece symphony orchestra representing central Minnesota, hosts three concert series a year in Little Falls and Brainerd. For more information visit

HSO concerts are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds. In Little Falls, the Laura Jane Musser Fund provides additional support.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and free to youth under 18. Tickets may be purchased at the door, by mail, or online at

Call 1-800-826-1997 for more information.

BHS to perform in choral festival

SWANVILLE—The Brainerd High School choir will participate in a day-long Classical Choral Festival Oct. 13 at the Swanville High School Auditorium. The festival will feature the music of the old masters, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Schubert.

The festival will conclude with a 7:30 p.m. concert with each participating choir performing a solo song followed by the massed choir singing four of the greatest works of these classical composers.

The BHS choir has chosen to perform "Sicut Locutus Est" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Biblical canticle "Magnificat." During the massed choir portion of the concert, Brian Stubbs, the BHS choir director, will join with two other choral directors to perform the trio in "The Heavens are Telling" from Franz Josef Hayden's "The Creation" with this particular song based on Psalm 19:1-3.

The clinician for the festival and the guest conductor for the massed choir will be Matthew Mehaffey, artistic director of the Minnesota Oratorio Society and associate director of choral activities at the University of Minnesota. Mehaffey is recognized as one the nation's foremost experts on the choral music of the classical composers. At least one of the massed choir songs will be accompanied by a string quartet from St. Cloud State University. Much of the concert music will be quite familiar to churchgoers and members of church choirs as all of these wonderful composers wrote most of their music for the church, a news release stated.

General admission to the concert is free

The festival is funded in part by a grant from the Laura Jane Musser Fund, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and The Five Wings Arts Council and made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Happy Hour for a Cause set

BAXTER—Happy Hour for a Cause is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Prairie Bay in Baxter.

A tax-deductible minimum donation of $15 will be accepted at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Central Lakes College Performing Arts.

RSVP by calling 218-855-8199.

People who attend will enjoy appetizers and wine tasting.

Great River hosts gala fundraiser

IRONTON—The Great River Strings Orchestra will host a gala fundraiser Oct. 27 at the C-I Pub's Pine Room in Ironton.

The gala begins with a social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. The orchestra will perform both classical and contemporary music from many of the James Bond films. Starting with "Diamonds Are Forever," the orchestra will play music from Bond films of the last 50 years, concluding with a "Mystery Diamond" drawing at the end of the program. Tickets for the "Mystery Diamond" drawing will be available at the door before the concert. Following the orchestra program, music by local duo, Common Men will perform. Guests are encouraged to dress up and put on their "dancing shoes" for this one of a kind event, a news release stated. Tickets are $35 per person

through Oct. 20 and $40 per person after this date. Tickets may be ordered at the C-I Pub, The Beanery in Aitkin, or through any orchestra member.

Ticket orders also may be made to Mary Aulie at 218-839-1085 or Lynn Foote at 218-678-3034.

Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets, a local chapter of the League of Minnesota Poets, will host their monthly meeting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the large room of the Brainerd Public Library. Poets will start their meeting by reading poetry at the podium. They then will discuss upcoming events, including the 2019 Fall League of Minnesota Poets Conference to be Oct. 20-21 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Go to for more details and registration information. Poets will share copies of poems-in-progress and are asked to bring extra copies to hand out to others to enjoy. This meeting is free and open to the public.

Writers conference and book fair set

Brainerd Writers Alliance will host its annual writers conference and book fair from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in Rumbly Hall, 707 Laurel St., Brainerd. The day will feature readings from this year's winning entries by Minnesota writers in the 2018 writing contest, followed by our featured speaker, Erin Hart.

Hart's debut novel, "Haunted Ground," was nominated for mystery's prestigious Anthony and Agatha awards and won Romantic Times Best First Mystery, and the Friends of American Writers award. The second novel in the series, "Lake of Sorrows," was shortlisted for a Minnesota Book Award. The third in the series, "False Mermaid," was named by American Library Association booklist as one of the best crime novels of 2010. The fourth book in the series, "The Book of Killowen," received wide critical acclaim when it was released in 2013, and is a Minnesota Book Award finalist.

Cost for the conference is $25 and includes a buffet lunch. Book Fair vendors add $5 to reserve table space. Purchase tickets until Oct. 20 at

Brainerd Writers Alliance meets the third Saturday of each month at the Brainerd Public Library. For more information go to

Stage North auditions set

Auditions for Stage North Theatre Company's holiday production of "A Christmas Carol" will be 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. Participants are asked to meet in the main lobby for audition forms and information.

"A Christmas Carol" will run Dec. 12-16 at the Franklin Arts Center.

This is an original production, adapted by director Gary Hirsch, which closely follows the

novel by Charles Dickens, it stated in a news release. All the story elements are intact and the major characters include Ebenezer Scrooge, Belle, Fred Holywell, Bob Cratchit, the entire

Cratchit family including Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to


The script calls for up to 23 women and up to 17 men. Some doubling is possible, if necessary. Additional characters include party guests, business partners, narrators and phantoms. Stage North also will cast a children's choir to entertain patrons before the show.

"A Christmas Carol" is being sponsored by SpaQuest.

Comedy fundraiser set

CROSSLAKE—The Uff Da players from The Center in Brainerd will perform a comedy titled "Pretty Good Cafe," at 5 p.m. Oct. 15 at Kicks on Route 66 in Crosslake.

Kicks on Route 66 and Nordic Haus of Crosslake are sponsoring the comedy, which is a fundraiser for The Center. Organizers are asking for a $15 donation for admission.

"You will enjoy the antics of Anna-Lisa, Gudrun, Olga, Jenny, Knute and Nels as they dine at the 'Pretty Good Cafe,' served by Ellie-May," a news release stated.

Make a reservation by calling 218-692-5425.

Trivia night set at Sage on Laurel

Trivia night is coming to Sage on Laurel in Brainerd at 8 p.m. every Saturday, starting Oct. 13.

Safe on Laurel will be the fourth business in the Brainerd lakes area to offer trivia night.

There is no cost to play. The trivia events are designed for teams of one to six people and last about an hour and a half.

Trivia Mafia is the largest trivia provider in Minnesota with about 140 weekly events. The Mafia formed when Chuck Terhark and Sean McPherson started running a Sunday trivia night at

331 Club in January of 2007, a news release stated.

For more information, please contact Sean McPherson at 612-868-4070 or

Puppet show set Oct. 29

Zorongo will perform a children's puppet show titled "Tra Ti Ti Tran Tran Toro" at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Brainerd Public Library.

Choreographed and directed by Susana di Palma, this flamenco puppet show is one-of-a-kind, a news release stated. This story of Olie Olson, a Minnesota farmer, and the flamenco dancer Carmencita and her pet bull Torito are brought to life by the flamenco dancers, singer and musician. Joining Zorongo company members are internationally recognized guest artists: José Cortés Fernández, a singer; Jesús Muñoz, a dancer; and Juanito Pascual, a guitarist.

"This colorful family-friendly performance focuses on friendship and moving to a new culture," di Palma stated. "Children will learn about Spain, the art of flamenco and acceptance of newcomers."

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 arts and cultural heritage. All are welcome and no registration is necessary.

Culinary event set in NYM

NEW YORK MILLS— "Taste of the Past," a collaborative culinary community event, will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday Oct. 6 at the New York Mills Senior Center.

The event is being presented by the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, Viking Connection, the Cultural Center in New York Mills and the New York Mills Senior Center.

Daniel Serra, culinary archaeologist from Sweden, will appear for a community brunch. Serra travels to archaeological dig sites exploring old cooking sites to discover what the ancestors were eating. Serra analyzes the remains of meals and food remnants left in kitchen vessels, then re-creates recipes based on this very minimal evidence, a news release stated.

Serra published a cookbook, "An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook and Culinary Odyssey" in which readers learn what was prepared and eaten during the Viking era. His new book focusing on foods of Medieval Scandinavian cuisine will be published soon.

Participants will learn about Serra's job and culinary discoveries. He will cook three dishes for people to sample. Local citizens will add their own history to this event by bringing ethnic dishes of their own to share; there will be dishes from Poland, Finland, Germany and more. The public is also invited, but not required to bring a dish to share in this event that celebrates all cultures and the foods of our heritage.

Serra is one of the Scandinavian artists the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is sponsoring as part of a three-year grant it received.

The event is open to all, but space is limited. A free-will offering will be collected to help offset expenses. Call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339 or visit for further information.

Vintage concert set in NYM

NEW YORK MILLS—The Cultural Center in New York Mills presents a concert titled "I Lift My Lamp: Vintage Songs and Dances of Immigrant America" performed by Ken Burns' pianist Jacqueline Schwab to be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills.

The concert also will feature an opening by a small group from the New York Mills High School band and a sing-along finale led by high school choir students.

In addition to the concert, community members are invited to sign up for Schwab's "Expand Your Bonds—A Workshop" set 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at the Cultural Center during which participants will explore new musical ideas, improvise and play with kinetic motion. All musicians are welcome. Best for folk, classical and jazzy instrumental improvisers and would-be improvisers, the news release stated. In a supportive group, participants will explore taking the next step in creating their own music, creating an accompaniment and finding more freedom in your playing.

Cost is just $10 per person. Pre-registration is required as there is a minimum of three and maximum of 12; call 218-385-3339 to hold a spot.

Schwab is noted for her evocative playing on the soundtracks of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' "Civil War," "Baseball," "Mark Twain," "Frank Lloyd Wright," "The War" and others. She has long played for English country dancing with the Bare Necessities quartet; has released four solo recordings; and has performed concerts of vintage American music in almost every state of the Union, as well as in performances at the White House, on "A Prairie Home Companion" and on the "Late Show with David Letterman."

This concert is made possible by sponsorships from David and Amy Sobieski and ShoreMaster. For more information go online at