Entertainment briefs - April 11

? BHS A Cappella Choir selected for Choral Arts Finale The Brainerd High School (BHS) A Cappella Choir is one of five high school and youth choirs selected to participate in the eighth annual Choral Arts Finale gala concert scheduled at 7:30 p.m....

■ BHS A Cappella Choir
selected for Choral Arts Finale

The Brainerd High School (BHS) A Cappella Choir is one of five high school and youth choirs selected to participate in the eighth annual Choral Arts Finale gala concert scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Benson Great Hall in St. Paul. The event is sponsored by Concordia University in St. Paul and the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota (ACDA) with support of David and Sandy Frauenshuh. The event is designed to showcase Minnesota’s top high school choirs.

The five selected choirs will participate in a full-day choral clinic on the campus of Concordia University, culminating in a performance with both solo and massed performances at Benson Great Hall. Karen Kennedy, director of choral studies at the University of Miami will serve as guest clinician.

Kennedy regularly leads festival performances in large venues across the world with appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, as well as venues throughout England and Scotland.

Joining BHS, under the direction of Brian Stubbs, will be the Cantanti Singers of the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs in Bloomington; Northfield High School Concert Choir; The Stillwater Choir; and White Bear Lake High School Choraliers.


Members of the ACDA selected the participating choirs through a blind audition process. Each group receives a commemorative plaque, $500 award and transportation expenses. More than 2,000 singers from across the state of Minnesota have enjoyed the honor of participating in the Choral Arts Finale since its inception in 2006.

Tickets for the gala concert are $13 and can be purchased at the Benson Great Hall Box Office at 651-638-6333 or 866-424-4849.

■ Two South Campus students
selected for MBDA honor band

Two Brainerd High School South Campus band students Devon Makey and Peder Smith were selected for membership in the Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA) ninth-10th Grade Honor Band for the 2012-2013 school year.

These students were two of only 12 trumpets from the state who were selected. There were 81 students selected for the band from more than 220 who auditioned.

The students participating will work with some of the finest music educators in the state as their section coaches, and will be conducted by Peter Haberman. The students will rehearse with Haberman on April 20 at Chanhassen High School, and then perform a concert at 2 p.m. on April 21.

Band director Jessica Moats said, “I am so proud of all the hard work and practice time these students have put into this process, not just the two who were selected but in all six students who sent in fabulous auditions and learned so much along the way.”

■ Bluth to appear
at book-signing


BAXTER - Author Pat Bluth of “From Pain to Peace” will appear at a book-signing from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Bethany Book and Gift in Baxter.

Bluth holds a master’s degree in community counseling and is a certified Chemical Dependency Counselor. She has served as a Christian family therapist, facilitated hospice grief groups and is a frequent speaker for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other groups. Bluth helped start her local MADD chapter. Her message of hope and healing has been an inspiration to thousands.

“From Pain to Peace,” is for anyone who has known pain or experienced loss. It will be welcomed by anyone who is looking for an example to follow, a proven path to find spiritual healing. It is a story of tragedy, but it is also a story of great joy.

“From Pain to Peace” can be found in any book store and on Amazon in book form or on Kindle.

■ Celebrating National Poetry Month

WADENA - The Greater Wadena Arts League is celebrating National Poetry Month by presenting a program of poetry, featuring Sonja Kosler at 2 p.m. Sunday at Wadena Memorial Auditorium.

Kosler is a retired broadcast and print journalist. She lives surrounded by natural beauty on a small west central Minnesota lake. Her poetry has been published locally, regionally and nationally. She has received several work/study grants. Kosler also is an award winning photographer and oral tradition storyteller.

This event is part of the Arts League’s Second Sundays Showcase Series, made possible from support of the Jack and Alvida Browne Family Foundation and the Five Wings Arts Council through funding made possible through the Minnesota State Legislature.


For more information go to or visit Greater Wadena Arts League on Facebook.

■ Artist work on display

Featured artists Phyllis Frankum and Cindy Potvin will have their artwork on display at the Crow Wing County Community Services building, which will be on display through June 30.

Frankum retired in 1997 from the Brainerd School District and has always been interested in art. Frankum specializes in oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings of the outdoors, especially flowers. She has taught acrylic and watercolor painting classes through Brainerd Community Education. Her work has been featured at Brainerd City Hall and the Brainerd Public Library.

Frankum received a Merit Award at the 2008 Artists of Minnesota Show in the Theme category, a 2011 Merit Award in the Professional category, a Peoples Choice in the 2010 Brainerd Art Show and at the 2011 Lakes Area Artist Show.

Potvin has traveled abroad and within the U.S. gathering inspiration from various locations and settings. Her work is a variety of still-life themes, landscapes, women, florals and whimsical interpretations rendered in watercolor and acrylic pigments.

Potvin was born and raised in Brainerd and graduated from Central Lakes College and Bemidji State University.

■ Events at the Jaques

AITKIN - Jaques Art Center’s annual meeting and volunteer appreciation will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday. People are asked to RSVP by calling 218-927-2363 or emailing .

The next exhibit at Jaques will open Friday and is of artwork by Linda Causton. The exhibit will be displayed through May 25.

Linda Causton, new to the Aitkin area, presents her paintings that include the enjoyment of an old farm, churches, landscapes, lighthouses and wildlife from near and far.

■ Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets, a chapter of the League of Minnesota Poets, will meet from 6-9 p.m. Friday in the large room of the Brainerd Public Library. At 6 p.m. there will be an “open mic” poetry reading. Participants are asked to bring their favorite poems and take turns reading them with others. At 7 p.m., Suz Wipperling will present a program, “Poetry Month Celebration.” Then from 7:30-9 p.m., those interested in sharing a poem-in-progress will bring copies of a poem and will receive feedback and suggestions about how to improve the poem for future publication or submission to contests.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

■ Author to sign books Saturday

BAXTER - Author Alice Conklin will appear for a book-signing event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Bethany Book and Gift in Baxter.

Conklin, Brainerd, will be available to sign copies of her book, “A Crown for a Princess.”

The event also will host a special guest and author, Tracie Peterson, who will attend from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“A Crown for a Princess” is about Faith and Daniela, who are best friends, and they love to play together. They learn about nature by going for walks at the lake, staring at the clouds and looking God’s creatures. But it’s when they try on princess gowns that they learn the most valuable lesson of all: God’s gift to them.

■ Crime caper author to
sign books Saturday

BAXTER - Author Joanna Dymond of “Crazy as a Loon,” a crime caper novel will make an appearance to sign her book from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Book World in Baxter.

The book is now available at Book World, Amazon.Com and Kindle. This fast paced crime caper set in the 1980s has W.D. Caldwell, an elderly real estate man turned informant for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, trying to ward off drug dealers moving into Northwestern Minnesota. A worthy sleuth, W.D. discovers a huge marijuana garden worth millions across the road from the Barton’s, a religious couple. Surprised that they suddenly want to leave, W.D. sells their home to New York television executive Dyanna Dahlberg. Things heat up after Dyanna moves in and the Barton’s criminal activity is discovered, along with an unsolved murder, the suicide of the Barton’s daughter in the garage, numerous break-ins, and the sudden appearance of Dyanna’s murderous boyfriend, all spell terror. Suspense escalates as local outlaw Steve Olsen stages a home invasion and a body is discovered at a highway rest stop. Somehow the loons find it all amusing and mark the action with their maniacal cries.

Dymond has been a public relations executive employed by KSAN FM in San Francisco, LBC 417 in London, England, WNEW TV and WNBC TV in New York and Public Television Stations. She has created campaigns for many television networks, radio stations and art galleries including “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Donahue,” “The Nightly Business Report,” “Marcel Proust: A Writer’s Life,” and the first exhibit of M.C. Escher’s Prints for the Vorpal Gallery. Dymnond earned a bachelor’s degree in English and art history from San Francisco State University, a Certificate in Broadcasting from Brown College, and a master’s in English from Bemidji State University. She is a member of Toastmasters International, Sisters in Crime and The Loft Literary Center.

■ Local students participate in ‘Seussical’

Two Brainerd lakes area students will be participate in “Seussical” at the College of St. Scholastica, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and April 13, 18-20 and 25-27; and 2 p.m. shows Sunday and April 21, and 28.

Magan McCusker, the daughter of Brad and Chris McCusker of Deerwood, is participating as Gertrude McFuzz.

Jake Spartz, the son of Jenn and Dave Spartz of Longville, is participating as one of the Wickershams.

For more information about the performances go to

■ HSO seeks new conductor; Aerie leaves

Heartland Symphony Orchestra (HSO), a 50-player community orchestra based in Brainerd and Little Falls, is saying good-bye to its music director and conductor Josh Aerie and is seeking a new one.

The HSO is a nonprofit organization governed by a 16-member volunteer board of directors and currently employs a conductor, a concertmaster, an orchestra manager and a business manager.

The new conductor will be hired for HSO’s upcoming 2013-14 concert season with program planning beginning in the spring and concerts to be held in October, December and April of 2014. Applications for the position, including letter of interest, resume and letters of support are due May 15.

Aerie has served HSO since 2009.

HSO board president, Tom Kotval, issued the following statement: “With great sadness, we wish farewell to Maestro Josh Aerie, our charismatic and talented conductor. Under his inspired direction for the past several years, HSO has grown in polish and professionalism. The Orchestra members have grown extremely fond of Josh, plus having great respect for him and his abilities. He will be missed by the musicians, HSO board of directors, HSO staff and all who care about our orchestra. We are all sad to see him go, but realize he has new and exciting opportunities to explore. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors, and thank him for all he has done for HSO.”

Based in Duluth, Aerie is a performing and recording cellist and chamber musician, music educator and advocate and symphonic conductor. The spring concert series will be Aerie’s final concert series, which are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Charles Martin Auditorium in Little Falls, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

For more information on the concerts or the position contact the HSO at 1-800-826-1997 or .

This activity is 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 Fund, and a grant from the Laura Jane Musser Fund.

Calling for poetry submissions

ArtStart, a nonprofit organization providing programs that bring together arts, the environment and education, is calling for submissions for its poetry contest that is in connection with its Eco-Arts Fest, a family-friendly event.

The organization calls for contest manuscripts open to any poet, 18-years or older, with at least one poem that overtly or subtly relates to the Mississippi River or any part of its eco-system along or around the river.

Five poets will be selected to read during the Eco-Arts Fest to be held May 18 at Harriet Island in Saint Paul.

The postmarked deadline is Monday to submit to the contest. For more information, including contest rules and a required cover form, visit .

■ Auditions for Fishermen’s
Community Theatre

CROSSLAKE - Fishermen’s Community Theatre will be presenting “Mysterious Ways,” a lighthearted, dramedy with poignant moments and serious underlying tones and will be holding auditions.

Rehearsals will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday beginning April 30 through May 30, and then rehearsals will be Monday through Thursday until the opening performance. Lead actors will need to attend every rehearsal; supporting actors are required to attend when their characters are included in the scene(s) being rehearsed.

In addition to the on-stage roles, many behind the scene opportunities are available: Sound/light tech, costumers, prop master, set builders and other.

The play centers around two roommates, one who is strong in her faith, the other who is equally strong against faith and the conflict that, naturally escalates between them, building to a powerful climax. A fun and colorful supporting cast helps complete the picture and bring the plot to life.

All are welcome. Those interested may call to schedule an audition time by contacting Stanley Mikles at 218-820-5365.

Roles include:

• Alex, the female lead who is in her late 20s, early 40s. The role is an attractive, smart, stubborn yet likeable person, who puts on a cheery disposition but underneath harbors anger and resentment. Strong and versatile actor who can carry a play and memorize lots of dialogue are important qualities.

• Ned, supporting male in his late 20s, early 40s. A romantic poet who gets his heart broken by Alex.

•Desilou,supporting female role in her early 20s. A college student, “Pollyanna” type from Louisiana. She is adorable with loads of pep. A good southern accent is a plus, but not required.

• Chad, male supporting role in his late 20s and early 40s. He is Ajay’s father. Strong, sympathetic, kindhearted.

■ Staples Rotary Art Show calling for entries

STAPLES - Pre-registrations are now being accepted for the 49th annual Staples Rotary Arts Show May 3-4 in the lobby of Centennial Auditorium in Staples.

Three new photography classes are open this year, including the 2013 Theme Category of Minnesota Lakes/Rivers.

For pre-registration or to have a brochure mailed, call Jim Hofer at 218-894-1152 or email . Exhibits will be accepted from 3:45-8 p.m. May 2.

Artists may exhibit their work or enter it for juried competition. Exhibited art also may be for sale. There is no limit to the number of items artists may exhibit in the non-juried portion of the art show and there is no fee for non-juried items.

Juried exhibits are limited to six items in each class. Recognition ribbons will be awarded and no entry fee will be charged.

The photography categories have been expanded in an attempt to bring out the work of every photographer, amateur or semi-professional.

The new categories are:

• 2013 Photography Theme Category: Minnesota Lakes/Rivers: The photo must have water from a Minnesota lake, stream or river.

• Photography: Black and white, any subject.

• Photography: Story telling. Photo or group of photos that depict a story.

The other categories are:

• Art, including all types of original paintings or drawings.

• General Crafts, featuring pottery, decoupage, ceramics, sculptures, jewelry, collages, metalwork.

• Fibrous Craft, including all needlework, quilting, sewing.

• Wood Craft, featuring carvings, wood sculpture, objects made substantially of wood products.

• Photography: Nature, animals, landscape, featuring scenes of water, land, vegetation, trees, wild or domestic animals, and/or buildings.

• Photography: Human interest, featuring, adults, children, people of other cultures.

• Photography: abstract, fine art.

Photography may be enhanced if done by the exhibitor. Photos need not be framed, must be a minimum of 8- by- 10-inch and a maximum of 16-by- 20-inch. A regional student art show will also be held in conjunction with the adult show. Schools in the Freshwater Education District are invited to participate and include Staples Motley, Bertha Hewitt, Browerville, Eagle Valley, Henning, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Pillager and Verndale.

The show will be open from noon to 8 p.m. May 3 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4. School groups may tour the show May 3.

■ Brainerd dancers compete in St. Cloud

Brainerd Just For Kix (JFK) Studio competed Sunday in the United We Dance Competition at St. Cloud State University. Dancers from North Dakota and Minnesota competed in a total of 154 performances. Brainerd had 17 teams competing.

The results were:

• Mini Kix 3A: Mandan, N.D., first place; Brainerd, second, with “Someone Like You;” Paynesville, third; and St. Cloud, fourth.

• Mini Kix 2A: Brainerd, first with “Harlem Shake Mix;” Becker, second; Holdingford, third; and Melrose, fourth.

• Wee Jazz Studio: St. Cloud, first; and Brainerd, second, “Hard Knock Life.”

• Mini Jazz, Studio B: Marshall, first; Brainerd, second with “I Want To Go To Hollywood;” and St. Cloud, third.

• Mini Jazz Studio A: Brainerd, first with “Rhythm Nation” and St. Cloud, second.

• Mini Hip Hop: Brainerd, first with “Beauty and The Beat;” New Ulm, second; St. Cloud Area, third; and White Bear Lake, fourth.

• Middle Hip Hop: Brainerd, first with “That 80’s Show” and Marshall, second.

• Middle Kix 2 AA: St Cloud Area, first; New Ulm, second; Albany, third; Brainerd, fourth with “Pop Muzik;” and Pelican Rapids, fifth.

• Middle Kix 4A: Brainerd, first with “You Better Work;” St. Cloud Area, second; Becker, third; Alexandria, fourth; Bismarck South, fifth.

• Middle Kix 5A: St. Cloud Area, first; Brainerd, second with “Disco Mix;” Mandan, third; Bemidji, fourth.

• Middle Jazz Studio: Marshall and Brainerd tied for first with “Heads Will Roll;” St. Cloud, third; Pelican Rapids, fourth.

•Middle Jazz Studio: Brainerd, first with “Evil Rising;” St. Cloud Area, second; Pelican Rapids, third.

• Mini Lyrical: Brainerd, first with “Miss Invisible;” St. Cloud, second; New Ulm, third.

• Middle Lyrical: Brainerd, first with “Where I Stood;” Marshall, second.

• Junior Lyrical: Brainerd, first with “Concrete Angel;” Marshall, second; St. Cloud Area, third; New Ulm, fourth; West Fargo, fifth; White Bear Lake, sixth.

• Junior Jazz 2A: Brainerd first with “Royal T;” St. Cloud, second; Bemidji, third; Becker, fourth.

• Junior Kix 2A: Brainerd first with “Rhythm Is A Dancer;” Marshall, second; Thief River Falls, third; Albany, fourth.

Brainerd JFK Studio’s senior and junior kix teams will compete next on Saturday in Rochester. This event brings together 22 teams from five states competing in semi finals and finals round.

I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with numerous job titles since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently as Digital Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was present and worked on the our web page when our original website first went live on April 26, 1994.
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