Entertainment Briefs - April 7

FMS students selected for State Honor Band BAXTER--Five Forestview Middle School band students were recently selected as members of the Minnesota Band Director's Association State Honor Band. Students selected were eighth-graders Ammy Lin, who pl...

Grassroots Concerts welcomes three-time Juno Award winner David Francey to perform at 7:30 p.m. April 15 for a series debut at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa. (Submitted)
Grassroots Concerts welcomes three-time Juno Award winner David Francey to perform at 7:30 p.m. April 15 for a series debut at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa. (Submitted)

FMS students selected for State Honor Band

BAXTER-Five Forestview Middle School band students were recently selected as members of the Minnesota Band Director's Association State Honor Band. Students selected were eighth-graders Ammy Lin, who plays flute, Devin Rudolph, tuba, and Nariah Fett, percussion; and seventh-graders Isabel Haglin, alto saxophone, and Erin Host, flute.

The Honor Band will meet Saturday for an all day rehearsal followed by a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at Duluth East High School. The public is invited to attend. Grades six through eight will be directed by John Greene, retired band director from Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan.

There were 368 students from 81 schools who submitted the rigorous audition of which 80 students were selected for the State Honor Band. The Minnesota Band Director's Association coordinates and sponsors the event. Forestview Bands are directed by Chuck Carlson and Jessica Moats.

Juno winner Francey to perform in Nisswa


NISSWA-Grassroots Concerts welcomes three-time Juno Award winner David Francey to perform at 7:30 p.m. April 15 for a series debut at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa.

The Toronto Star calls the Scottish-born Francey "one of Canada's most revered folk poets and singers."

The Juno Awards, the equivalent of the United States' Grammys, are presented annually to Canadian musical artists and bands to acknowledge their artistic and technical achievements in all aspects of music.

Francey is a carpenter-turned songwriter. He worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing songs, and singing to himself while he worked.

Born in Ayrshire, Scotland, Francey first tasted the working life as a paperboy. At age 10 he was devouring the newspapers he delivered, establishing a lifelong interest in politics and world events while developing a social conscience.

He was 12 when his family moved to Toronto. Music played a large part in these family outings. They sang traditional Scottish tunes as they drove through the Canadian countryside.

His attachment to Canada grew with travel. He hitched across the country three times, then thumbed his way to the Yukon. This attachment surfaces in his songs of rail lines, farms and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He grew to understand the people while working in Toronto train yards, the Yukon bush and as a carpenter.

Francey lives with his wife/artist Beth Girdler in Lanark Highlands in southern Ontario.


The Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar is located in the Journey Church next to the school in Nisswa. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The nonprofit Grassroots Concerts are made possible in part by a grant provided by the Five Wings Arts Council with funds through the Minnesota State Legislature.

Concert general admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 with listening attention, when accompanied by an adult.

At each concert, non-perishable food and cash donations for area food shelves are welcomed.

Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets, a local chapter of The League of Minnesota Poets, will meet from 6-9 p.m. Friday in the large room of the Brainerd Public Library. In celebration of National Poetry Month, attendees will read poems at the podium to kick off the meeting. Following the reading, participate in a discussion of the League's spring meeting and other poetry/writing events. Afterwards participants will share poems-in-progress by bringing copies of a poem or two to review with others.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

Great Northern Radio Show planned Saturday


PEQUOT LAKES-KAXE/KBXE's live variety radio show is heading to the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium at 5 p.m. Saturday.

This traveling variety program produced by independent National Public Radio affiliate Northern Community Radio explores life in small towns and off-the-beaten-path places through comedy, stories and music.

Producer and host Aaron Brown leads a regular cast along with guest performers, musicians, and storytellers in a two hour romp through local legend and real life, celebrating the talent and culture of northern Minnesota. Each show seeks to celebrate its location and the people who make it special for a much wider audience.

"Pequot Lakes has been on our radar for a while," Brown, an author and blogger from the Iron Range, stated in a release. "We're glad to finally bring our old-timey show back to Crow Wing County. We can't wait to explore Pequot Lakes and bring in some great music for a great night of entertainment.

"We always joke about our show being like a 21st Century version of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland doing a big show in the barn. This time our barn is a high school auditorium."

Musical performers include Reina del Cid and their latest CD "The Cooling" has gotten rave reviews and the band has performed more than 300 shows over two years both in their hometown and on national tours. Local hometown favorite band Last Call will also perform including Brainerd natives Katie Wig, Mitchell Gerard, Duncan Vinje and Nick Schwen. Rounding out the lineup are brothers Jacob and Owen Mahon from Walker who perform as Hog Rooster and describe their sound as funk, folk and rock. Katie Houg of Bemidji is the Great Northern Radio show keyboardist.

The Great Northern Radio Players include Duluth's Louisa Scorich, Sara Breeze of Bemidji, C.J. Anderson and Lauren Nickisch of Pequot Lakes, Nancy Waller of Breezy Point and Dave Veiths of Brainerd. Other guest include former Pequot Lakes mayor Nancy Adams and Brainerd poet Doris Stengel.

Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children and college students with identification. Audience must be in their seats by 4:30 p.m. Seating is limited. Order tickets in advance online at or call 800-662-5799.


The Saturday Great Northern Radio Show will air live on 89.9 FM Brainerd, 91.7 FM KAXE in Grand Rapids, Aitkin and the Iron Range, 90.5 KBXE Bagley and Bemidji and 103.9 FM in Ely. The show also is rebroadcast on independent public radio stations throughout Minnesota and distributed as a live stream and podcast at KAXE's website.

The Great Northern Radio Show is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with support from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Culture and Tourism grant program and the Blandin Foundation.

Author to share book in Onamia

ONAMIA-Award winning author Anton Treuer will share his newest book "Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe" from 1-3 p.m. April 16 at Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Onamia.

Treuer describes his book as "fascinating history offering not only a chronicle of the Red Lake Nation but also a compelling perspective on a difficult piece of U.S. history." By fending off repeated assaults on their land and governance, the Ojibwe people of Red Lake have retained cultural identity and maintained traditional ways of life.

Treuer stated: "The Red Lake Nation has a unique and deeply important history. Unlike every other reservation in Minnesota, Red Lake holds its land in common and, consequently, the tribe retains its entire reservation land base. The people of Red Lake developed the first modern indigenous democratic governance system in the United States, decades before any other tribe, but they also maintained their system of hereditary chiefs. The tribe never surrendered to state jurisdiction over crimes committed on its reservation. The reservation is also home to the highest number of Ojibwe-speaking people in the state.

"Warrior Nation covers four centuries of the Red Lake Nation's forceful and assertive tenure on its land."

Ojibwe historian and linguist, Treuer, conducted oral histories with elders across the Red Lake reservation, learning the stories carried by the people.


Writers' workshop on query letters

The Brainerd Public Library will host a writers' workshop on how to write a query letter from 6-7 p.m. Monday with Red Sofa Literary associate agent Laura Zats.

Zats will lead an informal conversation about querying a book. She will cover tips, tricks and best practices for catching an agent or editor's attention. Zats will provide personal feedback on each participant's query letter within two weeks of the class that will help them sell their story. After the conversation, there will be time for questions.

Those interested can register by calling the library at 218-829-5574. The workshop will be limited to 25 people.

Zats is an associate agent with Red Sofa Literary where she represents middle grade and young adult literature, science fiction and fantasy and romance and erotica. She's been working as an editor since 2011 and has held positions at companies in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Zats also teaches authors all around the country about writing and publishing.

The workshops are free Legacy Programs 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 art and cultural heritage.

Regional briefs

Violinist Andrew Sords to perform in Long Prairie


LONG PRAIRIE-The Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra and internationally recognized violinist Andrew Sords will present a Past-Present-Future concert at 7:30 p.m. April 23 in the auditorium at Long Prairie Grey Eagle High School.

Sords returns to play with LPCO for the third time with music by Bruch. The LPGE Concert Choir will present two pieces from Mozart's Requiem and will join Sords in Massenet's Meditation. LPCO flautist Lisa Winter also will be featured on this program playing the entr'acte from Carmen.

Tickets are $6 for adults; $4 for students/seniors; $15 for family; and free for music students and children under age 12.

Go to for more information.

Cabin Fever Festival planned in Duluth

DULUTH-The Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association presents the Cabin Fever Festival scheduled April 15-17 at the Radisson Harborview Hotel in Duluth.

The festival is an indoor weekend of stage shows, workshops, draw bands, vendors, open mic, and all-day and late-night jam sessions. Featured musicians include Art Stevenson and Highwater from Stevens Point Wis., The Woodpicks from Thief River Falls, The Bootlickers from Minneapolis; and Riverside Bog Stompers, Border Stone, Timbre Junction, Def Lester and The Biscuit Boys.

Go to for more information.

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