Entertainment Briefs - Dec. 5

? Consensus Christmas concert scheduled Consensus, a local a cappella singing group, will present its Christmas concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Brainerd. Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols will compr...

■ Consensus Christmas
concert scheduled

Consensus, a local a cappella singing group, will present its Christmas concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Brainerd.

Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols will comprise the first half of the concert, accompanied by Twin Cities harpist Andrea Stern. The second half will include choral holiday favorites. The concert is free but monetary donations will be accepted.

Consensus Ensemble is a nine member vocal ensemble with members from the Brainerd lakes area who perform a repertoire representing a wide range of styles, from classical to jazz to pop. Members of the group are Brian and Jenny Stubbs, Dave and Jenny Pelowksi, Laurie and Sonya Chamberlain, Grace Forbord and Daniel and Virginia Rohr.

Harpist Andrea Stern has performed with chamber ensembles and orchestras in the United States and abroad including the Hong Kong, Belgrade, Phoenix, Hartford, Duluth and Fargo symphonies. She was principal harpist for three years with the Maracaibo (Venezuela) Symphony and for five years with the Minnesota Opera. She has also performed with Skylark Opera and in numerous musicals.


Andrea studied at Oakland University, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory (B. Music), continuing with graduate studies at the University of Arizona. She currently serves as adjunct faculty at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul and is a harp instructor at MacPhail Center for Music and Saint Paul Conservatory. Stern has been invited twice to give master classes and lessons for the harp community in Serbia and has performed at the Fifth International Harp Festival in Belgrade.

■ Just For Kix holiday show scheduled

Just For Kix will present their annual holiday show titled “Let It Snow” Saturday in the gymnasium at Brainerd High School (BHS).

Shows times are at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. with doors opening 45 minutes prior to the event.

Admission is $8 at the door.

The show will feature all Just For Kix classes. Many numbers are winter and snow related. Father’s will dance with their daughters to “We’re Flakes,” adult woman will perform to “We Love Hockey” and the finale is called “Snow Biz.”

The Brainerd Warrior dance team “The Kixters” and the junior varsity dance team from BHS will be special guest performers performing their classical Holiday Rockette Christmas routine. They also will perform their competition kick routines and perhaps a glimpse of their jazz routines which are in progress.

Studio dancers also will perform jazz and tap productions. The 371 Steppers, an all mens’ team will perform the Christmas Queen,” with Tim Norton playing the part of the “Queen.” The 371 Steppers slogan is “Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Moves” and there are 11 members.


The show also will include all styles of dance such as tap, hip hop, lyrical, jazz, production and their old style by kick.

■ Belly dance performance
scheduled in Blue Room

“A Starry Yule” with performances by Vespertine Tribal Belly Dance will be performed from 8-10 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Blue Room at Yesterday’s Gone in Brainerd.

Cost is $10 and proceeds will benefit the Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center.

The event also will feature The Lovely Dozen, Sestri, Brendan Flynn, Seth Doud, Mabel’s Missing, Will Denny, Made Aberle and Andy Cook.

■ Music General holiday show scheduled

Music General in Brainerd presents its holiday shows titled “Elf” at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $5.50 for youth ages 12 and younger.


■ String orchestras Christmas
concert set in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS - St. Francis Music Center presents “The Sforzando String Orchestra” and “The Con Brio String Orchestra” in a Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Sacred Heart Chapel at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

The free string concerts are for all ages and have become a community favorite. Little Falls is one of the few communities nationwide that is able to claim two string orchestras without having string programs in any area schools.

The concert will feature string artists of all ages playing a wide variety of music. Some of the highlights will be: “Christmas Reflections;” “Prelude to Te Deum;” “Veni,” Veni arranged by Chip Davis; Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in D Minor;” “Emperor Waltz” by Johann Strauss; “Balkan Trilogy,” arranged by Celo V’ec; Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas;” and much more.

Directing both groups will be Celo V’ec, professional violinist and strings instructor at St. Francis Music Center.

The finale of the concert will feature the St. Francis Community Chorale joining the Sforzando Orchestra for the Hallelujah Chorus by G. F. Handel and a community sing-along of “Silent Night.”

The String Orchestras are supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board, US Bank, private donations and the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

For more information, please call the Music Center at 320-632-0637 or visit .


■ Christmas concert Dec. 13 in Staples

STAPLES - A Christmas concert, featuring two family music groups, will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Staples Alliance Church.

The concert is sponsored by Staples native Gary Schimpp, whose family, along with The Timbs, will perform a variety of Southern Gospel, country and traditional Christmas music. Joining Gary on stage will be his wife, Carmen; daughters Heather and Dawn; and Dawn’s husband, Gary Timbs.

The Schimpps have performed together for many years, sharing their tight-harmony vocals across the Midwest at churches, fairs and other venues. As a family, including Andrea, who is unable to be at the Staples concert, they have been featured on RFD-TV; and the three daughters on public radio.

Piano player/singer Gary Timbs, originally from Atlanta, Ga., has toured with several award-winning gospel and country groups in the past, including the legendary Statesmen Quartet; and Sonny James and the Southern Gentlemen. He continues to perform as a solo artist as well.

The Berge Family of Bemidji is known for their “creative mix of acoustic bluegrass and old-time gospel singing.” They’ve performed at festivals, fairs and churches throughout the United States; and have been nominated three times for Midwest Bluegrass Gospel Band of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America. Daughters Melanie and Mindy were first place winners at the Minnesota State Fair’s duet singing competition.

For ticket information call 218-894-1767 or 218-894-1525.

■ Saana Ensemble to perform
in New York Mills


NEW YORK MILLS - Saana Ensemble, a five-voice group performing Finnish music, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. Tickets are available by calling the center at 218-385-3339. Admission is $12 advance reservation or $15 at the door. The much admired group sings a cappella and sometimes with percussion and other instruments.

Saana Ensemble includes five native Finns who live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area: Sari R'nnholm, soprano/clarinet and piano; Elina Kala, soprano/mandolin, guitar, piano; Ulla Tervo-Desnick,alto/accordion; Eeva Savolainen, soprano/percussion, piano; Elina Koivusaari, alto/guitar.

Saana Ensemble’s repertoire is eclectic and ranges from hymns to folk songs and dance tunes, all sung in Finnish. Featured composers include Kaj and Jussi Chydenius, Jukka Linkola, Liisa Matveinen, Heikki Sarmanto, Sari Kaasinen, Toivo Kärki and Kerkko Koskinen. Some arrangements are by Jaakko Mantyjarvi, Timo Alakotila and Jorma Panula.

Saana Ensemble has performed at many Scandinavian festivals including Nisswa Stamman, Hjemkomst Festival in Moorhead, at Finnfests in California, Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota and Ontario.

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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