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Entertainment Briefs - Dec. 8

Second Saturday events set at Crossing The Crossing Arts Alliance announces its Second Saturday arts events for December and will be held in the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. The children's art class will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, where ch...

This artwork by lakes area artist Phyllis Frankum will be among several on display at the Brainerd Public Library through Feb. 28, 2017. Submitted
This artwork by lakes area artist Phyllis Frankum will be among several on display at the Brainerd Public Library through Feb. 28, 2017. Submitted

Second Saturday events set at Crossing

The Crossing Arts Alliance announces its Second Saturday arts events for December and will be held in the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.

The children's art class will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, where children will create a gift from nature, complete with gift box. Lisa Jordan will lead the class. Children will make an ornament by painting a wood slice, and fold a paper box that they will decorate using brushes made out of natural materials like feathers and pine needles. Children will learn the challenges of working with non-traditional materials and surfaces and end up with a one-of-a-kind piece when they're done all ready for gift-giving.

Cost is $3 per child or $5 per family. Materials as a donation are requested, but no child will be turned away due to need. No pre-registration is needed. Handicap-accessible parking is available, by calling TCAA at 218-833-0416 to make arrangements. The art activities are co-sponsored by Brainerd Public Schools Community Education.

The Kringle Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and includes more than 40 local artists displaying and selling their work.

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Visit www.crossingarts.org , call 218-833-0416 or email info@crossingarts.org for more information.

Local ensemble to perform concerts twice

Consensus, a local a cappella singing group, will present its Christmas concert that will include a wide a variety of choral holiday favorites at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at Cascade United Methodist Church in Deerwood and at 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at First Congregational United Church in Christ in Brainerd.

Consensus sings choral literature from a variety of genres and time periods that include music from the Renaissance to current composers to folk, barbershop and pop songs.

The nine-member group formed in 2011 to socialize and to sing music with a high degree of polish. Consensus has performed at the Brainerd Lakes Area Music Festival, the music series at both Central Lakes College and Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts, area churches and various conventions.

Members of Consensus are Sonya and Laurence Chamberlain, Grace Forbord, David and Jennifer Pelowski, Virginia and Daniel Rohr and Brian and Jennifer Stubbs.

Admission is free, donations will be accepted.

'From Age to Age' to perform Dec. 17

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The prestigious choral ensemble "From Age to Age" under the direction of Peter J. Duro will perform a concert titled "And On Earth, Peace" at 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brainerd.

A free-will offering will be received, with a suggested donation of $10.

Comprised of skilled vocalists, the ensemble will join forces with "From Age to Age Alumni Choir" under the direction of the ensemble's original founder and artistic director, Andy Miller, who is a native of Brainerd and a product of Michael Smith, the former Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir director.

Miller found his passion for choral music while singing in the BHS A Cappella choir. Miller also received training in music theory under Paul Melby, the former BHS band director. Miller's experience in the A Cappella choir led him to a lifelong passion and career in choral music.

After college in Bemidji, Miller followed a vision to start a professional vocal ensemble with some of his closest and most skilled singing friends, calling the group "From Age to Age." Over the next five years, with the help of his mother Deborah Jacobs who served as the ensemble's executive director and sang in the group, the ensemble brought high quality choral music to hundreds of Minnesota communities large and small. The ensemble's success and presence grew rapidly. The group performed for the 2010 Minnesota American Choral Directors Association Conference, and the 2011 ACDA regional conference in Mason City, Iowa. From Age to Age has worked with The Rose Ensemble, and has had many of their recordings played on MPR's Regional Spotlight, as well as one recording making its way into the 2011 nationally syndicated MPR CD, "A Taste for the Holidays."

From Age to Age devoted many of its performances between 2007-2012 to its roots in the Brainerd lakes area, giving concerts at First Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran, Bethlehem Lutheran, Lutheran Church of the Cross, St. Joseph's, St. Andrew's, Lord of Life, Journey North, and Park United Methodist, as well as churches in Crosby, Staples, Motley, Pequot Lakes, Pine River, Onamia, Long Prairie and Little Falls. The ensemble also has performed in many other cities in the state, as well as cities in North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Durow maintains a strong tradition of excellence and service to Minnesota communities, offering many performances in and around the Twin Cities area.

Riverside to host holiday programs; author event

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Riverside Elementary School will host three upcoming holiday programs and a local author event.

During the school's Student of the Trimester program, scheduled at 9 a.m. Friday, Minnesota author Shelly Boyum-Breen of "Shelly Bean the Sports Queen Plays Basketball" will be a guest speaker.

The school's holiday programs will be: third-graders at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20; fourth-graders at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 20; and kindergarten at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 22, all located in the school's gymnasium.

Artist Frankum's work on display

Lakes area artist Phyllis Frankum's paintings are on display in a new exhibit at Brainerd Public Library through Feb. 28, 2017.

The exhibit includes mixed media, rosemaling and watercolor and communicates the artist's love for nature and flowers.

"I have found that I love watercolor best," Frankum stated in an email release. "This came about after I watched a watercolor demonstration by artist Rose Edin. I love the challenge that painting brings me. I like to try new ways to paint and I like learning from my mistakes. I am always willing to try something new."

Frankum's paintings have received numerous People's Choice Awards at area shows including the Brainerd Art Show in 2010, 2015 and 2016 and the Crosslake Art Show. Her paintings have also been featured on the cover of the Brainerd Community Education brochure.

The exhibit is free of charge. Exhibits of work by local artists are coordinated by the Brainerd Area Art Club and the Brainerd Public Library. For more information, contact the library at 218-829- 5574.

St. Francis' orchestras present Christmas concert

LITTLE FALLS-St. Francis Music Center presents the St. Francis Preparatory, Concert and Chamber Orchestras in a Christmas concert titled "Christmas Gloria!" at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Sacred Heart Chapel at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

These orchestras involve nearly 50 string players, from grade school ages through adults, from throughout our central Minnesota area. Also joining the orchestras for the concert are mentors from the Heartland Symphony Orchestra.

The program will include music of the season including well known Christmas carols; "A Celtic Christmas Fantasy"; "Glorias" by Saint-Saens and Vivaldi; and Irving Berlin's well-known "White Christmas." Several student soloists will be featured including a special guest artist, flutist Isaac Olson, performing the haunting theme from the motion picture "The Mission," music by Ennio Morricone.

Directing both groups will be Bobbi French, director of the strings program and instructor at St. Francis Music Center.

The public is invited to attend this free concert. There will be baskets for free will donations. 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, visit the center's website at www.sfmusiccenter.org or call 320-632-0637.

An Open Book upcoming events planned

WADENA-An Open Book in Wadena is offering the following upcoming free events which will take place in the community room, unless noted.

• 11 a.m. Saturday,"Tasting Minnesota" by Betsy Nelson, The Uptown.

• Noon Saturday, Model Painting Workshop, Warhammer Age of Sigmar.

• 7 p.m. Sunday, Author Event, "Minnesota Voices: That Reminds Me," by Jerry Mevissen; co-hosted by Wadena County Historical Society.

• 4 p.m. Wednesday, "Magic The Gathering Casual Play."

• Noon Dec. 17, Model Painting Workshop, Warhammer Age of Sigmar.

• 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19, Conversation Over Books, The Uptown.

• 4 p.m. Dec. 21, Magic The Gathering Casual Play.

Book Ends program set Saturday

WADENA-Book Ends, a program connecting readers and writers, continues at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Uptown in Wadena. According to An Open Book owner/operator Gillette Kempf, Minnesota authors are invited to talk about the writing process, discuss and read from their current publication and take questions from the audience. Books are sold and autographed, followed by lunch.

"We're blessed to have a large cadre of Minnesota authors to choose from," Jerry Mevissen, events coordinator, stated in an email release. "We have Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award winners, Booker Prize winners, Newberry Award, Edgar Award, every award seems to have been won by a Minnesotan."

The event occurs on second Saturdays of every month. Faith Sullivan, November invited author, is followed by Betsy Nelson, discussing her book "Tasting Minnesota: Favorite Recipes from the Land of 10,000 Lakes."

"This being the holiday season, we feel that a cookbook is appropriate, not only to use in the kitchen but to offer as a gift," Kempf states.

Tasting Minnesota features contributions from local chef Amy Thielen and the Prairie Bay Restaurant in Baxter, among others.

Each monthly program is sponsored by a local business or organization. Betsy Nelson is sponsored by Mason Brothers of Wadena. She is followed in January by Lois Greiman, a romance and mystery writer and a great conversationalist.

Newberry and Verch to perform Sunday

NEW YORK MILLS-Musicians Joe Newberry and April Verch will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 in advance and $5 for students. Members of the center receive $2 off adult prices. To buy tickets or for more information visit the center's website at www.kulcher.org or call 218-385-3339.

Newberry, a Missouri native, is a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion." A noted teacher of traditional music and song, he has taught at numerous camps and festivals around the world and was for many years the coordinator of Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, W. Va.

Newberry won the songwriting prize for Gospel Recorded Performance at the 2012 International Bluegrass Music Awards and was co-writer of the 2013 IBMA Song of the Year.

Verch, a fiddler, singer and step-dancer, has won countless awards, has 10 albums and 16 years of touring under her belt with "The April Verch Band," Verch has moved from upstart prodigy to mature and reflective songwriter and storyteller.

Passionate about giving back, she makes master classes, workshops and camps a regular part of her touring activity. Verch was one of six fiddlers who represented the Canadian fiddle tradition to the world at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, as part of a segment called "Fiddle Nation."

Teen author has roots in Brainerd

Sophia Whittemore, a teen author who published the "Impetus Rising" series at age 17, has roots in Brainerd.

The series includes "The Funnyman," Death's Fool" and Reanimate."

Whittemore's grandmother, Liz Whittemore, lives in Brainerd and her father grew up in Brainerd. Whittemore's grandmother recently donated one of her granddaughter's books to the Brainerd Public Library. Whittemore's series also is available at Amazon and other online outlets.

Whittemore currently is a student at Dartmouth College. Her prior publications include "A Clock's Work" in a Handersen Publishing magazine, "Blind Man's Bluff" in Parallel Ink and she won multiple awards in the Best Midwestern Writing competition for high school writers. She currently resides in Chicago.

Whittemore describes her first book in "Girls Life" magazine as "The story starts when Diana, a girl who struggles with finding out her identity in an already confusing human world, is quickly flung into a land of the Impetus when an attack of shadows chases her from earth. For her own safety, she hides out as an illegal human refugee in the palace of a tyrannical, godly queen. There, she discovers that princes aren't always charming underneath their broken surfaces, queens can order executions with the wave of a hand and even evil isn't so easy to comprehend anymore in a world covered in mist."

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