Entertainment Briefs - Jan. 19

St. Francis Music Center to present honors concert LITTLE FALLS--St. Francis Music Center will present an honors concert at 1 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Sacred Heart Chapel at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls. This concert will present 16 young stude...

David Charles Eicholz and Ted Manderfeld, the comedic pianists who comprise Deuces Wild, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday in the New York Mills City Hall Ballroom. Submitted
David Charles Eicholz and Ted Manderfeld, the comedic pianists who comprise Deuces Wild, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday in the New York Mills City Hall Ballroom. Submitted

St. Francis Music Center to present honors concert

LITTLE FALLS-St. Francis Music Center will present an honors concert at 1 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Sacred Heart Chapel at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

This concert will present 16 young students "who have shown exceptional ability and commitment to their musical studies," it stated in a news release. Students will perform on violin, cello, piano, voice and flute. All of the students performing have dedicated 100s of hours to practice on their instrument.

Performing in the concert will be Nicholas Crist, Korrin Gwost, Annemarie Jacobson, Collin

Kray, Sarah Leisenheimer, Nicholas Mettler, Hannah Miller, Vera Miller, Isaac Olson, Nina Quillo, Gabrielle Sobania, Zachary Sobania, Bailey Stalmer, Genevieve Winrod, Brianna Wuebkers and Samuel Zimmerman. These students represent the communities of Little Falls, Browerville, Burtrum, Freeport, Motley and Long Prairie.


This concert is free and open to the public.

For more information contact St. Francis Music Center's website at or call 320-632-0637.

Five Wings Arts Council offers free workshops

The Five Wings Arts Council, which annually distributes more than $400,000 in grants to support artists and community arts projects in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties, announces free workshops for the public to learn about its grant programs, how to access their online grant system and the best practices for writing a successful application for funds.

Representatives of organizations, schools and other public entities, as well as individual artists who seek professional development or project support, who are 18 years or older and live in the Five Wings service region, are eligible to apply for funding for their projects.

Workshops will be offered Jan. 26 at the Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce in Walker; Jan. 31 at the Brainerd Public Library; Feb. 7 at the Maslowski Wellness Center in Wadena; and Feb. 16 at the Five Wings Arts Council office in Staples.

Training for individual artists will be 3:30-5:30 p.m., and classes for organizations, schools and other public entities will be 6-8 p.m. at each location.

The classes are free, but pre-registration is required to guarantee class placement. Go to for more information and to register.


Five Wings Arts Council awards Community Arts Access project grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations, schools, or other public entities to either produce or sponsor an arts related project. Small grants of up to $1,000 are provided to nonprofit organizations or public entities to sponsor an arts activity.

Individual artist grants up to $2,500 are available to artists at least 18 years of age working in any art discipline.

FWAC distributes grant funds which are made available through a general fund appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature and Minnesota's Arts Cultural Heritage Fund. Funds granted to individual artists are made possible by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.

The Five Wings Arts Council is one of eleven regional arts councils in Minnesota. Its mission is to encourage and promote arts creation, appreciation and education through grant programs and technical assistance in order to enhance the quality of life for Minnesota residents in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.

Question can be emailed to or directed to the FWAC staff by calling 877-654-2166.

Dueling pianos perform in New York Mills

NEW YORK MILLS-The Cultural Center in New York Mills presents Deuces Wild dueling pianos at 8 p.m. Friday in the New York Mills City Hall Ballroom, with doors opening at 7 p.m.

The performance is a clap-along, sing-along musical comedy show where the audience is a part of the action. David Charles Eicholz and Ted Manderfeld, the comedic pianists who comprise Deuces Wild, defy all expectations of a dueling piano show and lead the way to an unforgettable experience, it stated in a news release.


Son of a miner from the Northwoods of Minnesota, Eicholz is a versatile, self-taught musician who plays the piano, guitar, saxophone, harmonica, trumpet, and countless other instruments. He was featured internationally on the Swedish television show, "Christine," and was then recruited by Little Ditty's Dueling Piano Bar at the Mall of America in Bloomington, where he performed four nights a week for five years. Eicholz has been performing the dueling piano concept for nearly 20 years.

Manderfeld got his start in Deuces Wild by walking out of his day-job and demanding an audition. Though he had not previously played dueling pianos, his showmanship and ability blew away the competition. When not on the road with Deuces Wild, Manderfeld spends his time as a producer, jingle-writer and recording artist. He has been an actor and a game show host. Whether opening for Dennis Miller on HBO, performing in front of thousands of people or selling out theatres nation-wide, Manderfeld has shown himself to be a showman's showman.

General admission is $35 and VIP tables are $500 for the Quarter Note package and $1,000 for the Half Note package. All tickets have access to a complimentary snack bar and a full cash bar will be provided by the New York Mills Lions Club. Quarter Note VIP packages include eight admission tickets, premium reserved seating and refreshments at your table. Half Note VIP packages receive the same as Quarter Note, plus event sponsorship marketing benefits.

Tickets can be purchased at the New York Mills Public Library during regular business hours with cash or check. To purchase tickets with a credit card, call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339.

Thanks to KLN Family Brands for sponsoring the performance and to business partners Goose Group, Disgruntled Brewing, The Otter, Concept Catering, Dean's Country Market, Mills Locker Plant, Lakes 99.5 Radio and Hubbard Radio Wadena-KWAD/KKWS.

Proceeds from this event support 2017 Cultural Center programming. For more information, go to or call the Cultural Center.

Her Voice, Her Song to set stage

STAPLES-The Staples Area Women's Chorus will host the 2017 Women's Choral Festival called Her Voice, Her Song at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Staples Motley High School in Staples, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.


Seventeen area schools have been invited to join the Staples Area Women's Chorus to participate in this annual event. The main goal of this project is to bring together women singers together to experience the joy of singing and improve musical performance skills in an inter-generational environment.

Susan Cogdill will be the festival's guest who serves as assistant professor of music education and director of the women's choir at the College of St. Benedict and Saint John University.

She mentors music student teachers and assists the collegiate chapters of National Association of Music Education and American Choral Directors Association. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in music education from the University of Wyoming, master of music education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and doctorate's degree in music education also from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she received a Hixson-Lied Fellowship.

Prior to this appointment, Cogdill served on the faculty at Doane College as the Women's Chorale conductor and co-directed the Collegiate Chorale. Cogdill has 12 years experience teaching music in public schools, the last seven of which were spent in Laramie, Wyo., where she also conducted the University of Wyoming Civic Chorale from 2007-09. She has both directed musicals and performed such roles as Mrs. Peachum in the University of Wyoming's production of The Beggar's Opera" and "Pitti-Sing" in Casper College's production of The Mikado.

A frequent clinician and guest conductor, Cogdill is an active member of the National Association for Music Educators, ACDA and Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. Her music research has focused on motivational theories related to musical development and beliefs regarding singing ability. She has presented research at the state, national, and international levels of the NAME, the International Society for Music Education and The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium.

The Staples Area Women's Chorus will serve as mentors to high school and college women by sharing their mature voices and encouraging a lifelong love of music. All singers will be challenged to raise their level of musicianship with a commitment to excellence.

Tickets for the concert are available for purchase at the Staples World, Nelson's Insurance Agency, Markus Hair Design in Motley from the Staples Area Women's Chorus members. Advance tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for students or $10 for adults at the door. Family price is $25.

For more information or questions, contact Barb Cline at 218-894-1253 or 218-330-3830.


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.

2 exhibitions to open

LITTLE FALLS-Great River Arts welcomes two new exhibitions that will be on display through Feb. 25.

One exhibition is by Andrew Nordin and called "Disco Kisses and Other Stories of Abstraction" and is a collection of abstract paintings on display in the Main Gallery. The other exhibition is by Kayla M. Gustin and called "PHASE-New Findings" and is on display in the Front Gallery. The artist's will share an opening reception from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Great River Arts.

Nordin studied Art at St. Cloud State University and has a master's of fine arts in painting from San Jose State University in California. He currently resides in New London, where his studio overlooks the Crow River and he works as a professor at Ridgewater Community College and at the University of Minnesota Morris. His paintings are non-objective and explore the tension between improvisation and determinate source materials. The collection of work on display in the Main Gallery covers a three year time span and will allow viewers to gain an in depth look at the mind's process and progression through Nordin's investigations of logic in pattern and abstraction.

Gustin studied art at St. Cloud State University. Since graduation she has received certification in energy healing and continues to deepen her knowledge of yoga, meditation, energy and the healing arts. Gustin's exhibition consists of recent works where she explores the dynamics between non-representational manifestations of energy release and universal connections. Her work is bright, colorful and some are even highlighted with dense fields of glitter. In her artist statement she states, "Every phase is a bridge to the next," aptly describing her transition into this new collection.

Teen Showcase planned in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS-Great River Arts announces its Teen Showcase as part of the 14 Fridays Concert Series scheduled this Friday.


The performance will feature young musicians in the area including The Flyers Jazz Combo, Disaster Area, Total Monroe and Your Friend and Mine. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the show at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $5 in advance at GRA or at the door on the night of the performance.

From classic jazz to indie rock and Broadway hits, these four outstanding acts bring a variety of music that everyone can enjoy. Cary Armagost, one of the many performers, noted that Great River Arts represents a venue for showcasing local talent.

"Onstage at GRA, you can be yourself in an environment that is comfortable and welcoming," Armagost stated in a news release. "When I'm onstage, what you see is what you get-wild and wacky, and you can always tell I'm having fun.

"At GRA, we all want to be there, we all want to perform. It's nonstop energy and excitement."

This performance was suggested as an opportunity for teens to take their performances to the next level in an intimate theater setting and to share their talent with the community. Michael Kalpakoff, one of the vocalists in Your Friend and Mine, stated, "Performing onstage has always been a part of my life, and I'm passionate about it. It is a lot of fun, but it's something I take seriously."

The Flyers Jazz Combo is a nine-piece combo that will play classic jazz compositions in Latin, swing and big band styles lead by seniors Jordan Waldoch and Tyler Moore.

Disaster Area was originally formed at U-Rock Camp at St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls in 2014. The group includes Max Jorgensen, 15, Will Jorgensen, 11 and Eric Burr, 15. The band focuses on hard-rockin' hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Total Monroe is comprised of three musicians who also met at St. Francis Music Center and came together in 2015 to perform classic, modern rock hits and originals. The band features Cary Armagost, 16, on guitar and vocals; Logan Gerads, 15, on drums; and Audrey Thomas, 13, on bass and vocals.

Your Friend and Mine formed in mid-2016 to perform at Great River Arts monthly Open Mic Night. The band plays a variety of music, from indie pop to selections from the musical Hamilton. Dubbed a "supergroup" at Great River Arts, the band's line-up changes from show to show, featuring as many as a dozen musicians and singers onstage at once. This performance will feature Kalli Kalpakoff, 19, Michael Kalpakoff, 17, Aisha Holmberg, 18, Natalie Shanoff, 18 and Matt Wishard, 17 in addition to Lucas Burr, 16, on keyboard, flute and vocals; Cary Armagost of Total Monroe, Max and Will Jorgensen and Eric Burr of Disaster Area.

Bus trip to Chanhassen theater planned

LITTLE FALLS-Zion Lutheran Church in Little Falls is planning a coach bus trip March 18 to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater for a Saturday matinee performance of "Grease."

The bus will leave the church parking lot at 9 a.m. and tickets are $85. To reserve tickets call Carlyle Olsen at 320-632-1655. Checks payable to Zion Lutheran. Checks can be mailed within one week of a reservation to Olsen, 105 First St. NE, Little Falls, MN 56345.

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