Entertainment Briefs - July 2

Trucano to perform next organ recital Joe Trucano will perform an organ recital at noon Wednesday in the Lakes Area Summer Organ Recital Series at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd. Trucano currently works with Michael Barohn and Minnesota Publ...

Trucano to perform next organ recital

Joe Trucano will perform an organ recital at noon Wednesday in the Lakes Area Summer Organ Recital Series at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd.

Trucano currently works with Michael Barohn and Minnesota Public Radio in Minneapolis. He is a graduate of Brainerd High School, has a bachelor's in music at Concordia College in Moorhead and a masters from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Brainerd native releases new book

Author Jon M. Nelson has released his book of poetry titled "Brightness From The Shadows."


Nelson's, who has won numerous awards for his writings, books include "The Longest War," "Changing Moods" and "Reflections of Life."

"Brightness From The Shadows" tries to bring home the point that people are all part of the human race. Think of all of the problems the world faces today, and imagine if someone wrote poems to address these issues and tried to make a difference with them. "Brightness from the Shadows" is a collection of poetry attempting to do just that.

Nelson is currently at Fort Campbell, Ky., and has been serving his country since 1996.

Nelson's family moved to Brainerd when he was nine. While attending Brainerd High School he was on the track team until his grades started slipping, Nelson's website said. He was a staff writer for the yearbook, The Brainonian, and co-president of Students Against Drunk Driving. He graduated in 1994 and he left for basic training for the Army in February of 1996 at age 20.

Scott Lykins and John Taylor Ward to perform in Gregory Park

Scott Lykins and John Taylor Ward of the Lakes Area Music Festival will perform at 7 p.m. tonight, July 2, in the bandstand at Gregory Park in Brainerd.

Lykins' career blends artistic performance as a cellist and pianist as founding artistic and executive director of the festival. He has served as principal cellist for the National Orchestra Institute, National Repertory Orchestras, Classical Symphony of Chicago, and Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra and has played regularly with the Syracuse, South Dakota and New World Symphonies. As a soloist, recent concerto appearances include the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Heartland Symphony, Northeast Orchestra and the Lakes Area Music Festival. He has received both bachelor's and master's degrees in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Steven Doane and Alan Harris. He has performed in recitals and concerts throughout the United States, and recently made his European debut performing Schubert's Winterreise with baritone Ward at the Cite Internationale Universitaire de Paris.

Ward this season has appeared as a principal artist on five continents, joining ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, Collegium Vocale Ghent and the Boston Camerata. Other recent credits include several roles in the Boston Early Music Festival's cycle of Monteverdi operas and the premiere staging of a new opera for the Teatro Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, with the ensemble L'arpeggiata. Ward also is a frequent collaborator with the Grammy-winning ensemble


Roomful of Teeth and Pulitzer Prize composer Caroline Shaw. Ward is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, holds two advanced degrees from Yale University and is pursuing a doctorate there, having focused his scholarly research on the performance practice of shape-note and Appalachian folk music.

Concerts in the park are free and open to the public. Rain out site is The Center in Brainerd. If the concerts are moved indoors, signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio. Concerts in the park are a collaboration between Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center. Funding for the concerts has been provided by community donations.

First Fridays at Franklin planned

The Franklin Arts Center will host its next First Fridays at Franklin series from 5-9 p.m. Friday. The event will include the opening receptions of "Fabulous Fibers" at The Crossing Arts Gallery, "Car Show/Cat Show" at The FAC Resident Artists Gallery and "La Carnivale" at The New Bohemian Gallery. Other attractions include a themed children's art exhibit titled "Animal Friends," a kids activity corner, open mic stage, a Classic Car Show in the front parking lot and open artist studios.

The free event is for all ages and is open to the public. Donations are welcome.

Go to for more information on the event.

Music in the Park in Crosby July 9

CROSBY - The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce announces the next Music in the Park will be at 6 p.m. July 9 in Crosby Memorial Park.


There will be two musicians and John Hausken will be first up. He plays a mix of original songs, folk songs, country, and country/rock tunes and country gospel. Hausken enjoys playing at the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center care center in his spare time.

Seth Doud, a soulful singer/songwriter from central Minnesota, will perform second. Doud, Brainerd-based singer/songwriter, has been gaining recognition across the country for his soulful songs and audience engagement.

Doud has chosen to draw the audience's attention with his musical arrangements, while his voice allows you to become absorbed in his lyrics.

The Crosby-Ironton Rangerettes Dance Team will sell tacos in a bag along with other treats at this event to help fund their trip to the Outback Bowl.

School of Rock for area teens planned

LITTLE FALLS - The St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls is offering a free URock Summer Camp July 24-26 and Aug. 1-2 for those who want to play in a band.

Students in grades five through 12 are invited to participate. Guitarists, drummers, bassists, vocals, keyboards and other musicians who want to form a band are all invited to attend. Youth don't need a lot of experience on their instrument, just some of the basics.

URock starts from 5-7 p.m. July 24. The instructors will get to know the students and their abilities and talk them through what it takes to be in a band. The next morning the group will be divided up into bands. Each band will pick a name and three songs they'd like to play. The rest of the camp is spent learning the music, performance tips, band pictures and getting ready to perform. All music styles are welcome, from rock to country to Christian and everything in between.

URock will meet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 25-26 and Aug. 1-2. Led by Greg Langlois, the instructors will all be musicians with experience in professional bands. The final concert will be held outdoors on Aug. 5, as part of the Green Fair Folk Festival.

For more information or to sign up, call the Music Center at 320-632-0637, visit the website at or stop in at 116 Eighth Ave. SE., Little Falls.

This event is made possible through grants from the Five Wings Arts Council, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and Catholic Health Initiatives.

This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

'Fabulous Fibers' exhibit on display

The "Fabulous Fibers" fiber art exhibit will open Friday and run through July 24 in The Crossing Arts Gallery, located in the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. An opening reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. Friday in conjunction with the building-wide First Fridays at Franklin event. The reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibit is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 11.

This exhibit "seeks to discover and showcase interesting fiber art from area artists. This show prioritizes aesthetic value over utility."

Artists exhibiting include Carolyn Abbott, Kathy Bardolph, Kathy Carney, Lynn Johnson, Lisa Jordan, Karla Overland, Molly Schultz, Jan Sheets, Amy Sharpe, Carol Sylvester and Andrew Turner.

Call The Crossing Arts Alliance at 218-833-0416 or email for more information.

'Comedy for a Cure!' One Night Only

LITTLE FALLS - The Great River Arts presents "Comedy for a Cure: An Evening of a Thousand Laughs to Fight Cancer!" at 7:30 p.m. July 9 at the Great River Arts Center in historic downtown Little Falls.

Tickets are $10 and all seating is general admission. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 320-632-0960, at the Great River Arts office during business hours, or at the door. Proceeds go to Morrison County Relay for Life in the fight against cancer.

The event features Jason Schommer performing stand up comedy with new material and classic bits as well as the You Betcha! Players performing a sketch parody in the style of reader's theatre called "The Wizard of Little Oz" based on the classic "The Wizard of Oz" but with a Little Falls twist. While Prudence from Bowlus and the gang are on a vacation with Gary Block Bus Tours, the bus drives into bad weather and is hit by a tornado. When the storm breaks, Prudence finds herself in the strange and surreal world of Little Oz, inspired by Little Falls and in deep trouble as the bus has landed on the Wicked Witch of the West Side. To return home Prudence must travel through Little Oz on a quest by the Wizard of the Spirit of St. Louis. Along the way she encounters many familiar and new friends and enemies. Will Prudence get back home safely or be lost forever in the land without signs? Will the Wicked Witch of the East Side and her flying monkey stop Prudence once and for all? Cast members for "The Wizard of Little Oz" include Gary Block, Robyn Gray, Laurie Koll, Jim Norwood, Sarah Pasela, Chris Plakut, Susy Prosapio, Allen Riedeman, Schommer and more.

Schommer, currently writing a TV show pilot with Louie Anderson and preparing to record a stand up comedy CD at the Paramount Theatre, was recently named "What's Hot For 2013" by Campus Activities Magazine. Schommer is a standup comedian who has spent the past two years as the opening act for Louie Anderson in Las Vegas. Laugh-until-you-cry stories combine with playful one liners covering a wide array of topics ranging from the daily struggles of life to his loveable, yet kooky, Minnesotan family. Schommer's comedy style ranges from observational humor based on his life, the world around us and hilarious commentary of pop culture recounting hysterical true encounters with celebrities such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Dolly Parton.

Schommer has directed such shows locally as "Grease", "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Evita" among many others.

Hall of Famer to fill spot left open by Nickelback's emergency cancellation

WALKER - Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar will join forces with Michael Anthony for a show July 16 at Moondance Jam in Walker.

Fans will have a rare opportunity to experience music spanning more than 40 years of Hagar's career. Hagar, also known as The Red Rocker, is a Grammy award-winning vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and musician, who in 2007 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. From breaking into the industry with the seminal hard rock band Montrose to his multiplatinum solo career and his ride as the frontman of Van Halen, he's set the tone for some of the greatest rock anthems ever written with songs like "I Can't Drive 55," "Rock Candy," "I'll Fall in Love Again," "There's Only One Way to Rock," "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy" and "Why Can't This Be Love." Throughout his career, Hagar's solo and group albums have globally amassed 25 platinum certifications on sales surpassing 40 million.

Joining Hagar at Moondance will be Michael Anthony, the renowned rhythm section bassist who

has played with Hagar for the last 30 years in bands including Van Halen and Chickfoot.

Nickelback was forced to cancel the rest of their North American tour due to lead singer Chad Kroeger's throat surgery.

Exclusive performance planned at Historic Butler Building

AITKIN - The historic Aitkin Butler Building will present an intimate concert by Ida Grove, a Minnesota-based roots duo, as part of its Farmers' Market entertainment series on July 18.

Hailing from Minneapolis by way of Iowa, Grove is a roots duo comprised of married couple Brian Amelang and Maggie Mackaman. Playing fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo, Grove explores the heritage of Appalachian string music, southern gospel and country western music, with a few modern tunes.

The free concert will be held at the weekly Aitkin Farmers' Market, which runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the historic Butler Building.

In addition to Grove's performance, the 2015 Farmers' Market entertainment lineup also includes a variety of other events, including a monthly series featuring the Long Lake Conservation Center, a residential environmental learning center, which offers various hands-on learning experiences to attendees; and the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post will offer workshops related to American Indian history and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, at select markets. There will also be a number of other live performances from local entertainment artists peppered throughout the schedule, including the YoYo Mamas on Aug. 15.

This year, sponsors for the 2015 Aitkin Farmers' Market include Brandl Motors and the Members Cooperative Credit Union. Every week, Brandl Motors will have two cars on display, while the Members Cooperative Credit Union will have its own booth.

For more information go to or call Sylvia Allen at 218-678-2441.

Lakes art show and sale set

NISSWA - The Lakes Area Artists Fine Art Show and Sale will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 10-11 at The Live Well at Journey Church in Nisswa off of Crow Wing County Road 18.

Lakes Area Artists, a group of Brainerd lakes and surrounding area artists, will exhibit and sell their works. The group has been in existence for more than 20 years and has had yearly sales in the Nisswa area. This year artists include Kathy Braud, Bill Grange, Kerry Kupferschmidt, Maria Thompson Seep, Steven Weagel and Mary Wolke.

A variety of work will be available in many different media including oil, watercolor, acrylic, participating artists include pottery. mixed media, metal sculpture, and hand-blown art glass. Artists will also be selling smaller items such as notecards and prints.

Admission is free.

Bill Grange to display work at Arts in the Park

Artist Bill Grange of Brainerd will display his art Sunday in Arts in the Park in Gregory Park in Brainerd.

Grange has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Dakota and a master's from St. Cloud State University. He also did graduate work at Montana State University, Nevada Southern University, Northern Arizona State, Minnesota State Universities in Mankato, Bemidji and Minneapolis and in Las Vegas.

Grange studies pottery and watercolor and had numerous one-man shows in the upper Midwest, West Virginia, Texas, Illinois, Nevada and California.

Grange currently has a pottery and painting business located in the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.

Book event set in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS - Three multi-published, award winning authors will sign copies of their newest

releases from noon to 2 p.m. July 11 at Good Book and Gift in Little Falls.

Best-selling author Susan May Warren has written more than 40 novels, including her popular "Deep Haven" series and "Christiansen Family" series. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Christy and Carol Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction.

She will sign copies of "The Wonder of You," which released in June.

Multi-published author, Melissa Tagg, is the award winning writer of "Made to Last" and "Here to Stay." She writes for Bethany House Publishers and will be sign copies of her new release, "From the Start."

Gabrielle Meyer, lifelong resident of Little Falls and recently published author, will sign copies of her second story, "A Groom for Josette in The Convenient Bride Collection," published by Barbour Publishing in 2015. Her debut story, "Four Brides and a Bachelor," will also be available. Both of Meyer's stories are inspired by real events and are set along the Mississippi River in central Minnesota in the 1850s.

Flash Fiction writer to appear for Summer Author Series

Minnesota novelist and short story writer Jim Heynen will speak at noon Monday at the Brainerd Public Library for the Brown Bag Lunch Summer Author Series. He is the author of the novel "The Fall of Alice K." and several works of short prose, including "The One-Room Schoolhouse: Stories about the Boys," "Boys House: New & Selected Stories," "Fishing for Chickens: Short Stories about Rural Youth" and "The Man Who Kept Cigars in his Hat."

Heynen will discuss his latest work, "Ordinary Sins," a collection of "short shorts," or what is often called "flash fiction," consisting of a page or two of character description or a sketch of a

moment in time from one character's perspective. Heynen's works are available for loan from

the library.

All author series presentations are at noon at the Brainerd Public Library, and attendees are welcome to bring a packed lunch while listening to the authors talk about their work and their writing experiences.

These presentations are sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library, and are free of charge to the public. For more information on any of the events, visit the library's Facebook page at or contact the library at 218-829-5574.

What To Read Next
Live music in the Brainerd lakes area.
This calendar lists book or author events, auditions for theatrical productions, art, craft or food fairs and other unique entertainment events.
This week's feature read is "The Paris Apartment" by Lucy Foley.
This calendar lists theatrical productions and other unique entertainment events.