April arts scene has performances galorePublished 11:52am Thursday, March 29, 2012
Column: Eileen Nelson Ness, Eye on the Arts
April arts are alive in Albert Lea. April is filled with things to do, art to view and music to hear. There is something for everyone!
Even though we are looking at April events I would like to remind you of a special concert “Art & Soul” sponsored by the Art Center. The public is invited to join the Albert Lea Art Center on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. for an evening of music at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. This event, titled “Art & Soul,” features Three Wheels and A Flat, a five-member group of singers and musicians offering an eclectic mix of music with a unique blend of instruments and voices. With roots in church music all five members offer varied talents. Members of the group include Ruth Lawrence, singing lead and playing guitar; Darcy Netzer adding vocals and guitar; Dave Rambo singing and playing keyboard and mandolin; Rory Mattson playing guitar and banjo and singing backup; and Jamie Kyllo playing bass. Two talented local singers, Angie Johnston and Sonjia Hill, otherwise known as Johnston Hill, will open the performance. Refreshments and a silent auction of two hand-painted windows from the art center’s current exhibit, “Art as seen Through Doors and Windows,” will take place in the lobby prior to the concert. Tickets for this event are $12 and may be purchased at the Albert Lea Art Center, Addie’s Floral & Gift, and Ben’s Floral & Frame Designs.
On April 15, the Albert Lea Art Center presents “One Mission, Two Lives: The Art Collection of Dr. Thoburn and Marjorie Thompson.” The opening day reception will be from 1 to 3 p.m. The show runs from April 15 to May 26 at the art center. Toby and Marge Thompson of Albert Lea have spent years collecting art from all over the world, with an emphasis on South America. This show represents their years of service to Albert Lea and humanitarian causes.
The Godtland Lecture Series begins 7 p.m. April 19 at the Art Center with guest artist Terry Lemer on the art of stained-glass making. For additional information on any of these events, contact the Art Center at 507-373-5665.
The Lighthouse Event Center, 621 Marshall St., hosts a treasure sale, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 7. You can rent a table for $25 and sell your special treasures and collectibles.
At 7:30 p.m. April 21 there will be a concert by Billy McLaughlin and a mystery guest. Many of you have heard Billy before, and you will not be disappointed this time. He is recognized as an innovative performer and composer.
In 2001, Billy was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder called focal dystoni. He was told to quit music and look for another job, but feeling completely lost without his music and not willing to give up, he taught himself to play left-handed in his signature style. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more details, call 507-373-3144.
Just a reminder that the Albert Lea Community Band will begin rehearsals 7 p.m. April 10 at the Southwest Middle School band room. Rehearsals will continue into mid-May. The band is always looking for new members, so if you played in the past or in the present, why not dust off your old instrument and come and join the band! All are welcome to play in the band’s 30th season.
Be sure to attend the Albert Lea High School spring play on April 19-21. This year’s play is “The Foreigner” by Larry Shue. The performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door; $5 for students and $7 for adults.
The Freeborn County Historical Museum board of directors will host a special open house for the general public from 2 to 4 p.m. April 14. This will give members and nonmembers the opportunity to visit the museum, see the exhibits and ask questions regarding the building expansion and why it is needed now. The FCHS annual meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 15 at the museum. A dinner will be catered and you must RSVP for the meal. A donation will be requested. The business meeting will follow the meal. Contact the museum at 507-373-8003 for reservations.
The Albert Lea Cantori will present a spring concert celebrating the 40 anniversary at 3 p.m. April 29 at the United Methodist Church. This begins a year-long celebration for this group. Originally started in 1972 by Gene Janssen, this group continues to bring diverse and challenging vocal music to our community. This concert will feature a newly composed choral work that was commissioned by the Cantori to be sung at this concert.
Sebastian Modarelli, an Argentinean composer and organist who resides in Rochester, has written a wonderful composition for choir and organ. All former singers are invited to join the current Cantori in a joint “alumni choir.” There is no charge for this concert. The Cantori is directed by yours truly and the accompanist is Gail Thurnau.
So there you have it. We have a lot of events happening in Albert Lea. We look forward to seeing you!
Eileen Nelson Ness is the music director at the United Methodist Church, director of the Albert Lea Cantori and freelance musician in the Albert Lea area.