Archived Story

Civic music and civics class are not the same

Published 9:43am Monday, May 12, 2014

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf

I have never been a concert or civic music kind of gal. The type of music I like are folk music, rock ’n’ roll, some heavy metal, etc. I have never liked opera. For some reason I have always thought civic music was more operatic and somewhat boring. That was an assumption I made early on in my life, not changing my opinion until recently.

I must admit I didn’t pay too much attention to the ads about civic music. The word civic reminded me of school and civics class, and I wasn’t a history or government learning type of person. I was more the free and creative type. I think the word civic gave me an impression that brought back bad memories of my high school years.

Recently I was invited to a dinner for the Blue Earth Valley Concert Series. A friend invited me, and I love to eat. I did have to sit through a presentation of the 2014-2015 entertainment that was coming to my area. Usually when I heard someone talking about this series they called it civic music. I was happy to hear the words Blue Earth Valley Concert Series. I knew the night wasn’t going to be like my civics class.

You know what they say about assume. I was wrong about civic music. The music that the Blue Earth Valley Concert Association provides for entertainment, I will describe with what is probably an old term: awesome. I wanted to hear more. When I got home I visited the websites of all the entertainment that is coming to my area. I came away from the dinner knowing I am going to buy a ticket for the season. For $45.00 I can go to ten shows and laugh, tap my feet and experience a wide variety of music. It isn’t boring!  It would appeal to the young and the old.

The group I had dinner with represents Faribault County. It made me curious what Albert Lea offered. I decided to investigate. They too, and most of you probably know this, have a concert series. I visited the Albert Lea Civic Music page and got excited. It had had some outstanding entertainment in the past, and it will be exciting to see what they have for the 2014-2015 year. Again I will state that there is something for everyone, young and old also in Albert Lea.

Why is it that a name might change an opinion of what we think of a certain event? At least, that is what happens in my case. I would attend a church women’s group with a creative name because it might pique my interest. I found a few when I did a search of churches on the Internet. I would love to belong to GIGGLES (Girls In God Growing Loving Eating Sharing) or MOSAIC (Making Our Souls Alive in Christ).

Are there names you would not name your children because you know people that perhaps had a negative impact on your life and that name reminds you of them?

Checking out the Albert Lea Civic Music site, I also noted that the cost of tickets is very reasonable. The Blue Earth River Music Association is dedicated to bringing culture to southern Minnesota that is affordable and of excellent quality. It is apparent that the Albert Lea Civic Music Association is doing the same.

One of the problems in an area where we have an aging population is that it is challenge getting the word out to younger families and students that this wonderful entertainment is also something they might love. Perhaps a few of us could buy an extra ticket or two, student tickets are very affordable, and invite a younger person to be our guest. The concert series might introduce them to a world that they did not know was possible for them.

When my kids were younger we gave up vacations for tickets to the Broadway Series of Shows in the Twin Cities. We attended Broadway plays and musicals that would visit the Twin Cities. It instilled a lifelong love of theater for my children and they are now passing it down to their children.

I was wrong. Don’t tell my husband that I would ever admit to this. I have learned a valuable lesson. Look beyond the name the same way we look beyond the nothings that are being said, and investigate the something that the name introduces. It might lead to some very enjoyable changes in your life.

Civic music, I will remember that you are not my civics class.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at Her Facebook page is