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Shaun Johnson + The Big Band Experience

Sunday, September 22, 2024
Time:  4:00pm
Ticket Prices:  Adult - $30, Senior - $25, Student - $5

Shaun Johnson, an Emmy-winning singer/songwriter, seemed destined for a life of music from the very beginning.  Originally from the small town of Saint Joseph, Iowa, Shaun attended Saint John’s University before settling in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he began his career with the nationally known vocal group, Tonic Sol-fa. This quartet has sold nearly two million albums independently and has been featured in Newsweek and the Today Show. Shaun is still an active member.

In 2018, Shaun put together a group featuring some of the best instrumentalists and arrangers in the Midwest -- guys who’ve toured with numerous luminaries, who are Music Educators of the Year, and who are integral members of the collegiate jazz faculties. His vision was to create a contemporary Jazz Pop sound, honoring legends like Frank Sinatra, with a nod to Michael Bublé and Lake Street Dive, while giving the music his own twist - performing songs ranging from the “Spiderman Theme” to increasingly popular works.

Mahtomedi Public Schools Music Faculty Concert

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Sunday, October 27, 2024
Time:  3:00 pm
Ticket Prices:  Adult - $25, Senior - $20, Student - $5

Experience the brilliance of the Mahtomedi Public Schools Music Faculty, as they present a musical potpourri of selections from stage, screen, and folk traditions. This talented group will enchant you with a variety of melodies, harmonies, and a fusion of classical and contemporary compositions.

Proceeds from this concert will be used to purchase instructional materials for the music classrooms at Mahtomedi Public Schools.

We are excited to offer this opportunity to showcase our talented music faculty which also helps raise funds for the music programs at our schools.

The Young and the Rest…

Sunday, January 25, 2025
Time:  7:00 pm
Ticket Prices:  Adult - $35, Senior - $30, Student - $5

A tribute to Neil Young and the rest of your favorite acoustic acts from the 70’s!

This production is all about women bringing new life to music made famous by men. It’s a girl-powered reboot of acoustic hits and deep tracks by Neil Young, CSN, America, The Eagles and more.

Familiar songs shimmer anew under the spell of siren-voices Carin Vagle, Karen Paurus and Amy Courts. Celtic twist added by internationally renowned wind-powered artist, Laura MacKenzie. Acoustic guitar by Billy McLaughlin with Dan Ristrom (bass), Patrick Nelson (drums), Nathan Wilson (fiddle/mandolin) and Lisa Z (keyboards).

White Bear Press – Dream coming true for late artistic director

A dying wish of the Wildwood Artist Series (WAS) founder was to include a children’s concert as part of the organization’s repertoire. Two days before she died last April, Ellie Bruner learned her dream would come true.

Three years in the making, the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra will perform the iconic children’s tale “Peter and the Wolf” as part of the Wildwood series at the Chautauqua Fine Arts Center in Mahtomedi. It was the orchestra’s bassoonist, Ellen Maas, who delivered the happy news last spring to her good friend Bruner, who was in hospice care at her Grant home.

A longtime member of the Kenwood symphony, Maas met Bruner in 2007 when she joined the St. Paul Garden Club. Bruner was president, one of many leadership roles the active volunteer held in groups involving gardening and music.

“Ellie was such an inspiring person,” said Maas, who lives in Birchwood. “She founded WAS more than 30 years ago and oversaw its development into an impressive concert series featuring everything from jazz, blues, classical, country and choral. She was a classically trained opera singer and led the Ravinia children’s summer music program in Chicago before moving to Minnesota in the ’50s. It was always her dream to include a children’s concert.”

It was Bruner who chose “Peter and the Wolf,” shared Maas, adding, “There is no better piece to introduce children to orchestra.”

Through the two women’s collaboration, a contract was signed and ready to bring the performance to Chautauqua when the pandemic hit. WAS shut down for two years. The third year, schedules did not align, recalled Maas. “Then last year, we locked in on a possible date. Unfortunately, Ellie was diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable liver cancer. We continued to work on things while she was in hospice and she introduced me to her successor, Julie Molitor. The two of us fast-tracked a contract through.”

When the schedule was finalized, Maas drove to Bruner’s house to share the news the terminally ill woman had been waiting four years to hear. “I held her hand and told her the concert was set to go. She opened her eyes and whispered, ‘thank you, thank you,’ smiled, and went back to sleep.”

Two days later, Bruner passed away. She was 83.

The concert will be dedicated to the WAS founder for her dedication to the nonprofit organization, which started as a committee of the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation (MAEF). Its mission then and now: to provide diverse, family-friendly events, encourage an appreciation of the fine arts, and support music education and artist residency experiences in Mahtomedi public schools.

“Peter and the Wolf” has been taught as part of the Wildwood Elementary school music curriculum for years, Molitor said. “The kids study the music and themes of Peter and the wolf in conjunction with learning about instruments of the orchestra. This is the first time students will be seeing it live, and is another great example where Ellie was working behind the scenes to bring new and quality performances to our community. I’m sure that Ellie believed this would be a fantastic opportunity to encourage families to enjoy the live show together.

“I tell my kids that the sciences help make life easier, but the arts make life more joyful.”

Molitor, who lives in Birchwood, was tapped by MAEF Executive Director Suzanne Anderson to be the next WAS president when she learned Bruner was thinking about retiring in 2022.

“Suzanne knew my youngest child was graduating and that I was a performing arts supporter,” Molitor said. “At first, I was hesitant, since I don’t have experience in putting on music productions, but with some nudging and then joining the committee as recording secretary, I saw there is a dedicated group of volunteers, including music faculty members, a graphic designer, a website administrator and other community members, willing to do the heavy lifting required to keep Ellie’s vision going. We are also strongly supported by MAEF.

“What separates Wildwood Artist Series from other performance offerings in the area is that we partner with and financially support music programs and additional music experiences at our schools, including the program named in Ellie’s honor, the Ellen C. Bruner Professional Performing Artist Residency Program,” continued Molitor. “This is a very important part of what WAS is all about.”

Bruner’s successor said she’s grateful to play a part in continuing the founder’s vision for the future.

“Ellie was a blessing to our community in so many ways,” Molitor said. “The Jan. 27 concert is really the last one that Ellie envisioned and made happen, so it’s great that her son, Rick Bruner, will be there to perform a couple of songs in her honor.”

Rick, a musician who lives in Los Angeles, is an ’86 graduate of Mahtomedi High School and one of Ellie and Phil Bruner’s three children.

“I think Ellie would be very pleased that so far this season we have reached over 400 students at concerts and school events, with two more concerts, plus a resident artist who will be at the high school this year,” Molitor said. “Over the past 30 years, there have been over 42,000 joyful experiences (of all ages) that wouldn’t have happened without Ellie’s leadership.”

DAN and BILL CHOUINARD Sing-along at the Dugout

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Date:  Monday, February 26, 2024
Time:  7:00pm to 9:00pm
Tickets:  $15 (12 yrs or under free with adult)
Location:  The Dugout in Mahtomedi
96 Mahtomedi Ave, Mahtomedi, MN
Cash bar/food purchase will be available.

The Sing-along is a fundraiser for the Wildwood Artist Series of Mahtomedi.  Proceeds benefit programs supported by WAS such as the WAS Community Concert Series and the Ellen C. Bruner Professional Performing Artist Residency Program.

Twin Cities song leader extraordinaire Dan Chouinard and St. Andrew’s own Bill Chouinard will entertain and delight the audience with fun and familiar Sing-Along songs for the crowd. Bring a friend or family member for a night of singing and fun!

Cash bar/food purchase will be available. Purchase tickets here online or at the door that evening.

Thank you for your support!

The President’s Own United States Marine Band

Monday, October 9, 2023
SOLD OUT
Location:
St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church
900 Stillwater Road
Mahtomedi, MN 55115

FREE, important details below

This event is not part of the Series

Ticket Information

Please read the following IMPORTANT ticketing and entrance information carefully

•  Tickets for this event are free and limited to four per order.

•  Orders may be placed through Ticketleap via the USMC Band website.

•  This link will go live on Friday, September 8th, 2023.

•  Tickets will NOT be available through the Wildwood Artist Series or St Andrew's Lutheran Church

•  Doors to St Andrew's Lutheran Church Sanctuary will open for general admission seating to ticketholders at 7:00pm.

•  At 7:15pm tickets are void. All remaining seats become available on a first come, first served basis.

•  Large bags are not permitted inside the venue at any time.

The United States Marine Band will perform at
St Andrew's Lutheran Church
900 Stillwater Rd
Mahtomedi, MN 55115

An Extra Special Event: The USMC Band

The Wildwood Artist Series is thrilled to announce that, along with St Andrew's Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, MN, we will be sponsoring a patriotic and awe-inspiring performance by

The United States Marine Corps Band!

The USMC Band is renowned worldwide for exceptional musical talent and unwavering dedication to serving the country through music. Prepare to be moved by stirring renditions of American classics, patriotic anthems, and heartwarming melodies that celebrate the spirit of unity and honor.

For many, seeing “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band play on tour is a beloved memory shared across generations since 1891.

SPONSORS

Kramer Berg 507, American Legion

Thank you to Kramer Berg 507, American Legion in Mahtomedi for its generous contribution to help sponsor The President’s Own United States Marine Band performing at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on October 9, 2023.

American Legion Hugo Post 630

Thank you to American Legion Hugo Post 620 for its generous contribution to help sponsor The President’s Own United States Marine Band performing at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on October 9, 2023.

American Legion Post 225, Forest Lake

Thank you to American Legion Post 225 in Forest Lake for its generous contribution to help sponsor The President’s Own United States Marine Band performing at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on October 9, 2023.

John McCutcheon

Sunday, September 17, 2023
4:00 p.m.
Adult - $30, Senior - $25, Student - $5

ABOUT JOHN MCCUTCHEON

“John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.”— Pete Seeger

“The most impressive instrumentalist I’ve ever heard.”— Johnny Cash

“He has an uncanny ability to breathe new life into the familiar. His storytelling has the richness of fine literature.”— Washington Post

“Calling John McCutcheon a ‘folksinger’ is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player.”— Dallas Morning News

No one remembers when the neighbors started calling the McCutcheons to complain about the loud singing from young John’s bedroom. It didn’t seem to do much good, though. For, after a shaky, lopsided battle between piano lessons and baseball (he was a mediocre pianist and an all-star catcher), he had “found his voice” thanks to a cheap mail-order guitar and a used book of chords.

From such inauspicious beginnings, John McCutcheon has emerged as one of our most respected and loved folksingers. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. His songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe. His thirty recordings have garnered every imaginable honor including seven Grammy nominations. He has produced over twenty albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works. His books and instructional materials have introduced budding players to the joys of their own musicality. And his commitment to grassroots political organizations has put him on the front lines of many of the issues important to communities and workers.

Even before graduating summa cum laude from Minnesota’s St. John’s University, this Wisconsin native literally “headed for the hills,” forgoing a college lecture hall for the classroom of the eastern Kentucky coal camps, union halls, country churches, and square dance halls. His apprenticeship to many of the legendary figures of Appalachian music imbedded a love of not only home-made music, but a sense of community and rootedness. The result is music...whether traditional or from his huge catalog of original songs...with the profound mark of place, family, and strength. It also created a storytelling style that has been compared to Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor.

The Washington Post described John as folk music’s “Rustic Renaissance Man,” a moniker flawed only by its understatement. “Calling John McCutcheon a ‘folksinger’ is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player...” (Dallas Morning News). Besides his usual circuit of major concert halls and theaters, John is equally at home in an elementary school auditorium, a festival stage or at a farm rally. He is a whirlwind of energy packing five lifetimes into one. In the past few years alone he has headlined over a dozen different festivals in North America (including repeated performances at the National Storytelling Festival), recorded an original composition for Virginia Public Television involving over 500 musicians, toured Australia for the sixth time, toured Chile in support of a women's health initiative, appeared in a Woody Guthrie tribute concert in New York City, gave a featured concert at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, taught performance art skills at a North Carolina college, given symphony pops concerts across America, served as President of the fastest-growing Local in the Musicians Union and performed a special concert at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This is all in his “spare time.” His “real job,” he's quick to point out, is father to two grown sons.

But it is in live performance that John feels most at home. It is what has brought his music into the lives and homes of one of the broadest audiences any folk musician has ever enjoyed. People of every generation and background seem to feel at home in a concert hall when John McCutcheon takes the stage, with what critics describe as “little feats of magic,” “breathtaking in their ease and grace...,” and “like a conversation with an illuminating old friend.”

Whether in print, on record, or on stage, few people communicate with the versatility, charm, wit or pure talent of John McCutcheon. For more on John, visit his website at folkmusic.com.

SHAPESHIFT Dance

Saturday, October 7, 2023
7:00 p.m.
Adult - $30, Senior - $25, Student - $5

SHAPESHIFT Dance - Sharing Powerful Stories Through Dance

We are thrilled to welcome SHAPESHIFT Dance, performing their show Be Your Own Superhero, which premiered at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts to sold-out audiences.

Be Your Own Superhero illuminates the journey of 9 friends discovering what it takes to be heroes in their amazing community. Against the backdrop of a vibrant city, these close-knit friends encounter challenges that make them stronger and sympathetic to others. Together, they learn empowering life lessons of kindness; hard work takes effort and passion; being gentle with others and the earth leads to a healthier life and planet for all; and that they don't need to be superhuman, more powerful than the next person, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound to help save the planet. They just need to find the magic and power from within!

SHAPESHIFT Dance is a highly acclaimed hip-hop/contemporary dance collective that uses a fusion of dance styles to create powerful theatrical productions tackling issues of social justice, loss, love, and human emotions. SHAPESHIFT productions are beautifully told through interwoven vignettes that incorporate acting, dance, and a range of blended musical selections.

SHAPESHIFT loves their Minnesota community and they are driven to inspire others and to bring people together through powerful movement!

Be Your Own Superhero

Be Your Own Superhero illuminates the journey of 9 friends discovering what it takes to be heroes in their amazing  community. Against the backdrop of a vibrant city, these close-knit friends encounter challenges that make them stronger and sympathetic to others. Together, they learn empowering life lessons of kindness; hard work takes effort and passion; being gentle with others and the earth, leads to a healthier life and planet for all; and that they don't need to be superhuman, more powerful than the next person, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound to help save the planet. They just need to find the magic and power from within!

Watch the Be Your Own Superhero trailer for a sneak peek of this amazing show!

Mahtomedi Public Schools Music Faculty Concert

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Sunday, October 29, 2023
4:30 p.m.
Adult $25, Senior (60+) $20, Student $5

Experience the brilliance of the Mahtomedi Public Schools Music Faculty, as they present a musical potpourri of selections from stage, screen, and folk traditions. This talented group will enchant you with a variety of melodies, harmonies, and a fusion of classical and contemporary compositions.

Proceeds from this concert will be used to purchase instructional materials for the music classrooms at Mahtomedi Public Schools.

We are excited to offer this opportunity to showcase our talented music faculty which also helps raise funds for the music programs at our schools.

Kenwood Symphony Orchestra

presents Peter and the Wolf

Saturday, January 27, 2024
4:00 p.m.
Adult $25, Senior (62+) $20, Student $5

Join us as The Kenwood Symphony Orchestra brings to life Sergei Prokofiev's timeless musical tale, "Peter and the Wolf."  This beloved orchestral work is designed to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra.  It tells the enchanting story of Peter, a brave young boy, and his adventures in the forest, where he encounters a cast of memorable characters, each represented by a different instrument.

A unique and engaging experience for audiences of all ages!

Sponsor

Our thanks and appreciation to Red Luna Seasons Mexican Food for sponsoring today's show.