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.
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!
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.
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!
Experience the raw power of the human voice as talented vocal groups weave harmonies and rhythms together, delivering a performance that is both electrifying and moving. The showcase features A Cappella groups from Mahtomedi Public Schools, the community, local colleges, and universities.
Don’t miss a show that illustrates that singing can be a lifelong passion.
MAHTOMEDI — There are 16,819,200 minutes in 32 years, which also happens to be the same amount of time that Ellie Bruner has served as president of the Wildwood Artist Series (WAS).
“I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Bruner, who recently retired from her long-held position.
She will be honored for her years of service at the nonprofit arts organization’s next concert, featuring musician Peter Mayer on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Mahtomedi High School’s Chautauqua Fine Arts Center.
For the dedication ceremony that will also take place at the concert, the organization is gathering memories and notes of gratitude for Bruner’s work and invites community members to submit such statements by emailing [email protected].
Bruner was a founding member of the artist series, which started as a committee of the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation with an aim of bringing high-quality, family-appropriate arts events to the community. The organization also provides educational opportunities in the performing arts for students.
Brett Smith, a music teacher at O.H. Anderson Elementary School at the time, pitched the idea for the artist series; Bruner then was chosen to head it.
“It was the performing arts, the live performing arts, that were very important to our community,” Bruner said, adding that tickets for the Series’ first concert season sold out.
The concert series continued each year since and has brought performing artists from around the world to the Chautauqua Fine Arts stage. Some notable performers through the years that Bruner mentioned were Arlo Guthrie, the Okee Dokee Brothers, the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats, the U.S. Army Band, U.S. Marine Band and the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
WAS launched its Professional Performing Artist Residency Program in 2016, which paid artists to do extended residencies in the Mahtomedi Public Schools’ four buildings. In light of Bruner’s retirement, the program was recently renamed the Ellen C. Bruner Professional Performing Artist Residency Program.
During the residencies, artists give students first-hand learning experiences for their respective performing arts mediums. The residency program has exposed students to Swedish and American folk songs and dances, Black Gospel choral style and culture, musical and lyrical composition and more.
Bruner said with a chuckle that when she initially took on the role of WAS president in the early 1990s, she didn’t think at the time she’d hold the position for more than three decades.
The arts, however, have been an ever-present part of her life.
While Bruner was growing up in Montclair, New Jersey, her mother — who she said was “very artistic” — encouraged her and her brother to take music lessons
“We lived near the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She had a subscription to that and took me many, many times to the opera, to New York,” Bruner said. “I was exposed to the arts very early, mainly through my mom but also my dad played fiddle.”
She later studied music in college, including at graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. That’s where she met her husband, Phil, on a blind date. The couple married about a year and a half afterward in 1964. At the time, Bruner was teaching K-12 music at Roycemore School in Evanston, Illinois.
She and Phil later moved to Rome, New York, while Phil was serving in the U.S. Air Force. She earned her doctorate degree in the humanities from Syracuse University in the meantime.
The couple moved to Minnesota later in the 1960s and lived in Mahtomedi from 1968 to 1975. They currently reside in neighboring Grant.
Although Bruner thoroughly enjoyed her tenure as WAS president, she said there comes a time to hand the leadership reins to someone else. That someone else is Julie Molitor, who became the organization’s new president in January.
Molitor, who works full-time at 3M and lives in Birchwood, has attended WAS concerts through the years. She became secretary of the arts organization last May, with the intention being that Bruner would hand off the president position to Molitor this year.
Molitor expressed her gratitude to Bruner for her dedication to leading the organization for so many years and for the countless others who’ve helped make the artist series successful.
“There are just so many people behind the scenes, and there’s a fantastic committee that really puts a lot of time in to put these performances together and bring this great community asset to us,” Molitor said.
She looks forward to working with other artist series committee members, as well as music teachers in the school district who support the program, in bringing new acts and old favorites to the Chautauqua stage. Molitor also is eager to continue boosting the series’ presence in the community and on social media.
“The arts have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, and it’s been the slowest to recover,” she said.
“What I’m excited about is working with the team to get the word out more and get more people engaged and bringing performances and artists that maybe people didn’t even know existed, or introducing types of music to people that maybe they wouldn’t have gone to if they had to, say, drive to Minneapolis or something.”
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.
The Lake Wobegon Brass Band is comprised of 30 members, principally educators and professional musicians. The band dates back to September of 1992 and the musicians have played on Prairie Home Companion shows, in Northern England and Scotland, and for schools, conventions, and festivals nationally and internationally. They perform marches, show tunes, pieces from the classic brass band literature, and commissioned works.
Our talented music faculty delight in presenting a potpourri of musical selections from stage, screen, and folk traditions. Their aim is to raise funds for extra musical materials and experiences for their classes not covered by the school district, and for the Kelly Spaulding Scholarship Fund.