Finally, warm enough to open my window, it’s thrilling to hear the trilling of the wren. That small dynamo may be nothing special to the eye but, oh, to the ear, it is a bountiful purveyor of song.
Unlike the gorgeous Oriole’s short poignant melody, which continues to inspire my piano compositions, the wren has a long, dazzling sequence that utterly intrigues and eludes me. Fascinating too is the variety of language not only in different families but also within a single bird.
The singular voice in human terms is nowhere more evident than in poetry. And in the arts it is the unique alongside the universal that preserves awareness of an enchanting depth to life.
With dedication to promoting poetry among the young in the our area the River Falls Community Arts Base is entering a third year of “Poetry on the River,” a summer intensive offered to youth 12-14 in cooperation with the River Falls Parks and Recreation Department and the Wisconsin Humanities Council.
Sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, July 14-18. A wonderful collection of instructors includes Thea Ennen, Elise Gregory, Bryan Mulrooney, Ken Olson, Thomas R. Smith and John Wheeler.
The opportunity is only $20 and scholarships are available as needed. CAB requests registrations by Saturday, June 14 (note this is a correction of a previously published deadline).
Call Mulrooney at 715-222-1321, Sue Beckham at 425-7143 or Gregory at 273-4006.
A friend of mine, a singer and poet, points out that many of Emily Dickenson’s poems can be sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” That goes to show the interconnection between art forms and leads me to marvel at the array of local musical offerings this summer.
The calendar below will give you a heads up on some of these. But, as a prelude to the calendar, here’s Dickenson’s poem “Hope” to inspire a poetic, musical frame of mind:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb of me
Here are some events and opportunities in our region:Ongoing through Sunday, June 1: Gallery show at The Phipps Center for the Arts, featuring the work of Frank and Pamela Gaard, Teresa Cox, Susan Feigenbaum, Ken Olson and Sue Rowe.Ongoing through Friday, June 20: The paintings and journal drawings of Cate Whittemore at the Anderson Center, five miles north of downtown Red Wing, Minn., on Hwy. 61. More information at ww.andersoncenter.orgThursday, Friday and Saturday, May 15-17 at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18 at 2 p.m., The Phipps Children’s Theater presents “Tuck Everlasting” from the award-winning book by Natalie Babbitt; adults $11, children $9; reserve tickets at 386-8409 or www.thephipps.org.Friday, May 16, 7-8 p.m.: Sue West presents a live musical performance of her original folk songs, to be recorded for her next CD, “The Soil and the Stream.” She’ll be joined by Peggy Gantt and Kyle Bonderson at Hot Spot Coffee Shop, 114 S. Main St., (715-629-7101); free and open to the publicThe following performances, events and receptions will take place at The Space for Creativity, 156 High St., New Richmond. More information at www.thespaceforcreativity.com or 715-246-3180.Friday, May 16, 6-10 p.m. and Saturday, May 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: The Green Thumbelina Garden Club and ArtWeb Visual Arts Guild present “A Small Standard Flower Show,” floral and art compositions.Friday, May 23, 8 p.m.: An Evening with Band Kids UniteFriday, May 30, 8 p.m.: Paul Christian, $5Saturday, May 17, 9 p.m.: Miss River Falls of 1997 and 1998 River Falls High School graduate, Shalo Mrozek, will sing at Axel’s Bonfire restaurant, 1424 Weir Drive, Woodbury, Minn. Mrozek has performed with Lyle Lovett and Emmy Lou Harris, on cruise ships, at Ground Zero in New York City, in the Midwest and is now writing a solo album and performing with the Rhythm Junkies as well as Shalo Lee and the Guitar Daddies. More information at www.rhythm-junkies.com.Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18: May Fair in Afton, Minn.; more information at 651-436-8883 or www.aftonhouseinn.com.Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 28th annual Rivertown Art Festival in Lowell Park, Stillwater, Minn.; more information at 651-430-2306 or at www.rivertownartfestival.com.Sunday, May 18, 3 p.m.: Mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle and organist/pianist Luke Foster in a recital of sacred songs, UW-River Falls Abbott Concert Hall, Kleinpell Fine Arts Building; free and open to the public; for more information call Dr. Roger McVey at 425-3389.Sunday, May 18, 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 1, 7 p.m.: The Upper Mississippi Jazz Band concert at The Phipps; tickets $22; reservations call 386-8409 or www.thephipps.org.Sunday, May 18, 1-4 p.m.: Red Wing Pottery Road Show at the Red Wing Pottery Museum, 2nd floor of the Pottery Place, 2000 Old W. Main St., Red Wing, Minn.Saturday, May 24, 9 a.m. to noon: A Walk With Thoreau, led by writer, Dan Dietrich and naturalist, Bruce Ause. Includes brunch and a walking tour at the Anderson Center, Red Wing, Minn.; more information at 651-388-2009.Check the musical performances and open mike schedules at the Hot Spot, Kinni Coffee and Lounge and Shooter’s Bar, all in downtown River Falls.The following events are at the River Falls Public Library, 425-0905:Continuing through Saturday, May 31: All School Art Show includes nearly 400 pieces of artwork by River Falls K-12 students. At 10 a.m. weekdays and then during regular library hours.Thursday, May 15, 7 p.m.: Silent Spring, the Next Generation, sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Inter-state Sierra Club and the RFPL, this Endangered Species Day event focuses on the threat to song birds and features speaker Mark Peterson, executive director of the Minnesota Audubon Society.Sunday, May 18, 1-5 p.m.: Parade Sculpture Teacher Training, free workshop, led by Chris Lutter of Puppet Farm Arts, designed to teach those who will be running work groups making giant parade puppets, props or costumes for either The Phipps’ 25th Anniversary Parade on July 19 or River Falls Days Parade on July 11, or both. Class size limited so register early. Call or e-mail Anastasia Shartin to register, email@example.com or 386-2305 or call Katie Chaffee at 425-0905Tuesday, May 20, 7 p.m.: Library Book Discussion Group; Nancy Miller leads the discussion of “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. All welcome.Tuesday, May 27, 4 p.m.: Teen Book Discussion; this month’s selection is “The Betrayed” by P.C. Cast; Talk to Children’s Librarian Susan Pesheck to get a free copy of the book for the month.Tuesday, May 27: Registration begins for Summer Library Program, “Catch the Reading Bug.”The following concerts will be outdoors from 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, at the UW-RF Amphitheater; food and ice cream available for purchase. Rain Site: Falcon’s Nest Entertainment Complex, University Center:June 10: Chris Silver Band (Jamband/Rock/Bluegrass) June 17: Tropical Breeze Band (Steel Drum Band) June 24: Roster McCabe (Reggae/Rock/Funk)July 1: Kids From Wisconsin (Show Choir) July 8: Sepia Tone (Jazzy Jamband) July 15: Tommy Bentz Band (Rock and Roll) July 22: Trampled by Turtles (Nontraditional Bluegrass: Newgrass). Music in the Park presented by CAB will feature different performers in concert on Fridays, 7-9 p.m., June through August in Veterans Park, downtown River Falls. Check future columns for details.Mark your calendar now for:Summer Celebration of the Arts on Saturday, July 12, noon to 7 p.m. at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minn.The Phipps’ 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday, July 19; details in future columns.UW-RF’s Dr. David Milne is making arrangements to take a group of music students and interested community members to the 5th Taipei International Summer Jazz Academy Workshop in Taiwan, Sunday through Saturday, July 20-26; hosted at UW-RF sister school in Taiwan, Shih Chien University (USC); http://www.taipeijazz.com/; workshop is organized by the violin and piano jazz duo Chipin Hsieh and Kaiya Chang, faculty at the USC Music Department. Applications due Friday, May 30; more information at 425- 3940 or 425-3183.UW-RF Pigeon Lake art classes - Summer 2008; Applications available at 172 KFA/410 S. Third St./River Falls, WI/54022-5001 or by calling 425-3266.Sue West is organizing the first Martell Rainbow Trout Folk Festival-2008, featuring live music by local artists. If you’d like to help call or e-mail West at 715-684-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about CAB events, memberships, corporate sponsorships and the Veterans Park Sculpture Project, write to RF CAB/439 W. Maple St./Ste. 109/River Falls, WI/54022; call 425-7645, ext. 2109, or go to www.riverfallscab.org.
For information about regional offerings listed by the member organizations of What We Need is Here, e-mail Anastasia Shartin at ashartin@ThePhipps.org.
For more comprehensive arts information go to www.whatsplaying.info or call 1-800-323-4984 to speak with someone on the editorial staff.
The magazine “What’s Playing” is available at some establishments and newsstands in our area.
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