Events in and around Northfield

The Bridge Chamber Music Festival Adds Jazz


The Bridge Chamber Music Festival has been turning up the heat in the classical music scene this week, but new this season are some cool jazz performances to add to the musical soirée, the first of which is Friday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m. Pianist Laura Caviani will be performing at Carleton College’s Concert Hall, and on Monday, August 26th, the group Snowblind will chill things out to complete the jazz series as part of the week-long music festival.

“We're very excited to bring two jazz programs to our audiences this year,” said Artistic Director David Carter. “Laura Caviani is a wonderful jazz player, with a classical background to bring both worlds together in a unique way,” said Carter.

Bridging the gap between the two genres, Caviani has created a repertoire called “From Bach to Bop” that explores the artful musical compositions of jazz arrangements stemming from classical pieces. Caviani will be joined by David Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Bridge Chamber Music Festival - Concert ll

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As the second concert of the festival series unfolds, the Bridge Chamber Players take to the stage Thursday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m., at St. Olaf College in Urness Recital Hall.

Artist Director David Carter, who is also the Professor of Music (cello) at St. Olaf College, will be performing that evening along with colleagues and special guests for the highly anticipated chamber performance.

One of selected pieces is from composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904). It is widely known that this musician from Czechoslovakia spent some time in the United States as a director of a music school in New York City and for a few summers he frequented a small Czech community in Spillville, Iowa. “This American influence was infused in his music during that time period, and it’s fascinating to listen to,” said Carter. Although most composers of the time were traditionally in Europe,  Dvořák was writing amazing masterworks right here in our country like the New World Symphony and The American Quartet. “It’s really an important part of  Dvořák’s music and what he brought to the world -- this time he spent in America,” Carter added.

Q&A – The Parker Quartet

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Tuesday evening’s Bridge Chamber Music Festival performance will feature the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and takes place at St. Olaf College, Christiansen Hall of Music in Urness Recital Hall. Tickets are $5 at the door. 

The Parker Quartet consists of violinists Daniel Chong and Ying Xue, violist Jessica Bodner, and cellist Kee-hyun Kim.

This brief interview is with Daniel Chong, first violinist for the quartet.

Please share with us some insights into the world of chamber music. What is its appeal, intrigue and overall experience?

Chong: Chamber music is one of the most intimate sub-genres of western classical music.  Although the trio sonatas from the Baroque era can be considered the original impetus, chamber music today can consist of anywhere between two individuals to a fairly large ensemble with one individual to a part and usually no conductor.  This last aspect contributes to the intimacy and intensity of this type of music-making because it requires everyone on stage to be communicating with each other as true equals with individual personalities.  

The string quartet medium represents the crown jewel of chamber music.  Not only because of the extensiveness and richness of the repertoire, but more importantly, because the string quartet has a history of inspiring composers to write some of their most personal and daring compositions.  Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn and Schoenberg are only a few of the great composers who used the string quartet as a platform striving for incredible beauty, creativity, and depth.

What works will The Parker Quartet be performing on August 20th in Northfield and why have you chosen these specific pieces?

Chong: Tuesday night's program includes works of Mozart, Bartók, and Dvorák.  Mozart's K.428 quartet is the third of six quartets dedicated to Franz Joseph Haydn - widely regarded as the father of the string quartet and mentors to both Mozart and Beethoven.  Although he dashed off five of the six quartets with ease this one took a little time which is a bit ironic considering it is one of his most genial and good-natured works.  Bartók is a composer we love exploring.  His Quartet No.3 was written in 1927 and is his most compact and concentrated quartets.  Bartók was an ethnomusicologist in addition to being a composer so you can hear him implement a lot of folk music into his works.  Dvorák is at the heart of the Romantic period.  A Czech composer with a flair for joy, a sweetness for love, and most of all a composer who has an incredible ability to bring out the spirit of fun with wonderful creativity, his Quartet in C Major, Op.61 encompasses all of this and is a work that we have thoroughly enjoyed playing this season.

Parker Quartet to open for the Bridge Chamber Music Festival

Parker Quartet

The Bridge Chamber Music Festival opens with the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet on Tuesday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Christiansen Hall of Music at St. Olaf College.

“The Parker Quartet is truly one of the nation’s finest young string quartets,” said Bridge Chamber Music Festival’s Artistic Director David Carter. The quartet that performs around the world won a Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance, for their recording of Composer György Ligeti works, among other notable accolades. Most recently, they were Artist-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio and have partnered with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra along with universities in the Twin Cities area and across the United States.

“They are a very prestigious ensemble, and we are thrilled to have them a part of our festival here in Northfield,” said Carter. “They will perform three major works on August 20th. The Quartet in E-flat major by W. A. Mozart is from a set of six quartets that Mozart dedicated to his famous colleague and mentor Franz Joseph Haydn. This collection is a model of classical grace and elegance. 

Civil War Exhibit Opens at Northfield Historical Society

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“If war comes, I’m going!” exclaimed Halvor Quie after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. One-hundred-fifty years ago, young men from the Northfield area committed life and limb to a cause greater than themselves. The Civil War pitted Americans against each other in a war so brutal that the effects continue on to date – from our standing army and international rules of war to insidious regional stereotypes that continue to fester.

Bridge Chamber Music Festival announces its 15th season


The Bridge Chamber Music Festival is pleased to announce its 15th season of chamber music and related activities in Northfield, spanning August 20-27. The Festival is a proud recipient of an Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant, through funding from the Minnesota Legislature. 

The Festival begins on August 20th with a program featuring the Grammy Award winning Parker Quartet. The 7:30 pm concert, held in Urness Recital Hall in the Christiansen Hall of Music at St. Olaf College, features Mozart’s Quartet in E flat major, K.428,  Bartok’s Quartet #3 and Dvorak’s Quartet in C major Op. 61. The Parker Quartet’s international performing career and recent recording accolades make this concert one not to be missed.

The Festival continues on August 22nd, with a program featuring the Bridge Chamber Players and some special guests. This 7:30 pm concert features Brahms’ Horn Trio, Op. 40, with Herb Winslow, Principal Horn of the Minnesota Orchestra. Also on the program is Sanit-Saens’ Tarantella for Flute, Clarinet and Piano, and Dvorak’s String Quintet Op. 97, subtitled “American” for being composed in the United States. The concert will be in Urness Recital Hall on the St. Olaf College campus.

2013 Sidewalk Poetry Celebration

The Arts and Culture Commission of Northfield announces the 2013 Sidewalk  Poetry Celebration to begin at 7:00 p.m. on August 29, 2013. The event will bring poetry lovers and sidewalk poets together to hear the poems read aloud, to meet poets, and to hear music by Bonnie and the Clydes. Before or after the scheduled event, people can pick up walking tour maps of poems in the downtown area free of charge and see the poems set into the sidewalks.

In 2011, Northfield launched the annual Sidewalk Public Poetry Project. Since then, in two competitions, 27 poems by local poets who range in age from a fourth-grader through seniors have been selected to become a permanent part of the Northfield landscape. Each one of the winning poems, imprinted into the concrete of our city sidewalks is remarkable on its own; collectively, they offer a sense of the spirit of our community.

Full text of all poems (along with authors’ names) can be found at

Northfield Dog Days Art Howl


This is a call out to artists of all ilks – dance, theater, visual, literary – join us for a drink at the Contented Cow for The Northfield Dog Days Art Howl – Friday, Aug. 23, 8pm. No agenda, no check-in, just like-minded souls sharing a libation and a toast to a summer that is so quickly slipping away – and there's plenty to talk art about! See you then, 

Vintage Band Festival 2013 Photos

VBFBridgeSquare.jpg has an expanding set of photos from this year's Vintage Band Festival. The photoset can be found here on's Flickr page. If you have photos from the Vintage Band Festival you'd like to share, you can email them to us at Photos submitted to this address will automatically be added to the phtostream on Flickr, and we'll add them to the Vintage Band Festival photoset. Include the title of the photo in the subject heading. You can also find photos and other interesting Northfield-related posts on our Facebook page. Like us!

If you want more photos and video of the band festival, check out the daily coverage on Northfield Patch. Click "Read more" for bonus videos from this year's festival.

10th Annual Tour de SAVE: Ride for the Prevention of Suicide


Cyclists can still register for the 10th annual Tour de SAVE (formally known as the Tour de Nick) taking place Saturday, August 3. A bicycle ride in support of suicide education and prevention, cyclists of all ages can choose from one of three routes through Rice and Goodhue counties east of Northfield -- a 10-mile route perfect for the casual rider and families; a 20-mile route offering a longer distance; and a 50-mile route for the serious rider, with challenging hills and beautiful vistas.

Vintage Band Festival, Aug. 1-4

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The Vintage Band Festival is an exciting four-day international music event, celebrating the music and the instruments of past eras. Over 100 brass and wind band concerts will take place in Northfield and surrounding communities. Special events tied to the festival include: a historic instrument exhibit, vintage baseball game, cotillion ball, lunch, listen and learns, battle of the bands, massed concert, vaudeville show and special music during worship services at area churches. A complete festival schedule can be found here

Notable bands from around the US and abroad have come to perform. Several of the bands are dressed in 19th century clothing and some festival goers choose to do the same! Hear the distinct sounds of various cultures and musical traditions throughout the centuries. 

Festival events are presented free of charge, although VBF encourages donations to help with expenses. Printed programs are available at various locations throughout Northfield and cities in southern Minnesota. 

Vintage Band Festival's HQ are at 17 Bridge Square in Northfield (call 507.321-1250); Northfield CVB (call 507.645.5604)

Find the Vintage Band Festival on Facebook and also Twitter @vintagebandfest for up-to-date news. 

Summer Vegetables, Fresh Flowers, New Harvest Honey, Funky Glass, and lots of Brass Bands at Saturday’s Riverwalk Market Fair

Laura Heiman of Schoolhouse Apiary will have 2013 new harvest honey at Riverwalk Market Fair this Saturday.

Fresh summer flowers and vegetables, the first new honey of the season, funky glass, and a bounty of brass band music will be featured this Saturday, August 3 at Northfield’s Riverwalk Market Fair.  This weekend is the Vintage Band Festival, so on Saturday morning Riverwalk will be sharing Bridge Square with four great brass bands. 

Seasonal Produce From Local Farmers, Artisan Foods, Art and Fine Craft

Summer produce season is in full swing.  Expect to find fresh flowers, kale, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, onions, broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, hot peppers, bell peppers, cabbage, and eggs grown by local farmers.  News on the tomato watch: Farmers are likely to have cherry tomatoes and big slicing tomatoes could appear in another week if the weather is favorable.  Artisan foods include a variety of fresh-baked breads, pastries, tarts and quiches from Martha’s Eats and Treats, Crack of Dawn Artisan Breads, Rebecca’s Greek Kouzina, and Archibald Mills.  Maria’s Taco Hut serves freshly made and wholesome Mexican food.

Watercolors, photographs, handcrafted leather goods, ceramics, glass art, hand crafted accessories, and jewelry are among the art and fine crafts for sale.  (For a complete list of the vendors scheduled for this Saturday visit

Road to Recovery: A Fundraiser for Raghav


This Saturday, August 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Braemar Country Club in Edina.

Featuring an Italian luncheon provided by gourmet chef Antonnio Ceccioni, cash bar, and entertainment by acclaimed jazz, gospel and blues artist Debbie Duncan and her trio. There will also be a silent auction offering an amazing array of awesome items to bid on. Admission to this event is $25 per person (children under age 12 get 2-for-1 admissions). For complete details on the event, including a comprehensive listing of silent auction items, visit online at

Northfeld in the News: Vintage Band Festival 2013


The Vintage Band Festival has been garnering a lot of attention in the regional media, including a mention in the Chicago Tribune's list of Midwestern summer highlights. The festival begins on Thursday, August 1, and runs through Sunday, August 4, with concerts and events scheduled throughout Northfield and the surrounding area. Here's a digest of some of the recent press.

Joachim No-Till Soybean Field Day August 1st


On August 1st the public is welcome to join Gary and Georgia Joachim, the Steele Co. Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) for an informative field day highlighting the many benefits of no-till cropping systems.

The event will be held on Thursday August 1, 2013, 3:00 to 5:00 PM hosted by Gary and Georgia Joachim.  The field location is 1.5 miles east of the Havana Township Town Hall on Havana Road, Owatonna, MN.  Free and open to the public.  For more information contact the Joachims; 507-451-0626.

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