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Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

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.


Position Opening: Rice County Dollars and $ense seeks part-time coordinator

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The Rice County Dollars and $ense program seeks to increase the financial education of local youth who are low-income, students of color, and/or potential first-generation college attendees. Funded by a grant from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Dollars and $ense works with a diverse group of community organizations to achieve this aim through financial literacy workshops and assisting students with accessing financial aid resources.


Representing these diverse community organizations, the Dollars and $ense Partnership Team seeks a coordinator to help lead this project.

More details can be found HERE.

Application review begins on Monday, August 19, 2013.


Northfield authors write second children’s novel featuring homeschooled children

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For the 2.2 million (and counting) homeschooling families in the United States who have felt left out by existing fiction, they now have a series featuring kids like themselves: well-adjusted but individual, close to their families but learning to think for themselves, passionate about learning but ready for fun with their friends—some who are homeschooled, some who are not.

And Sometimes Y continues the adventures of the Howling Vowels of Sundog, Minnesota and stands as something brand-new for the authors: a full-scale mother-daughter writing collaboration. Leslie Schultz and her fourteen-year-old daughter, JJM Braulick, have each published prize-winning work separately. They teamed up to write this new middle-grade novel published by Do Life Right, Inc., (publisher of The Howling Vowels in 2011).And Sometimes Y follows the adventures of Alexa and her four best pals–three years after the conclusion of the first book. It also introduces a new human character and several memorable animal characters.


Awesome Club volunteers are Making a Difference

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St. Olaf College students who volunteered with the Awesome Club at Northfield High School (NHS) during the 2012-13 school year received the Healthy Community Initiative “Making a Difference” Award for July 2013. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

The Awesome Club was founded three years ago by a then-St. Olaf student, Natalie Davis, as a social skills club for high school students with autism. This year, about 16 high school students and about half a dozen college volunteers met weekly after school to play games and spend time together. Through the sale of lollipops, the group members raised money to buy T-shirts and have a bowling party.

“The friendships that are developed are the core of what makes this club so wonderful,” said NHS teacher Lisa Weis, the group’s adviser. “Many other things develop along the way – conversation skills, leadership roles, and greater understanding of each other and ourselves.”


Northfield Hospice Seeking Volunteers

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Northfield Hospice is excited to offer Hospice Volunteer Training to members of the Northfield and surrounding communities who are interested in becoming Hospice volunteers. This training and orientation is free and open to those who can commit to at least one year of volunteering, and are 18 years of age or older.

Hospice care is provided to terminally ill patients in and around the Northfield area, and focuses on comfort rather than curative measures. There are many types of Hospice volunteers needed: volunteers for patient and family support, fundraising and event planning, bereavement support, clerical task assistance, or special project help. We are also looking for volunteers who have a certified therapy dog to offer pet therapy visits to our patients.


Help Sarah and Nat Kickstart Two Creative Projects with Local Roots

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Nat Allister and Sarah Goldfeather were childhood friends. They graduated from Northfield High School in 2006 and both attended Vassar College, where Sarah studied music and Nat studied film and creative writing. After graduating from Vassar in 2010, the two friends went their separate ways—Sarah to Brooklyn, Nat to Asheville, North Carolina—but both pursued creative projects that have led to Kickstarter fundraising campaigns. Sarah is hoping to fund the recording of a CD of original music, and Nat is hoping to fund an elaborate and highly visual circus for the stage called Tarocco, which he wrote and plans to direct in January 2014.


"And Sometimes Y"

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Monday, July 22, 2013 marks the official publication date of And Sometimes Y, by local author Leslie Schultz and her daughter Julia Braulick. The book is a sequel to Schultz's 2011 book The Howling Vowels. Bonnie Jean Flom describes The Howling Vowels as "a poignant story of a gifted ten-year-old girl and her friends and family."  And Sometimes Y continues Alexa's adventures in fictional Sundog, Minnesota, and introduces memorable new characters.

It's been a creative year for Leslie and Julia, who were also among the winners of the 2013 sidewalk poetry competition. We'll let Leslie herself tell you about the new book in her latest blog post.


Northfield Healthy Community Initiative invites board nominations

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The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) is currently seeking nominations for positions on the HCI Board of Directors.  HCI expects to have at least two open adult board positions and one board position for a high school student, beginning in September 2013.  HCI board members serve three-year terms.

Formed in 1992, HCI is a coalition run by a board of community leaders, youth, parents, and school representatives.  HCI’s mission is to “to foster a collaborative environment in Northfield that empowers youth, strengthens families, and builds community.” To achieve this, HCI does not operate or manage its own programs.  Instead, HCI works with community partners to foster collaboration and to support community-driven efforts that benefit Northfield youth and families.

The HCI Board meets from 7:30-9:00 a.m. on the third Wednesday of every month.

For more information on the HCI board or to nominate yourself or someone else for the board, please contact HCI at 664-3524 or info@northfieldhci.org.  Nominations should be received by August 1, 2013.

To learn more about HCI, visit www.northfieldhci.org.


Local boxing instructors are Making a Difference

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Two former professional boxing instructors and their student assistant have received the Healthy Community Initiative’s  (HCI) “Making a Difference” Award for June 2013. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Gordon Marino, Charlie Meyers and Victoria Celano taught boxing to youth in grades 8-12 during the school year through the Northfield Area Family YMCA. During weekly after school sessions at the Northfield Armory, the young people learned to practice skills of self-discipline, concentration, and quick-thinking, while also improving their physical fitness.


Alberto Fierro, Cónsul de México, Visits Northfield

Northfield had a visit from Alberto Fierro Garza, the new Consul of Mexico in St. Paul, on Monday, June 24.  He has been in the St. Paul post for only a month and a half, and is eager to get to know people in his assigned region, which includes the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.  Mr. Fierro’s trip included a series of informal meetings  to acquaint himself with the people and the resources available to the Mexican community in Northfield.


Parenting Doesn't Go On Vacation in the Summer

Joan Janusz is a member of the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use

Parenting Doesn’t Go On Vacation

 

This is the message on the most recent postcard in a year-long series sent to families by the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use.  It is a reminder to parents and caregivers to be firm in setting rules that abide by the “curfew for minors” ordinance.  The latest that youth can be out without an adult is 10 p.m. if under 16 and 12:00 midnight if 16-18 years old.  Because of recent reports of vandalism and property damage, the Northfield Police Department will be strictly enforcing this ordinance. 


Watercolorist Kathy Miller to Exhibit, “Voyage of Discovery and Reflections"

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As a flower bud holds within it so much potential and in time springs forth a fragrant floral display, so too is an artist’s paintbrush as it touches the canvas with dreams of what will come to be.

Established watercolorist and recent recipient of the prestigious “Best of Show” award from the Minnesota Watercolor Society’s Juried Spring Show, Kathy Miller will present her paintings in a new exhibit titled, “A Voyage of Discovery and Reflections” at the Northfield Arts Guild, June 12-July 21. An opening reception will be held on June 14 from 7 to 9 pm.

The artist, known for her sensory style that draws the viewer in with an alluring tactual appeal, depicts nature with curiosity and depth through her intricate study of light, reflections and shadows.  "It was a pleasure to award Kathy Miller's "White Peonies" Best of Show at the Minnesota Watercolor Society Spring Juried Exhibition,” said Megan Rye, the exhibit judge. “It is a well-established tradition to paint flowers, especially in the medium of watercolor.  Kathy's approach honors this tradition, but also springs forth with dazzling life, and a relevancy that is freshly observed. "White Peonies" grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go.”


Tree dedication in honor of Dan Freeman

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The late Dan Freeman, commonly known around town as “Mr. Northfield,” will have a tree dedicated in his memory Friday, May 24, at 5 p.m. on Bridge Square. Freeman died earlier this month after a long illness. The public is invited to attend.

The tree, a New Harmony elm, was donated by Knecht’s Nursery and Landscaping in Northfield. Owners Leif and Deb Knecht picked the tree because, says Leif, “When I think of Dan Freeman, I think of Dan as a goodwill ambassador for Northfield. Goodwill is like harmony, and that’s why we picked that tree.” He adds that the tree will be resistant to Dutch Elm disease and will grow quickly. “It will be a long-term reminder of the goodwill Dan always tried to bring to our community.”

A plaque, donated by the Defeat of Jesse James Days Committee and the Northfield Historical Society, will read “Dan Freeman, ‘Mr. Northfield,’ 2013.”


After-school sewing club volunteers are Making a Difference

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Three local women who led an after-school sewing group at Northfield Middle School have received the Healthy Community Initiative “Making a Difference” Award for May 2013. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Joyce Schlossin started the group and recruited Beth Endert and Emily Schmitz to assist her. Over a 12-week period, they taught a group of about a dozen girls to make items such as scarves, mittens, headbands, placemats, potholders, pillows and cell phone holders.

“They were pleased – they couldn’t believe they could do it,” Endert said. “We’re already getting ideas for next time.”

Susan Sanderson, coordinator of the middle school TORCH program, said the women also taught the girls about the economics of sewing, how to save money and make the most out of every scrap of fabric.

“Joyce and her partners have great energy, and we are so fortunate to have them sharing their skills and love of sewing,” Sanderson said.

- Written by Joy Riggs, HCI Board member and freelance journalist

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The Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield News present the Making a Difference Award cooperatively. If you know an individual or group that you would like to nominate for this award, click HERE for nomination guidelines and the easy-to-complete application or find HCI on Facebook.  Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and are selected by a review team of HCI board members and local youth.


St. Olaf College recognizes 20 retiring employees

St. Olaf retirees 2013

This year's group of retiring St. Olaf College faculty and staff includes (front row, l–r, including year hired in parentheses): Phyllis Larson '69 (1993), Dean of the College's Office and Asian Studies; David Schodt (1977), Economics; Jill Ewald '87 (1998), Art and Art History; and Ruth Block (2006), Bookstore. Back row: Alan Norton (1996), Treasurer's Office; Bob Jacobel (1976), Physics; Kathy Schuurman (1999), Alumni and Parent Relations; Susan Jorgensen (1985), World Languages Center; Duane Schlobohm (1985), Facilities; Diane Thompson (1990), Facilities; Wendell Thompson (1990), Facilities; Cathy Draves (1984), Facilities; and — not retiring — President David R. Anderson '74.


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