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Bridge Chamber Music Festival - Jazz Concert II, featuring Snowblind with David Hagedorn

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The Bridge Chamber Music Festival's jazz series continues on Monday August 26, with a performance by the Twin Cities - based band “Snowblind.” This concert will be held at 7:30 pm in the Northfield Middle School Auditorium. Snowblind will also feature Northfield’s own David Hagedorn on vibes.

“For this particular concert, we will be performing the music of acclaimed bassist Dave Holland who leads his own quintet, sextet, octet, and big band,” said Reid Kennedy, Snowblind’s drummer.  "Holland performed with Miles Davis, Kenny Wheeler, Chick Corea, and countless other jazz greats,” he added. “His groups often include vibraphone, which is why we wasted no time in contacting Dave Hagedorn to join us in this project.  He has a strong understanding of Holland's music, and it gives us a rare opportunity to perform with a chordal instrument,” said Kennedy.

The group Snowblind, part of the Twin Cities jazz community, has been together for over seven years. Reid Kennedy said they know David Hagedorn through his work at St. Olaf and as a mainstay in the jazz scene in the Cities.  “He was a guest soloist with the U of M Jazz Ensemble when some of us were in school, and we've been in touch ever since.  We have also performed with him in other bands including Pete Whitman's X-tet,” Kennedy commented.

“We’re able to witness some history in jazz as it progressed from its classical roots into the second half of the 20th century,” Artistic Director David Carter added, speaking of the Festival’s two jazz concerts: the first featuring Laura Caviani, who played classical jazz renditions from the 20s and 30s, and next on tap Snowblind, performing fluid, free form group improvisations, by Dave Holland, the English-born progressive jazz composer.


Young Artist Recital: Bridge Chamber Music Festival's Sunday Concert

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Sunday, August 25th brings the Young Artist Recital, featuring performers from the area in chamber and solo settings. This concert will be held at 2 p.m. in Studio A of Skifter Hall on the St. Olaf campus. Admission is free.

"Serving the musicians and music-lovers of the future has been an important goal of the Bridge Chamber Music Festival since its inception. We feel that gaining experience in music helps young people in developing fine motor coordination, patience and perseverance, and self-confidence,” said the Bridge Chamber Music Festival's Artistic Director David Carter. “The Festival provides young musicians with performance opportunities, with the assistance of funding through Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.”

“The beauty of this concert is seeing so many different ages and so many people involved in music at an actually quite advanced level and to have them all enjoy being there together. They appreciate music, and we’re thankful for those involved,” said Charles Gray, Professor of Music (Viola) at St. Olaf College. “Most of the families represented are deeply committed to advancing the fine arts in Northfield,” added Gray.


The Bridge Chamber Music Festival Adds Jazz

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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.


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. 


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