The upcoming performing arts season in the Dawson-Boyd area will bring in some big names that have been on National Public Radio.
The Dawson-Boyd Arts Association is kicking off its 2011-2012 performing arts season at the beginning of October, which includes 10 shows. All of the performances will be at Memorial Auditorium in Dawson.
Six of those 10 performances will have student concerts or workshops, said Luanne Fondell, performing arts director of the Dawson-Boyd Arts Association.
"This is the year for making opportunities for the artistic talents in this community," Fondell said.
What brings the season together, Fondell said, is the program committee. Members may see a certain artist perform in another community, receive information on a performer word-of-mouth or look online.
"We also have performers who contact us," Fondell said. "It's a nice way to bring in others who have done well in other communities."
Starting off the series is Nancy Harms at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 as part of the Upper Minnesota River Valley Arts Meander. Harms is a Clara City native, Fondell said, who once worked as a music teacher.
"We're very excited about Nancy Harms," Fondell said. "She's coming back from New York to do this concert."
A first for the performing arts series, Fondell said, is a film screening of "Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. The movie, which includes interviews of people from the Midwest, is part of a series by Swedish filmmaker Stefan Quinith.
"He's (Quinith) done two films and is in the midst of a third one," Fondell said.
Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, a four-piece ensemble, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. The group is described as playing "original and traditional bluegrass mixed with jazz and world/fusion elements."
"They are wonderful, they have lots of energy," Fondell said of the Minnesota-based Galactic Cowboys.
The series resumes in January with Billy McLaughlin and his Eclectric String Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20.
The Augustana College Orchestra from Sioux Falls, S.D. will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29.
National award-winning storyteller Kevin Kling and his musical partner Simone Perrin will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Perrin plays the accordion.
"They'll trade back and forth," Fondell said, Kling will tell a story and Perrin will play a song. Fondell said the two are charming and have a wonderful chemistry.
The Artaria String Quartet is returning to Dawson for four days, ending with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2. The Arts Association received a national grant from Chamber Music America to host the quartet, which will do a residency with local musicians as well, Fondell said.
The project is called "Strings on the Move!" Fondell said, and will focus on strings playing unexpectedly throughout the community.
Twin Cities singer/songwriter Ann Reed, along with six other musicians and actresses will perform "Heroes: A Celebration of Women Who Changed History and Changed Our Lives" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23.
"This is a show written by Reed," Fondell said. When Reed wrote the song "Heroes," Fondell said, she realized young people have a hard time finding heroes other than movie actors or athletes. The names of 40 women are in the last two verses of the song. That was back in 1991. In 2007, Reed expanded the song into a mixed-media experience with musicians and Twin Cities actresses performing monologues and dialogues throughout the show.
As "Heroes" tours around the state, a chorus or choir from the selected community can learn several songs from the show to sing with the cast. Fondell said it will be a great opportunity for local singers.
"We have a community that likes to sing," Fondell said.
A children's theater production of "Charlotte's Web" will be performed Saturday, April 14. Fondell said last year, the children's theater was so well-received that the Arts Association decided to bring back a matinee for the general public.
Both "Heroes" and "Charlotte's Web" are funded by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council, and are funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota state Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.
Rounding out the season is the tribute show "I Remember Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison," a rock 'n' roll nostalgic show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30, during Dawson's Riverfest celebration.
"We have a feeling that will be a well-received event also," Fondell said.
The Arts Association sells single tickets to its performances. For ticket information, call 320-769-2955, extension 246.