by Dennis Dalman
A virtual kaleidoscope of arts, crafts and music will dazzle visitors when the Sartell Music Association hosts its second annual Pine Groove Arts Festival from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at Sartell Middle School.
All proceeds will go to the SMA for musical-education programs for Sartell schools.
The event is free and open to one and all. A second part of Pine Groove will take place that evening, from 6:30-10 p.m. It will be a music-and-dance concert at Grands at Mulligan’s event center in Sartell, featuring Andrew Walesch and His Big Band. Walesch played last year at the Pine Groove celebration, to resounding acclaim from the dancers and listeners. For tickets to the dance, go to www.sartellmusic.org.
At the arts-and-crafts fair, visitors will have a chance to peruse nearly 40 vendors offering such hand-crafted items as fused-glass designs, wooden bowls, oil-cloth bags, jewelry, clothing, handmade soaps, log furniture and more.
The day will be filled with music, including performances by the Cantabile Girls Choir, Bethlehem Orchestra, the Suzuki Orchestra, Paul Imholte, the Central Minnesota Youth Chorale, the Sartell Music Faculty Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, the Sartell Municipal Band, choirs from Sartell’s high school and middle school and three jazz bands from the Sartell-St. Stephen School District.
Theater characters will also make appearances at Pine Groove, including cast members from St. Cloud GREAT Theater’s productions of Tarzan, the Addam’s Family, 9 to 5 and The Grizzlies. Other cast members will also make appearances from the upcoming Sartell Middle School production of Into the Woods.
At 2 p.m., the Jah People, a Twin Cities-based band that delivers an upbeat blend of reggae, funk and hip-hop, will perform.
“Like last year, we want to bring arts to the community and show support for our Sartell schools’ music programs,” said Maureen Putnam, president of the Sartell Music Association.
The Sartell-St. Stephen School District, she added, has been strong in its unwavering support for music in the schools, unlike some school districts that cut music funding because of tight budgets.
In just the past two years, the school district hired music faculty that include: Rachel Tisdale, a graduate of Concordia College who is director of the fifth- and sixth-grade orchestra programs; and Margaret Burke, a St. Olaf graduate, who is director of the middle school’s chorale program. Other music faculty members, all quite new, are David Lumley, the band director, who is now in his third year; and Brandon Nordhues and Brennan Michaels, co-directors of the high school’s chorale program.