■ BHS choirs and Chamber Orchestra to perform
The Brainerd High School (BHS) choirs will present a holiday concert at 7 p.m. Monday in Tornstrom Auditorium. The A Cappella, Bards, Concert Chorale and Windfall choirs will perform a variety of music for the holiday season. Familiar carols, favorite arrangements and concert classics will mark the program, including a number of pieces that will be sung with all the choirs combined together.
The concert will feature the BHS Chamber Orchestra as a special guest. The orchestra and A Cappella Choir will perform selections from Vivaldi’s Gloria in a special collaboration at the close of the concert.
Tickets are $6 for adult and $4 for students and are available at the door.
■ HSO invites youth concerto participants
Heartland Symphony Orchestra (HSO) invites young musicians from the Brainerd Lakes and Little Falls areas to participate in its 2013 Youth Concerto Auditions. The auditions are an opportunity for serious music students to prepare and perform a solo orchestral piece before adjudicators, and up to two students will be chosen to perform with the orchestra at its spring concert in April. In addition to performing in concert with the HSO, winners will receive a recording of their performance and be awarded a small music scholarship.
Dedicated young musicians through high school age are encouraged to participate in the areas of voice, piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments and must prepare a work from the standard concerto literature with orchestral accompaniment. Instrumentalists are asked to prepare one movement of a concerto or the equivalent. Vocalists should prepare two contrasting songs or arias.
The HSO’s Youth Concerto Competition is a tradition for young musicians, the orchestra and the audience. Auditions will take place the morning of Jan. 26, 2013, at St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls. The auditions are open to students living in HSO’s central Minnesota service area and there is no fee to participate.
Students, parents or music teachers who are interested may contact the HSO office for more information and registration materials. Participants must complete and submit an application. Contact the HSO office at 800-826-1997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form, rules and regulations. This activity is made possible in part by a grant awarded to the HSO by The Laura Jane Musser Fund.
■ Music General dancers join HSO audiences
Music General dancers performed during the Heartland Symphony Orchestra (HSO) winter concert series “Christmas Fantasy.” The dancers interpreted portions of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Christmas Eve Suite.” HSO performed Dec. 1 to a full house at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd
Along with the Music General Dancers, other concert highlights included a guest narrator, Bill Satre of 103.5 and B93.3 radio stations and a sing-along to Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” with Brainerd’s First Congregational United Church of Christ.
This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. For more information about HSO, call 800-826-1997 or visit www.heartlandsymphony.org.
■ Call for Artists in Aitkin
AITKIN — The ninth annual juried exhibition will be held from Jan. 4 through Feb. 16 at the Jaques Art Center in Aitkin. Cost is a $25 entry fee. The theme is “HOME SWEET HOME” and will be in 2D and 3D media. Nature theme preferred but not required. Any place a living thing makes it’s home is a prime subject for this exhibit.
Postmarked or emailed photos of entries due by Dec. 14. Delivery of art is no later than Dec. 22.
■ Book-signing event Sunday in Little Falls
LITTLE FALLS — Author Ren Holland of “The Early Resorts of Minnesota” will be the focus of a book signing event from 1-4 p.m. Sunday hosted by the Morrison County Historical Society at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls.
Holland will present a program related to the book and will sign copies for those in attendance. Books will be available for purchase at the event, which is free and open to the public.
Holland has a personal relationship with resorts in Minnesota. As a child, he and his siblings helped his parents run Holland’s Resort on Little Mantrap Lake on the south edge of Itasca State Park. He later worked at Blewett’s Resort on Island Lake and at Fuller’s Tackle Shop in Park Rapids.
Holland’s fascination with Minnesota’s lakes region led him to write two books on the topic: “The Edge of Itasca” and “The Early Resorts of Minnesota.” The latter book was published in late 2012 and is an indispensable guide to resorts around the state, arranged by region and time period. Holland provides an introductory chapter that gives the reader historical context for the rise in small resorts and tourism in Minnesota. The book is generously illustrated with vintage photos.
For more information, call 320-632-4007.
■ WDC names new theater after
‘47 alum and donor
WADENA — Wadena-Deer Creek (WDC) Schools is honoring one of its distinguished alumni and major donors by naming its new 109-seat theater in the middle/high school after him. The theater is being named in honor of Richard “Dick” Robertson, a 1947 Wadena High School graduate, who contributed $85,000 to the WDC Education Foundation in 2007.
WDC Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom said the naming is a “fitting tribute to Dick because it recognizes his exceptional achievements, his generous spirit and his commitment to WDC schools.”
The Robertson Theater is a multi-dimensional, handicapped-accessible auditorium that will accommodate performing arts, lectures and a variety of group activities and meetings. The 2,496-square-foot theater features a spacious stage, state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, LED lighting and comfortable theater seating with folding desktops. The stage features two video projectors and two 192-inch-by-108-inch video screens that provide widescreen HDTV format.
Robertson, 83, and his wife, Hadley, currently reside in the Philadelphia suburb of Gwynedd, Penn.
“My wife and I are pleased to have made a contribution to the Wadena-Deer Creek Education Foundation five years ago and honored to have an auditorium in the new school named after us,” Robertson said.
Payments from this gift to the foundation have been used to expand and enhance the school’s programs in the arts. The distribution of the money is made in perpetuity from interest earnings, so the contribution will never be depleted. As an endowment, only the interest earned is spent each year by the foundation. However, with a sum this size, the foundation has $4,500 to $5,000 per year to spend on the performing and creative arts.
Robertson said the decision to dedicate the donation to this part of the school’s operation is based on his and his wife’s agreement with the conclusion of experienced educators and experts in child development.
“They have concluded that response to the arts and participation in them broadens the scope of learning, stimulates creativity, provides amusement and excitement, improves interaction with others and enriches the lives of students in many ways as they grow to adulthood,” Robertson said.
During his high school years, Robertson immersed himself in the arts, excelled in all that he was involved in. The young Robertson served as editor of The Tomahawk, the student newspaper, and Indian Trails, the yearbook. He was an accomplished cornet and trumpet player in the high school concert, marching, German and dance bands, the Wadena community band, the mixed chorus, the boys’ quartet and other instrumental and vocal ensembles. He also was involved in several class plays and theater productions.
“I may not have been obsessed with these and other activities, but came close to it in the case of music,” Robertson said, adding, “More than any other factor, this participation triggered the contribution to the arts through the WDC Education Foundation.”
After graduating from high school, Robertson attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and political science. He played in the university concert and marching bands, headed several student organizations and was president of his fraternity, Theta Chi.
After serving his country in the Army, Robertson began his illustrious career in communications, getting his start as press chief at Fort Carson, Colo., and director of public information at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, a post he held until 1959. He would then move on to the corporate world, where he held several public affairs and communications positions with Sperry Univac (then Sperry Rand) in St. Paul, which at the time was the largest U.S. location. From 1969 to 1973, served as the director of computer user relations and director of communications at the Univac and Remington headquarters in Blue Bell, Penn.
Robertson’s talent for creativity, personnel management and skillful use of the most effective communications media and techniques were recognized at the corporate headquarters in New York City, where he moved when promoted to vice president of public affairs in 1973. He concentrated on news media relations, employee communications, speech writing and community relations. He became recognized as one of the leading authorities on employee communications in multinational corporations. In 1989, Robertson retired as vice president of communications.
Robertson deeply believes in supporting causes that are worthy and deserving of such support. He said many other graduates can look back on their high school days with fondness and appreciation for specific activities, such as athletic teams, for example.
“I believe that in their waning years, if not before, such alumni should remember and respect their roots by giving back to their schools what they can to strengthen and improve what they left behind, from sports teams to musical and theatrical groups to art projects to academic programs to other sources of student enjoyment and lasting value.”