Monday, January 29, 2007

SMU Chamber Singers to perform in Germany, Oshkosh

WINONA, Minn. - The Saint Mary's University Chamber Singers will perform in Oshkosh, Wis., and in Germany as part of their 2007 Concert Tour. The 24-voice select ensemble is directed by Dr. Patrick M. O'Shea, associate professor of music and Music Department Chairman.
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Tour performances will include concerts at:

  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oshkosh, Wis. - 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11;
  • Johanneskirche, Zolling, Bavaria - 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16;
  • Laurentiuskirche, Haag am der Amper, Bavaria - 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17.

The Chamber Singers will also serve as guest choir for a Mass at the Liebfrauen Münster, Ingolstadt, Bavaria, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18.

All performances are free and open to the public. Repertoire will include a cappella works by Victoria, Arcadelt, Marenzio, Woollen, Guerrero, and a world premiere of “Drei Rilkegesänge,” composed by Dr. O'Shea especially for this tour.

For more information, call Dr. O'Shea at (507) 457-1598.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dance Repertory Company auditions for annual spring concert Feb. 2

WINONA, Minn. - The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will conduct auditions at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, for the Dance Repertory Company's annual spring concert.
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Dancers with a variety of training are needed. Roles are available for male and female dancers, ages 11-25. The company is seeking intermediate and advanced dancers with contemporary ballet/pointe, swing/jazz, and tap experience.

Interested candidates are asked to bring a photo of themselves and proper dance shoes and attire to the audition at the Valéncia Arts Center.

The DRC will be presenting contemporary dance styles with a 1930s and 1940s theme in their annual spring concert, “Pure Entertainment,” May 17-19 at the Saint Mary's University Page Theatre.

The Dance Repertory Company is the performing troupe of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. Company members participate in rehearsals, technique classes and stage performances. Past productions of the company include: “The Firebird,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Nutcracker,” “Paquita,” “Excerpts from Swan Lake,” “Cinderella,” “The Goodman Suite,” “Youth In Motion,” and “Tappin' to Connick.”

For more information about the Dance Repertory Company or the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, visit or call (507) 453-5501. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture rescheduled


WINONA, Minn. - Father Kurt Pritzl, O.P., Ph.D., of the Catholic University of America, will deliver the second annual St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture on the subject of “Contemplation and Sharing” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Saint Mary's University.
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The event - to be held in the President's Room of the Toner Student Center - is sponsored by the Saint Mary's Department of Philosophy and The Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary.

An afternoon “quodlibetal-style” question-and-answer session with Father Pritzl will begin at 3 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall, located in Saint Mary's Hall. With the “quodlibetal-style,” Father Pritzl agrees to answer any questions that are asked of him. All questions are welcomed.

The public is invited to both events.
The Saint Thomas Aquinas Lecture is an annual event, through which a well-known Thomist is brought to SMU in celebration of the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Father Pritzl is associate professor and dean of the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America. He specializes in ancient Greek philosophy, particularly the philosophy of the early Greek thinkers and Aristotle regarding the theory of knowledge, theories of soul and philosophical anthropology. As an educator, a Dominican priest and an expert in Aristotle, Father Pritzl will bring a multidisciplinary viewpoint to this topic.
For more information, contact Joseph Tadie at or (507) 457-6652.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

McCullough to co-present workshop in Minneapolis

WINONA, Minn. - Ken McCullough, local writer and translator, will participate in “The Art of Making Truth: A Memoir Festival” at the Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis, on Jan. 12-13.
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McCullough will present a workshop with Cambodian poet U Sam Oeur, titled “One Life, Two Witnesses: Translating Across Cultures,” and assist Oeur in a panel workshop, “Who am I? For Whom am I Writing? Memoir in Context.”

Oeur's memoir, “Crossing Three Wildernesses,” was co-written with McCullough, and nominated for both the Kiriyama Prize and a Minnesota Book Award in 2006. McCullough works as assistant director of Academic Advising and director of the PASS program, at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Friday, January 05, 2007

SMU Page Series offers four shows, one pre-show dinner in four weeks

WINONA, Minn. - The Saint Mary's University Page Series invites patrons to add some pizzazz to their Monday evenings by offering four performing arts events, and one pre-show dinner, over the next four weeks.
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On Monday, Jan. 15, the Page Series welcomes the return of Sister in the one-woman show, Late Nite Catechism 2. In this much-anticipated sequel to Late Nite Catechism, Sister presents filmstrips, mimeographed handouts, historical facts and hysterical insights for her “class” - an overview of Heaven and Hell, comparing them to a Catholic version of “Chutes and Ladders.” With all the wit, wisdom and wackiness of the original, tickets to Late Nite Catechism 2 are going fast.

Only at Late Nite Catechism 2, audience members can enjoy beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, pastries and appetizers, and even take their food and drinks into the theatre. Concessions will be available before the show and during intermission in the Ben Miller Lobby and Figliulo Recital Hall.

The following week, on Monday, Jan. 22, audience members can treat themselves to a catered dinner prior to the performance of “Don Quixote” by Moscow Festival Ballet - a company of 50 dancers.

Patrons can order dinner at the same time as they order tickets from the box office, but all dinner purchases must be made by Monday, Jan. 15. Dinner costs $20 per person and includes milk, coffee and tea; vegetable; dinner rolls; raspberry swirl cheesecake; and a choice of:
o Tuscan chicken with sun-dried tomato sauce and twice-baked potato with bacon, cheese and sour cream.
o Roast sirloin with Madera sauce (a rich brown sauce made from reduced red wine) and twice-baked potato with bacon, cheese and sour cream.
o Eggplant Parmesan on a bed of pasta with garden salad and dressing.

For those who enjoy wine with dinner, patrons may order a bottle of wine for $16 and choose from chardonnay, merlot, Shiraz, pinot grigio, white zinfandel or Riesling. Seating will begin at 6 p.m. in the Toner Student Center, which is located next to the Performance Center.

Contrary to the title, the ballet does not tell the story of “Don Quixote,” rather this restaging of Petipa's choreography weaves a timeless and enchanting tale of love. Quixote is determined to help young Kitri marry her love Basilio and avoid an unhappy future with her father's choice, Camacho. He valiantly - if mistakenly - battles the forces of evil, which he uncovers in the form of marionettes and giant invisible windmills. In spite of his misguided intent, Quixote is successful; the lovers marry and live happily ever after.

Tickets to either Late Nite Catechism 2 or Moscow Festival Ballet cost $22, $16 senior citizens and $14 students. Both events begin at 7:30 p.m. in Page Theatre.

Then, it's time for the kids to get in on the fun. On Monday, Jan. 29, the Page Series presents the musical revue “Junie B. Jones,” which is based on Barbara Park's wildly popular books. Follow Junie B.'s escapades in this rollicking, one-of-a-kind musical adventure featuring stories from “Junie B. Jones First Grader (At Last!),” “Boss of Lunch,” “One Man Band” and “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B. (And Me!).”

Finally, Omaha Theatre Company returns to Winona with another family favorite, “Berenstain Bears on Stage!” This musical by Stan and Jan Berenstain is based on five of their most popular books: “The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room,” “Get Stage Fright,” “New Baby,” “The Truth” and “The Double Dare.” Audiences will experience the Berenstain's timeless messages as Brother and Sister Bear face the struggles of growing up and learn the values of standing up for themselves and telling the truth on Monday, Feb. 5.

Tickets to either “Junie B. Jones” or “Berenstain Bears On Stage!” cost $6 per person. Children must be at least 2 years old and be accompanied by an adult. Both shows begin at 7 p.m. and last one hour.

Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays at the Performance Center box office, (507) 457-1715, or anytime online at

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

'Transitions' features unique artwork Jan. 13-Feb. 23 at SMU

WINONA, Minn. - “Transitions,” an exhibit featuring the work of La Crescent artist Gerard Justin Ferrari, will be on display in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries at Saint Mary's University Jan. 13-Feb. 23.
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Ferrari's work often transforms ordinary discarded or “orphaned” objects into artistic statements about society.

His Orphaned Teapot series is in response to the current interest in fun and funky teapots. “The essence of these orphaned objects is influenced by the question often asked by science fiction: how will life appear in the future?” he said. He characterizes this group of playful teapots as an amalgamation of biology, mechanics and technology.

His Gizmology Series depicts satirical, comical and fictitious oddities through which he works to convey ideas and feelings about the dilemmas of modern society. Through these imaginative gizmos, he offers social commentary.

And his Syntho Human Series is his response to the conflict between the male and female gender roles. These abstract, figurative sculptures are influenced by an amalgamation of medieval armor, early and unrealized inventions, 20th century appliances and toys, contemporary technology, mannequins and cyborgs.

Ferrari is an assistant professor of art at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis., and the school's gallery director. An opening reception for the artist will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at the galleries.

The exhibit - free and open to the public - is located in SMU's Toner Student Center. The galleries are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call (507) 457-1652.