Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Laws of Life essay contest winners awarded April 28

Amol Parmar, Yuan Yang and Britta Nelson, the Platinum and Gold Award winners, are pictured separately.

Each year students at Winona schools submit essays that reflect on the values, ideals and principles that mean the most to them in the annual Laws of Life essay contest, organized by Saint Mary’s University and sponsored by Winona-area businesses and organizations.

Winners of individual categories — announced April 28 — receive cash and or varying-level renewable scholarships to Saint Mary’s.

The Laws of Life Essay Contest was founded in 1987 by Sir John Templeton of the John Templeton Foundation. This foundation is committed to advancing a broad spectrum of activities, including studies, award programs and publications that promote the character development of young people in secondary schools, colleges, and universities.

In 1996, William Schuler approached Saint Mary's University to begin this contest at Winona Senior High and Cotter High School, adding Hope Lutheran in 2009. This event is made possible with his help, and the help of many other generous supporters — including Merchants Bank, William and Barbara Schuler, Junto Club, American Legion Post No. 9, Dr. Thomas and Leone Mauszycki, Dr. Roger and Peggy Zehren, Fred Fletcher and Shelly Smith-Fletcher, Zehren Dental (Dr. Peter and Kimberly Zehren), Neil and Ann Sawyer, the Winona Area Retired Educators Association, Fred and Marilyn Foss, Severson Oil, Darrell and Angela Ehrlick, Tony and Kathy Piscitiello, Green Mill Restaurant & Bar, William Miller Scrap Iron & Metal Co., Dr. Mark and Melissa Martin, and Paul and Lori Ness.

This year’s winners are:
• Platinum — Amol Parmar, Cotter High School ($1,000 cash and a $3,000 SMU scholarship).
• Gold — Yuan Yang, Cotter; and Britta Nelson, Winona Senior High School ($400 cash and a $2,000 SMU scholarship)
• Silver — Katie Denzer, Cotter; Jose Gomez, Winona Senior High School; and Lacey Ellinghuysen, Hope Lutheran High School ($200 cash and a $1,000 SMU scholarship).
• Blue ribbon awards — Emilio Taiveaho, Qianhan Liu and Chang Yi Mu, Cotter; and Tony Vang, Yia Hang and Jenna Amundson, Winona Senior High ($100 cash prize).
• English class awards — Zi Hui Liu, Julie Yang, Ian Schultz, Courtney Brendel and Joana Beyer, Cotter; and Vang Lee Yang, Winona Senior High ($50 savings bond from Merchants National Bank).

Silver Award winners: Katie Denzer, left, and Lacey Ellinghuysen. Not pictured is Jose Gomez.

WSHS blue ribbon winners: Yia Hang, left, Jenna Amundson, center, and Tony Vang.

Cotter blue ribbon winners: Qianhan Liu, left; Chang Yi Mu, center; and Emilio Taiveaho.

English award winners (from left): back, Joana Beyer and Ian Schultz; front, Courtney Brendel, Julie Yang, Zi Hui Liu, and Vang Lee Yang.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Saint Mary’s announces next Page Series season

WINONA, Minn. — The 24th season of the Saint Mary’s University Page Series is once again filled with music, dance, theatre, and family-friendly offerings from around the world! You don’t have to travel far for world-class performances. Season subscriptions go on sale May 17 through July 30 and Aug. 16 through Sept. 17.

Purchase tickets to three or more events to receive these benefits:
• New subscribers: 10 percent off total order
• Returning ’09-’10 subscribers: 25 percent off total order
• Everyone: exchange privileges and guaranteed seating choices

The 2010-2011 Page Series

• Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Anat Cohen Quartet
Israeli jazz clarinetist channels Benny Goodman
Adults $25, Seniors and Students $20 *

Anat Cohen has established herself as one of the primary voices of her generation on both the tenor saxophone and clarinet since arriving in New York in 1999.

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cohen topped the Rising Star-Clarinet category in DownBeat Magazine’s critics poll in both 2007 and 2008, and placed prominently in a total of four categories including Rising Star Jazz Artist, where she ranked second and was the only female artist to make the list. The Jazz Journalists Association named Cohen Clarinetist of the Year by in both 2007 and 2008 – the first time in the history of the awards that an artist has earned top clarinet honors two years running.

In honor of Benny Goodman’s centennial in 2009, Cohen will focus on songs recorded by the King of Swing.

• Oct. 12, 6:30 p.m.
Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble
NEA award-winning Lakota hoop dancer & company
Adults $12, Seniors and Students $5 *

Representing the Plains nations of Lakota, Anishinabe, and Comanche, the Southeastern tribe Choctaw, and the Woodlands Nations of Ojibwe and Oneida, this one-of-a-kind ensemble of American Indian champions and award winners offers a rich variety of American Indian traditions and aesthetics in dance, instrumentals, song, storytelling, sign language and audience interaction.

“Return of the Thunders” revitalizes the spirit within the people, as spring revitalizes the spirit within each living thing. The program represents this return of the thunders, and each instrument represents a part of nature. The drum is the thunder. The rattle is the rain. The voice is the lightening. The flute is the wind.

• Oct. 26, 6:30 p.m.
Theatreworks USA presents: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Classic tale by C.S. Lewis brought to the stage for families
Adults $12, Seniors and Students $5 *

This enchanting musical is based on C.S. Lewis’ adventure story about four children of war- torn England, who accidentally enter the land of Narnia by climbing through a magic wardrobe. This strange and wondrous place is ruled by the cold-hearted White Witch, who makes the winter last year round. Although they seem unlikely saviors, the children fulfill an ancient prophecy by defeating the witch, thus restoring sunshine and peace to the spell-bound Narnia and returning the great Lion King Aslan to his throne.

Theatreworks USA is America’s largest and most prolific professional not-for-profit theatre for young and family audiences. Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has enlightened, entertained, and instructed over 68 million people in 49 states and Canada, now performing for about 4 million people annually.

• Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Houston Ballet II
Young American ballet at its best
Adults $25, Seniors and Students $20 *

Houston Ballet II is the second company of Houston Ballet, America’s fourth largest ballet company. The evening repertoire will consist of both familiar works, including Raymonda Act III, to the unexpected, such as The Long and Winding Road, based upon the music of the Beatles. Featuring a stellar array of young artists, HB II performs a wide array of dance works, ranging from excerpts from the great classics to contemporary works by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch.

Welch, an acclaimed Australian choreographer, assumed the leadership of Houston Ballet in 2003. He is one of the most sought after choreographers of his generation, having created works for such prestigious international companies as Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Australian Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Royal Danish Ballet.

• Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble
Detroit’s finest contemporary dance company
Adults $25, Seniors and Students $20 *

Audience members will enjoy an eclectic and entertaining evening of mixed repertory pieces from nationally recognized choreographers. Included will be selections from the group’s The Heart of Rock ’n‘ Roll, including songs by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Bonnie Raitt. Also included are works from their 20th anniversary retrospective program from choreographers such as David Parsons, Stephen Koester, Mark Dendy, Lila York, Eddie Ocampo, Michael Foley, and artistic director Laurie Eisenhower.

“Eisenhower provided the framework for what turned out to be an electrifying dance experience. The dancing was filled with charismatic and artistic emotional execution and an extraordinarily high degree of technical precision. The music was diverse, inspiring and tastefully selected. The combination of excellent music, choreography and dance held my undivided attention from curtain to curtain … Pushing the envelope of modern dance creativity and innovation to new limits, Ms. Eisenhower and Co. are clearly on the cutting edge. The genuine article. Highly recommended.” - Dancer Magazine

• Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Ensemble Galilei with Neal Conan: Universe of Dreams
Early medieval & Celtic music combined with Hubble images & an inspirational narrative
Adults $25, Seniors and Students $20 *

Audiences have been swept away by this extraordinary combination of the spoken word and what has been described by critics as “.... music that speaks to the heart in ways that transcend mere language.” With evocative music inspired by the Hubble images, the performers present the perfect backdrop for works by some of the finest poets in America. Text from Stanley Kunitz, Jim Harrison, William Shakespeare, and a re-telling of a Navajo Creation Myth are all performed with images from the Hubble that have transformed our understanding of the universe.

Ensemble Galilei performs Irish, Scottish, Early and Original music on a variety of ancient and modern instruments, including the Celtic harp, Scottish small pipes, gamba, fiddle, recorders, whistles and percussion. Narrator, Neal Conan, is the host of the NPR show “Talk of the Nation” heard locally on both Minnesota Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Radio.

• March 3, 6:30 p.m.
Pushcart Players presents: Let Freedom Ring: America At the Beginning
A musical for audiences of all ages celebrating our nation’s beginnings
Adults $12, Seniors and Students $5 *

This robust musical review begins with the beginning of time, moving quickly to the arrival of the first Americans from Asia. With the passage of approximately 30,000 years (in under five minutes!) … Freedom introduces second Americans who arrive on the Eastern shores in 1620, after a long and arduous journey from England. Among the new settlers are four main characters — Sam, Sarah, Jennie and Ginny — who transcend time, distance and circumstance to lead us chronologically and geographically through two centuries of our American past.

Their journey through the landscape of America includes whistle stops along the way to witness early encounters with Native Americans, disputes with Mother England, The Boston Tea Party, The American Revolution, westward expansion, The Underground Railroad, Civil War, California Gold Rush and Industrialization. The finale is a spirited medley of international songs that celebrate the new wave of immigration at the turn of the 20th century.

Nominated for an Emmy for its two prime time specials on CBS, Pushcart Players will be celebrating its 35th year as a touring ensemble.
• March 23, 7:30 p.m.
Darrah Carr Dance
Modern Irish Dance
Adults $25, Seniors and Students $20 *

Since 1998, Darrah Carr Dance has created a sensational and unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance. Renowned for integrating Irish culture within its choreography, Darrah Carr Dance blends Irish music, step dance footwork, and spatial patterns to create high-energy, rhythmically based work that is accessible to a broad audience. Artistic Director Darrah Carr calls her style ModERIN: a playful combination of the words modern (dance) and ERIN (an Irish American term of endearment for Ireland).

The evening will include a selection of traditional Irish dance as well as ModERIN works that combines elements of traditional style Irish dance with modern elements.

• April 7, 6:30 p.m.
Theatre IV presents ‘Stuart Little’
E.B. White’s tale of an adventurous mouse brought to life
Adults $12, Seniors and Students $5 *

From the loving heart of E. B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, comes this merry musical about a noble mouse who jumps headlong into adventures big enough to match any imagination. By turns funny, tender and exciting, Stuart Little mixes gorgeous child-size puppets with live actors to work theatrical magic.

Founded in 1975, Theatre IV is a nonprofit, professional touring children’s theatre. During 2009 - 2010 they performed live before more than a half million children, teens, parents and teachers across the America.


* All tickets (individual and subscription) are subject to a $1 per ticket convenience fee. Student rush tickets may be available 20 minutes before curtain for only $10. A valid ID is required, with a limit of one ticket per student and no reserved seats.

Summer Box office hours, May 17 to July 30, are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Order in person at the Box Office, located in the SMU Performance Center, by phone at (507) 457-1715, or online at

Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 16.