Monday, October 31, 2011

SMU Oldie Moldies to perform at Signatures Nov. 12

WINONA, Minn. — Catch dinner and a show with the Oldie Moldie All-Stars from Saint Mary’s University Saturday, Nov. 12, at Visions Event Center.

Rock along to your favorite ’50s, ’60s and ’70s tunes while you enjoy a menu of house salad, pan-seared Canadian walleye fillet, wild rice pilaf, mixed vegetables, caper tarter sauce, rolls and butter, and strawberry shortcake. A chicken or pasta option is available by reservation.

The Oldies are members of the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Saint Mary’s. The group consists of 11 talented and engaging singers and band members.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the Oldies will perform two sets, one at 6:30 p.m., and a second at 7:45 p.m.

The price for the dinner and show is $32 per person; reservations can be made now through Nov. 10 by calling Signatures at (507) 454-3767. Payment is accepted at time of reservation.

Visions Event Center is located at Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17 in Pleasant Valley.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kirk to give piano performance Nov. 6 at Saint Mary’s University

WINONA, Minn. — Pianist Ned Kirk will interpret Beethoven and other renowned composers during a recital Sunday, Nov. 6, at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre.

The program — which will begin at 3 p.m. — will include works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Nikolai Medtner, Max Reger, Frederic Rzewski and Nikolai Kapustin.

Kirk has performed extensively in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia. Upcoming engagements include recitals with legendary saxophonist Branford Marsalis, a second State Department-sponsored tour of Kenya, and recitals and master classes in the U.S., Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Kirk is known locally as the artistic and managing director of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival and as a professor of piano at Saint Mary’s University.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors and are available at or at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715 from Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saint Mary’s students, staff, alumni volunteer in community Oct. 22

Saint Mary's alumni and students volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity build in Winona.
Saint Mary's students volunteered with Winona Health

WINONA, Minn. — In recognition of national “Make a Difference Day” and “Lasallian Day of Service,” about 300 Saint Mary’s University students, alumni and staff volunteered their time Saturday, Oct. 22, throughout Winona — as well as in Chicago and the Twin Cities areas.

About 160 SMU student volunteers assisted locally at the Habitat Restore, Habitat for Humanity, Winona Health, the Salvation Army, the Winona Area Humane Society, area churches and schools, as well as residences — 38 locations in all.

“Make a Difference Day” is the most encompassing national day of helping others, a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Created by USA WEEKEND magazine, this annual event takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October.

Saint Mary’s alumni also came together in service to others Oct. 22 as part of the annual “Lasallian Day of Service.” Alumni helped out in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Winona, working with projects such as Feed My Starving Children and Arc’s Value Village in the Twin Cities; Feed My Starving Children, St. Procopius School and a San Miguel School in Chicago; and Habitat for Humanity in Winona.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SMU Page Series presents ‘Letters Home’ Nov. 1

WINONA, Minn. — Letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East will come to life during the next Saint Mary’s University Page Series event — “Letters Home”— on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Page Theatre, located in the SMU Performance Center.

This Griffin Theatre production — a powerful portrait of the soldier experience — is inspired by the New York Times Op-Ed Article, “The Things They Wrote” and the subsequent HBO documentary, “Last Letters Home” and additionally uses letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books, “Voices From the Front,” “Letters Home From America’s Military Family,” “Faith of Our Sons,” and “Keeping Faith.”

These letters were written under the most difficult of circumstances: the disorientation of training, deployment, separation from family and loved ones and combat, and occupation duties in Afghanistan and Iraq. The production uses minimal props and set pieces to dramatize the letters. Photos and video used in the production are taken directly from actual soldiers’ blogs and websites.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and are available online at or at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Area schools are invited to a special matinee performance at 10 a.m. The play — 90 minutes in length — is recommended for those in grades nine through 12. Contact the Box Office at (507) 457-1715 to reserve seats for your school group. All seats are $2 per student, teacher or chaperone. A study guide is available online at

Saint Mary’s is a fiscal year 2011 recipient of an Institutional Presenter Support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is 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.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona announces application dates

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona program is once again setting age requirements for applicants this year.

With more families asking for help and a smaller number of people who are in a position to donate, the program is once again being adapted. The program’s main priority is to provide gifts to children 18 years of age and younger and individuals 60 years of age and older. Families will only be able to report gift requests for family members in these age ranges.

The annual gift-giving program — in its 10th year — helps more than 1,400 people have a much happier holiday season. The program has grown significantly each year.

Families may pick up an application form through one of the human service agencies that they work with (Habitat for Humanity, Project FINE, Winona County Community Services, Winona Senior Advocacy Program, Winona Volunteer Services or Women’s Resource Center).

Completed application forms must be returned to Winona Volunteer Services (402 E. 2nd St.) from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 20 and 27; and 2 to 5 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 21 and 28. SMU volunteers will be available for assistance on these dates.

This program exists through the generosity of the Winona community, as well as the work of other community partners including: Winona Volunteer Services, Winona Radio and the Winona Post.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Fun Night is Oct. 24 at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — Elementary and preschool children from the Winona area are invited to attend the 12th annual Saint Mary’s University Halloween Fun Night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24.

Participants should stop at the guard booth at the main entrance of the Winona campus for directions on where to park.

Young trick-or-treaters should start out the evening at the Hall of Fame Room, located in the Toner Student Center, where tattoos and stickers, a coloring station, and other fun games will be offered, and the Cardinal mascot will greet pint-sized ghosts and goblins.

From there, SMU students will lead groups of trick-or-treaters through the residence halls of the university, where they can go door to door for candy.

Last year more than 700 youth participated in this free, safe and fun event, sponsored by the Office of Residence Life at Saint Mary’s.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saint Mary’s galleries display show, ‘These Things Happen’

WINONA, Minn. — Unique paintings by Michigan artist Andrew Rieder depict human struggles in the upcoming art show “These Things Happen” — on display Oct. 13 through Nov. 13 at Saint Mary’s University.

An opening reception is scheduled for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, located in the Toner Student Center.

Rieder, a stencil artist, describes his work as visual metaphors for ongoing human struggles.

“My initial goal is to produce a pictorial space that contains a somewhat whimsical narrative, but is reflective of a current social condition,” he said. “Issues surrounding the socio-economic systems of contemporary society inspire me. This stems from my personal work history and a familial heritage of industrial and manual labor.”

Rieder was born and grew up in Raleigh, N.C., where he also attended and graduated from North Carolina State University’s College of Design. In 2004, he relocated to the Midwest to receive his B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and M.F.A. in Painting from Michigan State University. He currently is an art instructor at Delta College in Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Region.

The Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and are free and open to the public.

Saint Mary’s theatre students to perform in London

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University theatre majors will stage the comedic satire “Greater Tuna” Oct. 18-22 at TARA Studio in London.

In this hilarious satire of small-town American morals, audiences will meet the upstanding citizens of rural Tuna, Texas (the state’s third smallest town). The long-running Off Broadway hit features eight actors creating the entire population of Tuna — men, women, children and animals — in a tour de farce of quick-change artistry, changing costumes and characterizations.

It’s eight actors, 20 characters and a barrel of laughs, y’all.

Qualified theatre majors at Saint Mary’s are studying theatre in London, England, this semester through the Stefanni√© Val√©ncia Kierlin Theatre in London Program. Under the guidance of Saint Mary’s faculty, the program will include a variety of classes in theatre, as well as courses focusing on broader enrichment. Students will have the unique opportunity to attend numerous performances at London’s West End, Off-West End, and Fringe theatres.

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc., “Greater Tuna” is directed by Dr. Gary Diomandes. Also participating are: Christian Garcia, stage manager; Rachel Kwiecinski, set design; Kit Mayer, lighting design; Kalinn Bangasser, sound design; Rachel Kwiecinski, props; and performers Sarah Anderson, Mary Doctor, Samantha Gibson, Tina Gonzalez, Aaron Pepple, Andrew Russell, Philip Soulides and Clarissa Thompson-Matthews.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Saint Mary’s Page Series hosts Luna Negra Dance Theatre Oct. 22

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will come alive with colorful costumes and spirited dance as the Luna Negra Dance Theatre takes the stage Saturday, Oct. 22.

A representative from the Latin dance company will present a free pre-show at 6:30 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, just prior to the 7:30 p.m. performance in Page Theatre. Both locations are in the SMU Performance Center.

Founded in 1999 by Cuban-born dancer and choreographer Eduardo Vilaro, Luna Negra Dance Theater makes its home in Chicago.

Dedicated to the creation of bold works by Latino contemporary choreographers, Luna Negra serves as a springboard for Latino artists to give expression to their stories and bring new, spirited life to the cultures of their communities.

Luna Negra offers its audiences effervescent, energetic and passionate contemporary Latino dance that blends the discipline of ballet with the fiery energy of Latin and Afro-Caribbean forms and rhythms. This innovative company collaborates with visual and media artists, musicians, and composers to consistently push the creative limits of their performances.

Tickets for this Page Series performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students.

To order, go online to or call the box office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

This visit is supported, in part, by Arts Midwest.

Saint Mary’s is a fiscal year 2011 recipient of an Institutional Presenter Support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is 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.

Get set to scream at annual Saint Mary's Walk of Horror

WINONA, Minn. — This year’s Saint Mary’s University Walk of Horror is again guaranteed to give you goosebumps. New scares are planned around every corner.

The 15th annual hair-raising fundraiser for the SMU Cardinal fastpitch softball team will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 21-22 and 29-31 in the SMU bluffs. Walkers are asked to meet on the lighted path between the SMU baseball and softball fields, where the haunted walk will begin.

Groups are then escorted through the dark bluffs surrounding the SMU campus for approximately 20 minutes.

The cost is $5 for adults, $4 for students with ID, and $4 for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the gate.

SMU head fastpitch softball coach Jen Miller said the event is fun for all ages. The scare level is toned down for younger children and turned up for groups bold enough to face their fears. Last year more than 1,100 brave souls took SMU’s Walk of Horror.

Proceeds from this event will be used for the softball team’s travel expenses. For more information, contact Miller at (507) 457-6923.

Students celebrate National Chemistry Week during Saint Mary’s Chemistry Nights

WINONA, Minn. — Many area high school juniors and seniors will perform hands-on chemistry projects during upcoming Chemistry Nights at Saint Mary’s University, which will run 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

Chemistry Night, sponsored by the SMU Department of Chemistry and the La Crosse-Winona local section of the American Chemical Society, is an annual event designed to help students explore the discipline of chemistry and appreciate the positive role that chemistry plays in our everyday world.

Each year students solve a challenging but fun chemical problem, based on the National Chemistry Week (Oct. 16-22) theme. 2011 happens to mark the International Year of Chemistry, and coinciding with National Chemistry Week is the unifying theme of “Chemistry – our life, our future” — exploring the positive impacts of chemistry as it relates to health, energy, environment and materials.

Students will work in small teams, using wet chemistry and working with chemical instrumentation in the SMU Department of Chemistry, under the guidance of SMU chemistry majors.

Prizes will be awarded to the teams that have the greatest success in solving the chemical problems. Prizes will include SMU scholarships of $2,000 and $1,000.

Eight area schools and approximately 50 students are participating this year.

For more information, contact Dr. Brett Bodsgard at (507) 457-6972.

Saint Mary’s University breaks ground on new residence hall

Breaking ground are, from left: Gary Hay, principal, Hay Dobbs; State Senator Jeremy Miller; SMU Trustees Joe Ross and Jim Coogan; Connie Budin, SMU student activity president; Brother William Mann, SMU president; Michael Gostomski, SMU Board of Trustees chairman; Bob Rousseau, SMU Student Senate president; SMU Trustee Celeste Suchocki; Father Andrew Beerman, rector, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary; Winona Mayor Jerry Miller; and Mike Hansen, president of Schwab LLC.

Brother William Mann, president, Saint Mary’s University

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota broke ground Friday, Oct. 7, on an innovative new residence hall at its Winona campus.

The Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees recently approved final plans and funding for the four-story facility. Construction will begin this week and the hall should be complete by August 2012, for use in the 2012-2013 academic year.

The cost of the project is estimated at $6.5 million. Hay Dobbs is the architect and Schwab LLC of Winona is general contractor.

The new residence hall will be located near the university’s high ropes course and track/soccer complex. It will be open to sophomore, junior and senior undergraduate students during the academic year, and serve conferencing, camps and educational program needs in the summer.

Saint Mary’s President Brother William Mann said the new hall “shows our ongoing commitment to provide outstanding residential experiences for students.” He added, “As the university nears its Centennial in 2012-13, the addition of this residence hall gives us momentum heading into our second century.”

The new hall will be the first on campus to offer a variety of housing options. It will feature single-occupancy suites, double-occupancy suites, and two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments. The structure will have 141 beds in 45 units, with a private bath in each room.

All rooms will be air-conditioned and wired for cable TV and Internet access. Study rooms, lounges and a kitchen will bring students together in community and encourage collaborative learning.