Friday, June 29, 2012

Conservatory announces July arts programs

WINONA, Minn. —The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is offering a variety of programs to the community in July. Programs for ages 3 to adult are offered at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

Below are the July offerings, most of which conclude in free performance showcases.

Music division offerings include:

NEW! Chamber Music Camp
with guest artist Dave Gudmastad

• July 23-27, 2-4:30 p.m.

For students entering grades 6-10 in the fall who play a woodwind, brass or orchestral string instrument. Tuition $100 (half-price for MCA private lesson students). Students will work on becoming better musicians by playing in a small ensemble setting with like instruments and will attend music classes to learn the basics of sight singing, theory, composition, improvisation and the Alexander Technique.

Private Music Lessons 
(flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello, guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, voice)
 • Arranged, for students ages 5 to adult. Tuition: $75 for 5 lessons, $140 for 10 lessons.

Dance division offerings include:

July Creative Movement
• July 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 5:15-5:45 p.m.

For students ages 3-4. Tuition $30. An introduction to the dance class setting using creative movement techniques.

Clogging for Kids
 • July 9, 16, 23, 30, 3-3:45 p.m.

For students ages 8-12. Tuition $20. An introduction to clogging; don’t miss this toe-tapping, foot-stomping good time!

Musical Theatre Dance
• July 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 6-7 p.m.

For students ages 13 and up. Tuition $50. You will learn basic dance technique for musical theatre performance and explore choreography from popular Broadway musicals. All levels are welcome and no experience is necessary!

Boys Dance Technique Workshops
 • July 16-19, 11-11:45 a.m.

For students ages 8-12. Tuition FREE. Develop physical technique used in classical and contemporary dance disciplines such as ballet, modern and jazz.

Class days, times and tuition vary. Financial need-based scholarship are available.

 For a brochure and a complete listing, go to, email, or call 507-453-5500. Students may registration online, by mail or in person at MCA’s Valéncia Arts Center.

 This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Conservatory offers community wellness classes

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is offering dance/fitness classes geared toward those 13 and up at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St., Winona.

Classes take place on Mondays in July: July 9, 16, 23, 30.

Dance division offerings include:

Power Piyo! (certified instructor)
 • 3:45-4:45 p.m. Tuition $30. Focusing on yoga posture and pilates strengthening, this combination is the perfect conditioning class. All levels welcome and no experience necessary.

Clogging I
 • 5-5:30 p.m. Tuition $20.
An introduction to clogging; don’t miss this toe-tapping, foot stomping good time! All levels welcome and no experience necessary.

Clogging II
 • 5:30-6:15 p.m. Tuition $20.
 This class is designed for students with prior clogging experience and will focus on traditional folk dances.

Teen and Adult Ballet
 • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuition $30.
An introduction to ballet technique; experience the artistry of ballet while gaining flexibility, placement, strength and fluidity. All levels welcome and no experience necessary.

 NEW! Teen and Adult Irish Dance
 • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuition $30.
 A fun and lively introduction to Irish dance. All levels welcome and no experience necessary.

For more information, go to, email, or call 507-453-5500. Students may registration online, by mail or in person at MCA’s Valéncia Arts Center.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Brother Finbar McMullen’s work to be displayed at SMU galleries

WINONA, Minn. — “The Eye and Hand of the Craftsman — the life work of Finbar McMullen, FSC” will be on display June 15 through Aug. 19 at Saint Mary’s University.

Brother Finbar, a retired educator at Saint Mary’s and a 1946 alumnus, will display a variety of work in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

Brother Finbar has been a Christian Brother for 70 years and has inspired many learners in his long career at Saint Mary’s.

A long-time nature enthusiast, he has created hand-carved masterpieces from found and discarded pieces of wood.

An opening reception will be held 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23, at the galleries, located in the Toner Student Center.

The exhibit — free and open to the public — will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Public invited to launch Saint Mary’s Centennial Celebration June 23

This photo, taken in May 1912, is of the cornerstone being laid for Saint Mary's Hall, the first building of what would become Saint Mary's University.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University welcomes the public to a special Centennial Cornerstone Commemoration — and birthday cake reception — Saturday, June 23, at the steps of Saint Mary’s Hall on the Winona campus, where the dreams for the university first began.

The program, which will begin at 2 p.m., includes a blessing of the cornerstone, along with remarks from Brother William Mann, Saint Mary’s president, and the Centennial Honorary Co-Chairs, Jack and Mary Ann (CST ’64) Remick of Rochester and Mike ’66 and Claudia (CST ’68) Dooley of Chesterfield, Mo.  Additionally, proclamations will be read, historic items will be on display, and the flag that flew at the U.S. Capital May 30, in honor of Saint Mary’s Centennial, will be presented to Brother William. May 30th marked the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for Saint Mary’s Hall.

Following the ceremony, everyone is invited to a birthday cake reception with live entertainment.

The Cornerstone Commemoration launches a yearlong Centennial celebration at Saint Mary’s, with events planned in Winona, the Twin Cities, Chicago and throughout the U.S., as well as in Nairobi and Jamaica.

From its humble beginnings as a diocesan college for men, Saint Mary’s has grown into a top-tier national university and a dynamic and transformative learning community. About 1,400 students are enrolled in the residential undergraduate College at the Winona campus.  Approximately 4,600 students are enrolled in the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, which offers certificate, bachelor degree completion, master degree and specialist and doctoral programs. The university delivers education to its adult learners through campuses in Minneapolis, Winona and Nairobi, Kenya; centers in Apple Valley, Rochester, Oakdale and Minnetonka; and at numerous other locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Jamaica.

The Centennial launch coincides with Saint Mary’s annual Homecoming celebration June 22-24, which brings over 350 alumni back to campus each year. This year, Saint Mary’s will honor the following outstanding alumni during a reception Saturday, June 23, on the Winona campus.

2012 Saint Mary’s Homecoming Honorees:

Distinguished Alumnus
Dr. Roger Lucas ’65
North Oaks, Minn.

Roger Lucas transferred from the University of Minnesota to Saint Mary’s after speaking with Brother George Pahl, longtime science teacher and former president of Saint Mary’s. ­After graduation in 1965, Dr. Lucas went on to complete graduate school at University of Illinois Institute of Technology and has enjoyed a successful career in scientific research and development.

Dr. Lucas was one of the founding shareholders of Envoy Medical Corporation. In 1996, he was named director, and he is currently serving as chairman of the board of directors. Envoy Medical Corporation was in founded in 1995 to design, manufacture, and bring to market the world’s first, and only, fully implantable hearing restoration device not to use a microphone or speaker. Dr. Lucas is also currently vice chairman and chief scientific advisor to the board of TECHNE Corporation. He co-founded this biotechnology company in 1985, and under his vision, it has grown into one of the world’s largest suppliers of genetically engineered immunoregulatory molecules to the biomedical research community.

Dr. Lucas has served as assistant professor of biochemistry at the State University of New York and is also currently a board member of ChemoChentryx, Inc., and Discovery Genomics, Inc. He was a recipient of National Institutes of Health Pre- and Post-Doctoral Fellowships.

Dr. Lucas attributes much of his success to the invaluable summer research experiences he had while he was a student at Saint Mary’s.  As a way to give back to the educational institution he so very much values, he currently funds summer internship collaborations between R&D Systems (a subsidiary of TECHNE Corporation) and Saint Mary’s so that current Saint Mary’s students can gain this same exceptional practical experience.

Alumni Appreciation
Robert “Bo” Rettig ’77
La Grange, Ill.

Bo Rettig proudly calls himself part of the GOOF gang. The long-time supporter of Saint Mary’s has organized an annual get-together of alumni and families on the Winona campus for the past 27 years. The event, known as the GOOF (Get-together Of Old Friends) weekend, brings anywhere from 15-25 families (equaling 35-37 individuals) to Winona every year in July. Through these annual events, several members of the second generation of GOOF alumni have been introduced to campus. Through Rettig’s tireless efforts, this annual outing has fostered an incredibly close-knit group of  ’70s alumni — as well as some great recruiting efforts for the university.

The GOOF group also created the Saint Jude Alumni Scholarship fund in 1989 — a fund that began with $3,000 and now stands at over $200,000.  Last year the fund created two scholarships totaling approximately $10,000.  It is a legacy that will continue to grow, thanks in part to Bo’s leadership in soliciting contributions every year from his peers.

This year, Rettig will complete his sixth year on the SMU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and his enthusiasm, positive attitude and support for his alma mater is contagious.  He has graciously assisted with admissions and development initiatives, volunteers each year with the Lasallian Day of Service, and supports Alumni Association endeavors in countless other ways. In addition, he has served as a class rep and class reunion chair, and has been very supportive of the Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity.

The person who nominated Rettig for this recognition stated it best: “I know of no individual who is more deserving of recognition for his contributions to further the goals and objectives of Saint Mary’s University.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

MCA announces Summer 2012 June programming

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts offers programming in Dance, Music, Visual Art, and Theatre, year-round.  Community classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered to children as young as 3 years old and adults of any age at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 1164 West 10th St.

With the 2012 Summer Session in full swing, a variety of classes are available for children and adults, ranging from recreation classes to pre-professional training. Most of the June offerings conclude with free performance showcases!

Theatre division offerings include:

Theatre Day Camp I – Destination Imagination
•    June 18-22, 9 to 11:30 a.m., for young people entering grades 2-4; Tuition: $100
•    Students are led through a series of theatre games and exercises designed to encourage and develop their imagination. Music and movement will be incorporated as the students learn acting techniques for the stage.

Theatre Day Camp II – Broadway Bound!
•    June 18-22, 1 to 4:30 p.m., for young people entering grades 5-8; Tuition: $150
•    Students will learn how actors bring unique characters to life using their voice, body, and creativity. Students will learn improvisation, acting technique for the stage, and theatrical numbers from popular Broadway musicals.

Music division offerings include:

NEW! Ukulele Direct
•    June 18-22, 10 a.m. to noon, for students entering grades 6-10; Tuition: $80  (Half price for MCA private lesson students)
•    Students will be introduced to the musical world of the ukulele, starting with the basics of learning chords and strumming patterns to accompany themselves and others. Ukuleles are great for beginners and the skills students will learn are transferrable to guitar and banjo!

Private Music Lessons: Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Violin, Cello, Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Piano, Voice
•    Arranged, for students ages 5 to adults
•    Tuition: $75 for 5 lessons, $140 for 10 lessons

Dance division offerings include:

June Ballet V, VI, VII Workshops
•    June 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, 5:30 to 8 p.m.; Tuition: $120 (Half price for MCA Summer Dance Intensive participants)
•    Fast intermediate and advanced level of classical ballet, pointe (optional), and variations. These workshops are ideal for the student maintaining their training before attending a summer intensive program.

Dance Camp I: Dance Me a Story!
•    June 25-29, 9 to 11:30 a.m., for young people entering grades kindergarten through 3; Tuition: $100
•    Students will participate in daily technique classes (ballet, creative movement, jazz). Additionally, students will learn the story and choreography of a classical ballet, fairy tale, or fable, which will be performed in a showcase for family and friends at the conclusion of the camp.

Dance Camp II: Dance the Day Away
•    June 25-29, 1 to 4:30 p.m., for young people entering grades 4-8; Tuition: $150
•    Students will participate in daily technique classes (ballet, modern, jazz), theory classes (make-up and costuming, program design, dance vocabulary, dance history and traditions), as well as learn choreography for a final showcase performance.

Class days, times, and tuition vary. Financial need based scholarship are available. For a brochure and a complete listing, visit, e-mail, or call (507) 453-5500. Interested students may registration online, by mail, or in person at MCA’s Valéncia Arts Center.