Friday, September 27, 2013

SMU Page Series features folk singer Susan Werner

WINONA, Minn. — The next Saint Mary’s University Page Series will feature some sweet songs about sustainability by folk singer Susan Werner.

Werner will present work from her “Hayseed” project at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, in SMU’s Page Theatre.

Born in Manchester, Iowa, Werner grew up on her family’s hog farm, but she took to singing rather than farming. She began making a name for herself in the folk scene of the early 1990s in Philadelphia, New York and Boston. She recorded five albums from 1993 to 2001 in the folk genre. Her next recording in 2004, “I Can't Be New,” was a departure encompassing Tin Pan Alley, early torch, and jazz standards. Now based in Chicago, Warner’s most recent music is infused with the rustic roots of American folk, blues and country music. Her 11th recording “Kicking the Beehive” includes guest appearances by Vince Gill, Mo’Keb and Paul Franklin.

Werner’s newest project, “Hayseed,” contains 12 songs on the subject matter of farming, rural America, locavores, food safety, and the comic potential of herbicides. With this work, she returns to the language and characters she knows best.

Tickets are $24 for adults, $22 for students and seniors and are available at or at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A Page in History event is planned for noon Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Winona County History Center. Come and celebrate local food and food growers, along with Werner. Folks from the Winona Farmer’s Market, Bluff Country Co-op and local food growers will be attending. Meet your local farmers and hear a preview of Werner’s evening performance. She is supporting three organizations: Practical Farmers of Iowa, Ames; Midwest Organic Sustainability Education Service, Spring Valley, Wis.; and the Land Institute, Salina, Kan.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Saint Mary’s debuts 7th Kaplan Commission Sept. 28

The premiere performance of Larry Bitenski's Jewish oral folk tale "Katanya" will be Sept. 28 at Saint Mary's.
WINONA, Minn. — A joint performance of the Saint Mary’s University Concert Band, Chamber Singers and Choirs will feature the world-premiere composition, “Katanya” during a family-oriented fall concert 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at Page Theatre.

“Katanya,” written by Larry Bitensky of Centre College, Danville, Ky., is a Jewish oral folk tale from Turkey that tells a variation of the familiar Tom Thumb/Thumbelina story. Bitensky will serve as the tale’s on-stage narrator during the Concert Band premiere, which includes Jewish folk songs the composer heard as a youth.

“Katanya” was commissioned by the Helen and Sam Kaplan Foundation, which supports performances and activities led by Jewish artists and scholars that are designed to increase cultural and religious understanding at Saint Mary’s. Bitensky is SMU’s seventh Kaplan composer.

Known for music described as “extraordinarily sensitive and beautiful” and “speaking directly to the heart,” Bitensky, a composer and pianist, has been hailed for works that are satisfying for performers and communicative to audiences.

Born in 1966 in New York, and educated at Skidmore College, the New England Conservatory of Music, Ithaca College, and Cornell University, Bitensky’s musical personality is rooted in a range of influences. He often seeks to merge the complex structures and expressive range of the classical masters and the innovations of the 20th-century greats with the melodic and rhythmic invention and improvisatory flow of musical traditions from India, Indonesia, the Islamic and Jewish worlds, jazz, and the Grateful Dead. His travels as part of the Centre College study abroad program have also allowed him to explore firsthand the musical cultures of Morocco, Spain, Turkey and Bali.

Recorded on Mark Records and Sea Breeze Vista records, Bitensky’s music has been performed by numerous ensembles and at various festivals around North America, Europe and Asia. His music is published by Silly Black Dog Music.
Bitensky is an associate professor of music at Centre College. He lives in Lancaster, Ky., with his wife Kathy and his silly black dog Chloe.

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

This performance is just one of several events scheduled during SMU Family Weekend, Sept. 27-29, that highlights the musical and theatrical talents of Saint Mary’s students.

Saint Mary’s jazz groups open Family Weekend music performances

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo 1 will begin another great season 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in Figliulo Recital Hall under the direction of A. Eric Heukeshoven.

Music by classic jazz composers such as Duke Ellington, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Thelonius Monk and George Gershwin, along with contemporary arrangements will be featured in this one-hour tour de force. Junior Thomas Plante will be featured playing flugelhorn on Monk’s haunting “Round Midnight.” And sophomore Nick Novotny on tenor sax will be joined by Tom Nalli on trombone for Dave Wolpe’s swinging arrangement of “Alone Together.”

The concert is open to the public, and seating is limited. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, contact the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or go online to

SMU students to stage drama about women, war

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Theatre and Dance Department will present a groundbreaking play about women and war Sept. 25-26 and 28-29.

In “Necessary Targets,” two American women, a Park Avenue psychiatrist and an ambitious young writer, travel to Bosnia to help women refugees confront their memories of war. Based on interviews with numerous women who survived the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, “Necessary Targets” is a timely reminder of how America struggles to define its relationship to the rest of the world. Witness the violence of dark memories and the enduring resilience of the human spirit.

Written by Eve Ensler, and directed by Judy Myers, “Necessary Targets” will run 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, Sept. 25-26 and 28 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, in the ValĂ©ncia Academy Theatre, 10th and Vila streets.

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

This is just one of a number of arts offerings occurring at Saint Mary’s University during Family Weekend Sept. 27-29.

SMU Music Department faculty to present free recital Sunday

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University music faculty members will present a free recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22. The event, to be held in Figliulo Recital Hall, will include solo compositions as well as collaborative performances, including the trio of Ned Kirk (piano), David Leung (violin), and Derek Clark (cello).

The program will include a varied repertoire of works from Bach and Telemann to jazz standards. Other performers include Janet Heukeshoven (flute), Kristie Krause (oboe), Eric Heukeshoven (piano), John Paulson (saxophone), Alan Dunbar (voice), Michael Van Ryn (string bass), and Erik Floan (piano). The performance will last approximately one hour.

For additional program details, contact Janet Heukehoven at (507) 457-1675 or

Page Series to bring classic fairy tales with warped twists to life Oct. 3 at SMU

WINONA, Minn. — Young and old alike will enjoy the Griffin Theatre Company performance of “
Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” 
Thursday, Oct. 3, at Saint Mary’s University.

This Page Series production will begin at 6:30 p.m. in SMU’s Page Theatre.

Jack has a problem. He’s successfully grown an enormous beanstalk, scaled to the top, and stolen a golden harp and gold-laying goose from the sleeping giant. Things get a bit sketchy when said giant wakes up. Find out how old, slightly warped, fairy tales come to his rescue.

Over the past 22 years, the Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago has provided a wide range of work including world and mid-west premieres of acclaimed scripts, critically lauded productions of Shakespeare and original adaptations of novels.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students and are available online at or at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

A “Gathering for Jack” will begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the Winona Public Library Children’s Room. Enjoy some tall tales and fabulous shorts, and take a chance at winning tickets to the Oct. 3 performance.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Area schools invited to matinee performances at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — The Performance Center of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 school-only matinees. This year’s matinee performances provide inexpensive opportunities for area students in kindergarten through grade 12 to experience the best in performing arts.

Interested schools should contact Adam Wiltgen, SMU Box Office manager, at to reserve seating for their school groups. Include “SCHOOL MATINEE” in the subject line and include the following information:
• Name of School
• Contact name, phone number, and email address
• Number of students expected to attend
• Grade level or age range of students (whichever is applicable)
• Number of expected chaperones
• Any needed accessibility services

All seats cost $3 per person (for students and chaperones) and payment is due upon arrival. Schools are asked to limit chaperones to one adult per 10 students, when possible. You will be contacted to confirm your school’s participation.

Groups should plan to arrive between 20 and 30 minutes prior to the performance. Those who arrive earliest are seated first. Most events last 50 to 60 minutes and offer study guides with pre- and post-performance activities and discussion topics.

Go to to find more information about the artists, study guides and links to artist websites. Click on the “School Matinee” link to find more information.

School matinees 2013-14

Stinky Cheese Man and Other Stories
THURSDAY • OCT. 3 • 10 a.m.
* Recommended for kindergarteners through fourth-graders
Poor Jack. He’s got to use his wits to save himself from the terrible Giant, but a host of familiar fairytale characters keep messing up his plans—and then there’s that annoying Stinky Cheese Man! The show deconstructs the tradition of the fairy tale. Characters slide in and out of tales; Cinderella rebuffs Rumpelstiltskin, and Goldilocks meets the Three Elephants. Nothing is quite the same as you remember it.
Over the past 22 years the Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago has provided a wide range of work including world and mid-west premieres of acclaimed scripts, critically lauded productions of Shakespeare and original adaptations of novels.
Peter Pan
Theatreworks USA
THURSDAY • NOV. 14 • 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
*Recommended for first-graders through fifth-graders
Peter Pan is an adapted version of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale created by John Caird and Trevor Nunn. This touring production explores the journey of a group of children in turn-of-the-century London who use their imaginations to reenact the story of Peter Pan. This story empowers children to create their own world of make-believe. As the children fly to Neverland and escape the evil Captain Hook and Mr. Smee, they recognize the importance of friendship as well as the value of being part of a family. This production encourages children to let their imaginations take “flight” and to create their own adventures using household objects as props and puppets as characters.
Theatreworks USA was last seen at the Page with Bunnicula. Their alumni include Henry Winkler and John Glover. Celebrating their 51st year of producing high quality touring family friendly theatre, this New York City based company is a Page Series favorite.
NOW FILLED – Doktor Kaboom
THURSDAY  JAN. 16, 2014

Teacher from the Black Lagoon and Other Storybooks
Theatreworks USA
WEDNESDAY • JAN. 29, 2014 • 10 or 12:30 p.m. (limited room for both shows)
*Recommended for kindergarteners through fourth-graders
An exciting new musical revue based on favorite contemporary children’s books including: Teacher From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler and Jared Lee, Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey, Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes, Love Splat, Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton, and The Grasshopper and the Ant.
Theatreworks USA often visits the Page stage, last season they performed Bunnicula. Since their founding in 1961, they have presented more than 90 million children and their families with opportunities to enjoy their theatrical productions in 49 states and Canada.
Spring Concert
Dance Repertory Company and SMU Dept. of Theatre and Dance
THURSDAY • APRIL 24, 2014 • 10 a.m.
* Recommended for third-graders and older
Suitable and appealing for all ages, the annual spring concert by the Dance Repertory Company offers a well-rounded dance experience by including a variety of dance styles in its performances. Full of youthful exuberance, effervescent spirit and burgeoning talent, the company upholds high artistic standards and commitment to technique, discipline and fun. From contemporary ballet to tap, and from jazz to hip hop, this concert promises delightful choreography performed by an equally delightful company of student dancers.

Arts Educational opportunities are supported in part by generous donations from Xcel Energy and Target.

Saint Mary's invites public to Fall Frolic Sept. 28

WINONA, Minn. — The public is invited to participate in the 26th Fall Frolic 5K fun run/walk at Saint Mary’s University Saturday, Sept. 28.

Registration will run from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in SMU’s Toner Student Center with the race beginning at 10 a.m. The $8 cost includes a T-shirt.

The annual event is free to SMU students, faculty and staff, but is open to the community as well. Typically close to 300 people participate; competitors of all levels (including walkers) are welcome.

Participants will enjoy the beautiful bluff trails of SMU’s Winona campus. The online registration form is available at, and a complete weekend schedule — is available online at

Family Weekend runs Sept 27-29 and includes a full slate of activities for families of students and the SMU community. In previous years, as many as 1,000 visitors have come onto campus for Family Weekend music and theatre events, sporting events, the Fall Frolic, and other games and activities.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saint Mary’s plans annual Young Alumni Weekend

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University graduates from the past decade have been invited back to campus for Young Alumni Reunion Weekend, Sept. 13-15.

More than 150 alumni are expected to attend the full weekend of events which will include a faculty and staff social, a young alumni gathering at Mulligan’s, ropes course activities, a barbecue with live music on the plaza, disc golfing and the Cardinal Dash 5K. New this year is an alumni party at Jefferson Pub & Grill, featuring the young alumni band Ali and the Scoundrels, 8 p.m. Saturday.

The weekend also coincides with Cardinal ‘M’ Club Weekend, giving SMU alumni opportunities to cheer on Cardinal athletics.

 For more information, contact Bob Fisher at (507) 457-6658 or To read more about this event, or to register, go

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

More than 1,000 come to view Stanley Cup, rally with John McDonough at Saint Mary’s Sept. 6

John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, hoists the Stanley Cup for a photo with the Saint Mary's University men's and women's hockey teams.

WINONA, Minn. — More than 1,000 people came to Saint Mary’s University Friday, Sept. 6, to get a photo taken with the Stanley Cup, thanks to 1975 alumnus John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, who chose to share the Stanley Cup with his alma mater and with the greater Winona area.

Just prior to the public viewing, McDonough triumphantly lifted the Cup over his head to the cheers of a large crowd in Gostomski Fieldhouse during the rally. SMU hockey legends were also recognized, and the crowd enjoyed presentations by McDonough and Brother William Mann, SMU president, as well as a Blackhawks highlight video. During the event, a plaque recognizing McDonough’s accomplishments was unveiled. The plaque will permanently hang in the Regan Lobby of the SMU Ice Arena.

“My academic prowess wasn’t great but I learned a lot about commitment; I learned a lot about drive. I learned a lot about relationships,” McDonough told the rally crowd. “I am grateful for what this great university has given to me.”

He told audience members, “Please be brave enough to have big dreams; they just might come true.”

McDonough’s visit also included a meeting with the SMU Athletic Advisory Council and a luncheon with Winona-area business leaders, during which Winona Mayor Mark Peterson presented McDonough with a proclamation declaring Sept. 6, 2013, as “John F. McDonough Day” in Winona.

“We are grateful to John for sharing his time, for sharing the Cup and for sharing his championship spirit and inspiring leadership with our communities,” said Brother William Mann. “We look forward to John’s continued success; we know that he will continue to accomplish amazing things, and we’re proud to call him one of our own.”

To see photos from the event, go to

Saint Mary’s is ranked in top tier of U.S. News ‘Best National Universities’

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is once again ranked in the top tier of the annual U.S. News & World Report ratings of best colleges and universities.

Saint Mary’s is ranked No. 173 in the National Universities category of the U.S. News Best Colleges 2014 guidebook, moving up one slot from No. 174 in the 2013 guide. Saint Mary’s is one of only three public or private schools in Minnesota listed in this elite category.

The ranking of more than 1,500 schools is available online at Results were announced today, Sept. 10.

“Year in and year out, Saint Mary’s is nationally recognized for its excellent educational experience,” said President Brother William Mann. “As a top-tier university, we meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our students at every level, from undergraduate to master’s to doctoral.”

U.S. News ranks Saint Mary’s in the “National Universities” category, which includes schools that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

Taking top honors in the “National Universities” ranking are Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University and Stanford University.

Along with “National Universities,” the other main U.S. News institutional groupings are “National Liberal Arts Colleges,” “Regional Universities” and “Regional Colleges.”

U.S. News categorizes schools primarily by mission and region, and ranking data is gathered from each institution on indicators of academic excellence.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Saint Mary’s welcomes pianist Christopher O’Riley Sept. 17

WINONA, Minn. — Christopher O’Riley, NPR’s most famous pianist, will continue to stretch the piano beyond conventional boundaries Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Saint Mary’s University as part of the Page Series. Audiences will hear O’Riley interpret contemporary popular music including Elliott Smith, Radiohead and Pink Floyd.

O’Riley has taken his unique vision to both traditional classical music venues and symphonic settings, as well as to entirely new audiences on the radio, at universities and even clubs. As host of the popular classical music show, National Public Radio’s “From The Top,”  O’Riley works and performs with the next generation of brilliant young musicians, demonstrating to audiences that these young artists are as interesting and diverse in their personal lives as they are in their music-making.

He has toured the U.S. with the world-famous Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared with the philharmonic orchestras of Los Angeles, New York, Moscow and the Royal Philharmonic in London, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the symphonies of Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Page Theatre.

Tickets are $24 for adults, $22 for seniors and students and are available online at, or at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be a limited quantity of $6 tickets available for youth 5-14 years old.

A Page in History event is planned for 12:05 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Winona County History Center. This free event includes a unique opportunity to talk with O’Riley about the making of his popular radio program and the mission behind the program. Heard on more than 200 radio stations nationwide, this is a time for fans of both his music and this program to ask questions about this aspect of his career. He will be in the Slaggie Family Lobby on the 1884 Steinway.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Details finalized on Sept. 6 public Stanley Cup viewing, rally at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — On Friday, Sept. 6, John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, will bring the Stanley Cup to his alma mater, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. His visit will include a public rally and viewing of the Cup on the Winona campus.

Everyone is invited to a public rally from 4:30 to 5 p.m. in Gostomski Fieldhouse — during which McDonough (a 1975 alumnus) will address the crowd, SMU hockey legends will be recognized, and the Cup will be on display. Enjoy a Blackhawks highlight video, along with photos, music and an abundance of championship spirit. A limited number of souvenir mementos will be available. If you are unable to attend, check out a live stream of the rally at

Following the rally, a limited number of attendees will have an opportunity to take pictures with the Stanley Cup from 5 to 7 p.m. in Gostomski Fieldhouse. The public is invited to begin lining up at 1:30 p.m. outside of the entrance to the Toner Student Center’s Hall of Fame Room. Due to time constraints with the Cup, only those with wristbands will have the opportunity for an up-close photo. The doors will open at 3:30 p.m. at which time wristbands will be given out. If you do not receive a wristband, you will still be allowed into the facility to see and photograph the Cup from a reasonable distance. Please note that for security reasons, large bags and purses will not be permitted into the facility, and smaller bags or purses will be subject to search.

Saint Mary’s volunteers will direct attendees on where to park and line up. Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances, the schedule may be subject to change.

Winona Mayor Mark Peterson proclaims Friday as ‘John F. McDonough Day’ in Winona

Winona, Minn. — Winona Mayor Mark Peterson announced at the Sept. 3 City Council Meeting that Friday, Sept. 6, will be “John F. McDonough Day Winona.” McDonough, a 1975 Saint Mary’s University alumnus, as well as President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, has chosen to share the Stanley Cup to his alma mater — and the greater Winona community — Sept. 6. The proclamation reads:

City of Winona

Whereas, John F. McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, is a 1975 alumnus of Saint Mary’s University in Winona; and

Whereas, John McDonough has twice reached the pinnacle of success in professional sports by leading the Chicago Blackhawks to two Stanley Cups in four seasons; and

Whereas, John McDonough has graciously chosen to share the championship spirit and tradition of the Stanley Cup with his alma mater, as well as with the greater Winona community; and

Whereas, this opportunity provides both Saint Mary’s University and the Winona community with an exceptional opportunity for positive visibility and camaraderie; and

Whereas, John McDonough’s dedicated leadership and remarkable career in the National Hockey League have advanced the sport of hockey.

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that the City of Winona hereby recognizes Sept. 6, 2013 as John F. McDonough Day in Winona.  We are honored that John McDonough has chosen to share his valuable time — and the Stanley Cup — with the community.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Winona to be affixed this 3rd day of September 2013.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Constitution Day panel presentation planned for Sept. 17 at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — A Constitution Day panel presentation titled “Justice and the Constitution: The Right to Counsel, Gideon v. Wainwright, and its Legacy at Fifty” will be held Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Saint Mary’s University.

The event, free and open to the public, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the President’s Room of the Toner Student Center.

Panelists will include:

• Rich McCluer, J.D. — Criminal law attorney with Price, McCluer & Plachecki; formerly chief trial lawyer for the Third Judicial District Public Defenders Office and named a “Minnesota Superlawyer” by the Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics

• Larry Price, J.D. — Assistant professor, Department of Business, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

• Karin Sonneman, J.D. — Winona County attorney; formerly public defender for Minnesota’s Third Judicial District and two-time Gideon Award recipient, awarded to a public defender best exemplifying the principles of Gideon

• Judge Jeffrey D. Thompson, J.D. — Chief judge for Minnesota’s Third Judicial District, formerly Rice County attorney and assistant Winona County attorney

Gideon v. Wainwright was the 1963 Supreme Court case, which led to the government appointing defense attorneys at no cost to those not able to afford it. This is widely believed to have made the U.S. legal system more accurate and fair, but 50 years later, some question whether the ideals upheld in Gideon have been eroded by underfunding, heavy case loads and plea-bargains. This panel of legal experts will explore the original case and the state of justice in the U.S. court system 50 years later.

This Constitution Day presentation is sponsored by Saint Mary University’s Department of Social Science. For more information, contact moderator Dr. David Lynch, professor and chair, Department of Social Science, at or (507) 457-1526.