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Arts briefs

West Central Singers names director; fall rehearsals to begin Sept. 10

WILLMAR -- The board of directors of West Central Singers announces that John D. Jahr of Willmar has been appointed the group's choral music director.

He is a native of Hitterdal, is a graduate of Concordia College with a degree in music and has a master of sacred music degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Jahr has been a church choir director and organist since his youth, and has served churches in Fargo, the Twin Cities and the Dallas area. He is director of worship and music at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar where he directs several choirs and serves as organist.

The board said the group's upcoming fall session promises to be "a new mix of exciting and challenging music with fresh new ideas." Dues for the fall session are $20 per singer.

Rehearsals will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. beginning Sept. 10 at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar and will continue every Thursday thereafter. A concert is scheduled for 4 p.m. Nov. 22.

For more information about the group or to join, call Jahr at 320-235-1441.

Willmar woman to debut keyboard CD at concerts on Wednesday

WILLMAR -- VaLaine Carlson of Willmar will debut her keyboard CD, "Basking in Himzzz" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Covenant Church in Willmar.

The CD will be playing nonstop in the sanctuary and she will also perform hour-long concerts at 9 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The CD, consisting of 11 well-known hymns, was designed to be background music that brings peace and quiet to the listener.

Carlson played the hymns on her keyboard, added layer upon layer with a little "antique" recorder's six tracks and mixed it using "cheap" headphones. Audio technician Jason Dimler helped level out the volumes and the equalization.

Copies of the CD will be available for $10.

Carlson has been involved in music since an early age. In her 1958 kindergarten class, she was given the solo and led the class band as they performed Minnesota Hail to Thee for a celebration in honor of Minnesota's centennial. She began singing at the Assembly of God Church and with Youth for Christ traveling singing teams, which led her to experience winning several national competitions by singing in a quartet and quintet.

At the age of 20, Carlson had landed a professional singing career, performing nightly at the Radisson Hotel downtown Minneapolis and at the same time singing jingles for two recording studios in Minneapolis. She could be heard on the radio from 1971-73 singing for Northwest Orient Airlines, Hormel Little Sizzlers, DQ, Cenex and Silverline Boats.

Over the years, Carlson has continued to be involved in music at Word of Faith Family Church through her singing and on piano. She released the first copies of her CD in July.

Smithsonian exhibit in Hanley Falls

HANLEY FALLS -- The Minnesota's Machinery Museum in Hanley Falls will have the Smithsonian Institution's exhibition "Between Fences'' through Sept. 30 at the museum.

The exhibit opens today and offers a selection of artifacts, photographs and illustrations to explore whether or not "good fences make good neighbors.'' It also looks at the multiple meanings behind this everyday icon.

Minnesota's Machinery Museum is located at 100 First St. N. in Hanley Falls and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the museum's Web site