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West Central Concert Series launches 2009-10 season

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The West Central Concert Series will begin its new season on Sept. 13 with a matinee performance. Tickets for the season will be available at the door beginning at 1:15 p.m. They are $50 per adult and $10 for students in kindergarten through 12th grade for all five concerts.

All concerts are performed at the Willmar Education and Arts Center auditorium, 611 Fifth St. S.W. near downtown Willmar.

Following is a brief description of groups scheduled to perform for the 2009-10 season. Admission to the concerts is by season membership only.

For additional information visit or call 320-235-3675 evenings.


Sunday, Sept. 13, 2 p.m.

Cantus, a nine-member ensemble consisting of tenors, baritones and basses, sings with one of the "freshest and most engaging sounds" in choral music today.

The group's wide-ranging program repertoire may include such pieces as African Jazz, a Hebrew folk song, an English sea shanty, an African American spiritual, a Scottish folk song, an Irish work song, and, in a more serious vein, there may also be some classical male choral works, as well as particular favorites like "Danny Boy" and "Prayer of the Children." Cantus sings all songs a cappella and without amplification.

Cantus originated as an amateur group of singers from the renowned choral program at St. Olaf College in Northfield, they established themselves as a full-time group in September of 2000, based in Minneapolis.

They have performed in major music festivals including at the sixth World Symposium on Choral Music, on numerous public radio stations and for concert associations throughout the United States.


Tuesday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.

The Broadbent family string quartet -- brothers Giles, Ralph and Neal and their cousin Graham -- perform a unique program that provides an "amazing" evening's entertainment.

The show features five- and six-stringed electric violins, called violectras, a viola and a cello. They will perform their acclaimed version of "Bolero," with all four members of the group playing one cello at the same time. They challenge the audience to a rousing game of "Name That Tune," trying to guess 20 of the most popular film theme songs and their signature finale, "The History of Music ... in 5 minutes."

Giles and Ralph attended the Royal Academy of Music in England, Graham attended the Royal College of Music in England, and before Neal could choose which musical school he was headed for, his three family members persuaded him to join them and put together this one-of- a-kind group.

Paul Asaro

Monday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Paul Asaro, pianist, performs the very demanding, two-handed styles of jazz, including stride, ragtime, blues, boogie-woogie and swing.

His program will include such familiar favorites as "Ain't Misbehavin," "This Is So Nice It Must Be Illegal," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Tiger Rag," "Original Jelly Roll Blues" and "Maple Leaf Rag."

He performs at Jazz and Ragtime festivals, clubs and theaters worldwide. He was featured as "The Professor" in the award-winning Broadway production and national tour of "Jelly Roll! The Music and the Man," performing alongside the show's creator and star Vernel Bagneris.

Asaro has had long runs as house pianist aboard the legendary New Orleans steamboat "Delta Queen," in Chicago with Jim Beebe's band and in Seattle as a regular solo pianist at "Julia's in Wallingford."

When on the road, he tours with Leon Redbone and with his own trio, and he recently was on Jim Cullum's "Riverwalk Jazz" program for National Public Radio.

Jasper Wood: Tribute to Heifetz

Friday, March 12, 7:30 p.m.

Jasper Wood has established himself as a major talent of his generation. He made his first public appearance at the age of 5 and has developed "a flourishing reputation as a sought-after soloist" with major orchestras and as a recitalist/chamber musician throughout North America and Europe.

This program will consist of the "greatest hits" of the 20th Century's greatest violinist -- Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), and will include Beethoven's Sonata No. 5 in F "Spring" Allegro, and Vitali's Chaconne in g minor. He will also feature many of Heifetz' arrangements of lighter pieces like "Estrellita (Little Star)" by Manuel Ponce, "Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair" by Stephen Foster and more.

Wood has been awarded both the coveted Sylva Gelber Prize (1996) and the prestigious Virginia Parker Award (2004) from the Canada Council. He teaches violin at the University of British Columbia.

Riders In The Sky

Tuesday, April 20, 7:30 p.m.

Riders in the Sky, the number one cowboy group in the country, performs the music of such legendary cowboy singers as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.

The Grammy-winning Western music group will sing favorite cowboy songs --

"Tumblin' Tumbleweeds," "Cool Water," "Ghost Riders in the Sky," "Back in the Saddle Again," "Rawhide" "Happy Trails" and more.

The Riders -- Ranger Doug, Woody Paul, Too Slim and Joey -- have single-handedly revived and revitalized an entire music genre since they formed in 1977. They have become the world's premier Western recording and touring band.