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Three groups set to perform this weekend and next in west central Minnesota

Prairie Winds Concert Band, the Prairie Arts Chorale and Ridgewater College Theatre will all take the stage throughout the weekend to entertain.

Featured soloist Greta Hulterstrum performs "Rhapsody for Flute" with the Prairie Winds Concert Band during a rehearsal session for an upcoming show titled "Music in Color," at the Willmar Education and Arts Center on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Featured soloist Greta Hulterstrum performs "Rhapsody for Flute" with the Prairie Winds Concert Band during a rehearsal session for an upcoming show titled "Music in Color," at the Willmar Education and Arts Center on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — For those wanting to celebrate local talent this coming weekend, there are three groups of artists putting on various shows in Willmar, Benson and in surrounding cities.

Ridgewater College Theatre, Prairie Winds Concert Band and Prairie Arts Chorale will all take the stage throughout the weekend to entertain.

Ridgewater College to present Aristophanes’ 'The Birds'

Ridgewater College Theatre will present Aristophanes’ “The Birds” at the Willmar campus April 21-23 and April 28-30 at 7:30 p.m., according to a press release from the college.

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Crew members Joel Bothun and Erin Keenan work on light set up for the spring Ridgewater Theatre production of Aristophanes’ “The Birds,” set for April 21-23 and April 28-30.
Contributed / Ridgewater College

This adaptation of Aristophanes’ Greek classic is written by Brian Reno and Gabriel Vega Weissman. The story follows Matt and Dillon, two Hollywood producers, who decide to abandon the bureaucracy, stress and shallowness of society to live in the desert among the birds. To gain a life of freedom and tranquility that comes with bird life, they must make a case for why they deserve an avian transformation, but all they have to offer are the pieces of civilization they’ve tried to leave behind.

“This show has been an absolute blast to work on,” said Matt Hegdahl, Ridgewater College Theatre director, in the release. “I’ve enjoyed watching the actors have fun with the creative process, collaborate with each other, and, ultimately, take ownership of the show. I think any director would appreciate that. This play has given the students a chance to expand their skills and hopefully discover new talents and a deeper love for the performing arts.”

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Ridgewater College Theatre will open its spring performance of Aristophanes’ “The Birds”<b>&nbsp;</b>on April 21, 2022. Performances will run April 21-23 and April 28-30. Pictured rehearsing cast members include Emily Giere, Rae Schallenkamp, Joel Bothun, Heidi Imker and Kaleb Krupa.
Contritbuted / Ridgewater College

Playing the roles of Hollywood producers Matt and Dillon are Skai Heim, of Montevideo, and Hayden Saulsbury, of Kensington. The chorus of birds includes Joel Bothun, of Willmar; Emily Giere, of Spicer; Rae Schallenkamp, of Bridgewater, South Dakota; Heidi Imker, of Lamberton; Kaleb Krupa, of Spicer; and Erin Keenan, of Shakopee. Other cast members include Sufyan Harbi, of Willmar; Lane Bishop, of Brooten; Holly Tavary, of Hutchinson; and David Moreno, of Benson.

This production has some language that might not be suitable for all ages, and is considered PG-13 equivalent.

General admission tickets are $5 and are available through the Ridgewater Bookstore or at the door. Tickets for Ridgewater employees and students are free. Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more information or a campus map, go to www.ridgewater.edu/theater .

Prairie Winds to perform at Benson PAC

Prairie Winds Concert Band, led by conductor J. Brock Duncan, is set to perform "Music in Color" on Sunday, April 24, 2022, at 2 p.m. on the stage at the Benson Performing Arts Center.

Members of the Prairie Winds Concert Band practice for their upcoming performance of "Music in Color" during a rehearsal session at the Willmar Education and Arts Center Monday, April 18, 202
Members of the Prairie Winds Concert Band practice for their upcoming performance of "Music in Color" during a rehearsal session at the Willmar Education and Arts Center on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

The concert, sponsored by the Willmar Area Community Foundation, will feature flutist Greta Hulterstrum. Hulterstrum, a student at Litchfield High School, will perform "Rhapsody for Flute" with the ensemble.

The Prairie Winds Concert Band practices during a rehearsal session at the Willmar Education and Arts Center Monday, April 18, 2022, for their upcoming show, "Music in Color."
The Prairie Winds Concert Band practices during a rehearsal session at the Willmar Education and Arts Center on Monday, April 18, 2022, for its upcoming show, "Music in Color."
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

The Prairie Winds Concert Band provides an opportunity for area instrumentalists to continue playing and performing in the context of the concert band, while serving the West Central area as a provider of musical entertainment and community involvement. More information about the group can be found online at prairiewindsconcertband.com or at its Facebook page at facebook.com/prairiewinds .

Tickets are $10 at the door for adults; admission is free for those 18 and under.

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Prairie Winds Concert Band director Brock Duncan directs the band during a practice session for "Music in Color" on Monday, April 18, 2022, at the Willmar Education and Arts Center.
Prairie Winds Concert Band director Brock Duncan directs the band during a practice session for "Music in Color" on Monday, April 18, 2022, at the Willmar Education and Arts Center.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Prairie Arts Chorale to present 'Words of Wisdom'

Prairie Arts Chorale, Singers of Southwestern Minnesota, under the direction of Brandon Hurley, will present five performances of "Words of Wisdom" for its spring concert series April 22-24 and April 29-30, 2022.

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The Prairie Arts Chorale, Singers of Southwestern Minnesota, will present five performances of "Words of Wisdom" April 21-24 and April 29-30, 2022.
Contributed / Prairie Arts Chorale

"This concert program is meant to explore wisdom that has been passed down through music over the years and today," according to a press release. "Throughout history, wisdom has always been given to those in need whether it was asked for or not."

The concert will feature songs such as "You Learn," "You Can't Hurry Love" and "Lean on Me," among many others, with the hope that listeners will "walk away not only with Broadway and popular tunes in their ears, but also a sense of how music has helped influence us in ways we may have never thought about before."

Performances will take place at the following locations and times:

  • Friday, April 22,: 7 p.m., Estebo Performing Arts Center, Redwood Falls
  • Saturday, April 23: 7 p.m., The Barn Theatre, Willmar
  • Sunday, April 24: 4 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, Spicer
  • Friday, April 29: 7 p.m., First Lutheran Church, Marshall
  • Saturday, April 30: 7 p.m., United Methodist Church, Montevideo

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door and free to those 18 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit prairieartschorale.org .

The performances are funded, in part, by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council through an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.

Kit Grode joined the West Central Tribune as the features and sections editor in July 2021. She oversees the weekly Showcase and Extra feature segments and also the WCT's special sections.
What to read next
Community and high school art events will be printed each Wednesday in this calendar up to two weeks in advance. The deadline is noon Friday. Items may be emailed to news@wctrib.com with “arts calendar item” in the subject line.
Art classes and meetings in the area
Exhibits on display in the next month
Museum hours and special events in the next month