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Christmas music at First Lutheran

Lakes Area Community Band member, and manager, Rick Olson (far left), plays the clarinet in a Thursday practice session to prepare for the band's Dec. 9 concert. Photo by - Vicki Gerdes1 / 2
Gene Gaffney (far right) directs the members of the Lakes Area Community Band in a rehearsal to prepare the band for its Sunday, Dec. 9 Christmas concert. The concert has been moved from the Historic Holmes Theatre to First Lutheran Church due to a booking mixup. Photo by - Vicki Gerdes2 / 2

With all the events going on in and around Detroit Lakes during this holiday season, it's perhaps not all that surprising that there might be a scheduling mishap.

Two events were accidentally booked to take place at the Historic Holmes Theatre on the same afternoon -- and it has led to one of the events being moved to a new venue.

The Lakes Area Community Band's sixth annual Christmas concert will now take place at First Lutheran Church, located at 912 Lake Avenue.

The concert is still set to take place at its original time, however -- 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The send-off for Miss Minnesota Siri Freeh, as she prepares to compete in the upcoming Miss America pageant, will take place at the Holmes Theatre at 3 p.m. that same day, as originally scheduled.

"We double booked," said Holmes Theatre director Amy Stoller Stearns, adding that it was a simple oversight on their part. "It's never happened before -- we just didn't catch it until Monday."

Though the band members discussed moving back the time of the concert until later in the evening, Lakes Area Community Band manager Rick Olson said it was ultimately decided that a change of venue was needed.

"We thought we might move it to 7 p.m., but some of the band members couldn't make it (at that time) because they'd made other plans," Olson said.

Fortunately, First Lutheran Church stepped in and graciously offered to host the band concert.

"We're really pleased First Lutheran could host this concert for us," said the band's director, Gene Gaffney. "The acoustics are marvelous there."

There is also plenty of seating and ample parking available, Gaffney added.

The Laker Singers from Detroit Lakes High School will also be joining the band for a portion of the concert, Gaffney noted.

"We'll do a couple of pieces together, and then they will do a 20-25 minute set of their own," he said.

"It's a really unique opportunity for these kids, because they don't often get to sing with live instruments," said Kathryn Larson, vocal director for the Laker Singers. "It should be a really good experience for them.

"We're going to meet with the band this next week and run through the two numbers we're doing together," she added, noting that the holiday season is especially busy for the vocal group. "This is just one of the fun performances we'll be doing for the holiday season."

"We're really pleased to have the Laker Singers with us," said Gaffney. "We did this two years ago, and it was a fun night. We're trying to recreate that atmosphere."

In addition to the two numbers with the Laker Singers, the band will also be performing a couple of sing-alongs for the audience to join in, Gaffney said.

"They'll be familiar carols," he added, noting that the lyrics would also be printed in the concert program. "We've done this before, and it had a very positive reaction."

Other selections included in the program are "Sleigh Ride," "Themes from the Nutcracker Suite," "Do You Hear What I Hear/Snow Bells," "A Home Alone Christmas," "Gloria!" and "Sheep May Safely Graze."

The band's closing number, Gaffney said, will be a rousing rendition of the "Halleluia Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah."

"That's sure to get a standing ovation," he said, adding, "It's (this concert) a great way to get in the holiday spirit."

"It's going to be a great concert -- it's just that, unfortunately, it won't be here," Stearns said.

Though there will be no admission fee for the concert, free will offerings will be gratefully accepted.

Since forming in 2006, the Lakes Area Community Concert Band has provided an opportunity for area instrumentalists to play and perform in the context of the concert band, while serving the lakes area as a provider of musical entertainment and community involvement.

Rehearsals are typically held on Thursday evenings, 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the Detroit Lakes Senior High School band room.

Anyone interested in playing with the band may contact any band member or band manager Rick Olson, at 218-847-4281 or

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454