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Get into the Groove(Lily) at Holmes

GrooveLily takes to the stage at the Historic Holmes Theatre this Saturday, Nov. 21. The trio of Valerie Vigoda (electric violin), Brendan Milburn (piano) and Gene Lewin (drums) will demonstrate their ability to combine rock, pop, folk and jazz into a truly unique sound. It will mark the group's second appearance in Detroit Lakes.

Though they no longer make their living as full-time, touring musicians, the members of GrooveLily still perform between 25 and 30 concerts each year -- and Detroit Lakes will be hosting one of them this Saturday.

"Valerie (Vigoda) and I live in California now, and Gene (Lewin) lives in New Jersey, so the only time we meet now is when we get together for a concert," says Brendan Milburn, who has played piano for the group since its inception 15 years ago.

"It feels like old friends getting together at a party," he adds. "It never feels like work anymore...there's a renewed sense of joy and fun."

Which is one of the reasons why the group made the decision a few years ago to stop touring as full-time musicians, Milburn notes.

"For a long time, this (performing) was how we were making all of our money," he explains. "It became a job. It got to the point where we didn't enjoy doing it anymore, because we had to do it. If you're not careful, anything you throw yourself into can become that."

But somehow, Milburn continues, the trio found a way to bring the magic back into its stage performances.

"At this point we don't want to have to load up the van every night and drive six hours, then unpack and do it all again," he says. "It's so much more enjoyable to simply arrange a booking way ahead of time and make it something really special that we plan for well in advance. We bring a certain zest for life to these events."

Since making the transition out of being a full-time touring act and moving to the West Coast, Vigoda and Milburn (who are married) have gradually been immersing themselves in the world of writing songs for stage and film.

Their first foray into Broadway musicals, "Striking 12" -- a modern take on the Hans Christian Anderson fable "The Little Match Girl" -- was so successful that it spawned a tour, and the show made a successful cameo appearance at the Holmes in 2007.

"We had a wonderful time the last time we were there," said Milburn, noting that they had also enjoyed the food in the local restaurants so much that they were looking forward to tasting it again this weekend.

The husband-and-wife songwriting duo also penned a couple of the tunes found on the recently released Disney DVD movie, "Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure," and will have their music featured in two additional films in the Tinkerbell series, scheduled for release in 2010 and 2011.

Next month, "Striking 12" will be returning to the stage for a two-week run at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Vigoda and Milburn plan to bring their four-year-old son along for the ride on that trip, though he won't be coming to Detroit Lakes.

Saturday's show starts at 7:30 p.m. inside the Holmes Theatre, following a full day of arts displays and demonstrations in the ballroom at the fourth annual Holmes Art Show.

Tickets to the concert are $22 for adults, $11 for students, and can be purchased at the Holmes Box Office, 826 Summit Ave., by phone at 218-844-SHOW (7469), or online at

Free community band concert aSunday

The Lakes Area Community Concert Band will perform a free concert at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 22 in Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre.

The concert will feature a number of selections including "Symphonic Suite" by Clifton Williams, "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff,  "The Irish Washerwoman" by Leroy Anderson and more.

Now in its fourth season, the Lakes Area Community Concert Band

provides 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.

The concert concludes a weekend of fine arts, music and more at the fourth annual Holmes Art Show, which opens this Thursday, Nov. 19 with a special "Celebrate Art" reception at the Holmes Ballroom, starting at 5 p.m.

There will be music by local musicians as well as a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres. The show will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the art show, contact Vicky Williams at 218-844-4221, ext. 106.

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