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From Miss Minnesota to musician

Andy and Kathryn Karg will perform Dec. 15 at the Historic Holmes Theatre. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Since Kathryn Knuttila was crowned as Miss Minnesota in 2010, the Detroit Lakes native has been busier than ever.

While she was still the reigning titleholder, Kathryn met her future husband, Nashville musician Andy Karg, and they began writing and performing music together.

“We just got married last year,” she says. “After we were married, we started a music company, 2-Gether Productions.”

Their business includes everything from writing musical jingles for Twin Cities-area companies to writing and producing their own music.

“We have a recording studio here in our home in St. Paul,” Kathryn explains. “We’ve been doing some recording for other musicians as well.”

That recording studio’s latest release is “A Very Merry Christmas” by Andy and Kathryn Karg, and the couple will be playing selections from that CD at a Sunday, Dec. 15 appearance inside Detroit Lakes’ Historic Holmes Theatre.

“We decided it would be a great gift for our family, and for us, to do a Christmas CD together,” Kathryn says.  “We ended up making it a huge project, and decided to sell it. We did everything in our home recording studio, a full orchestra production with every instrument you can imagine — even jingle bells.

Kathryn (Knuttila) Karg

“We put all this work into the CD, so we thought we might as well perform it live,” Kathryn added.

So the couple approached Historic Holmes Theatre director Amy Stearns about doing a holiday show there.

“She thought it was a great idea,” Kathryn said.

“We’ll be doing a lot of popular Christmas songs, and we also have an original song that we’re performing.”

The couple will be bringing a full band with them for the performance, including a drummer, John Grimsley, who is also originally from Detroit Lakes.

“April Spaeth, a local musician, will also be backing me up on keyboards while I’m playing piano,” Kathryn says. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ve been working really hard on it.”

Tickets for the Dec. 15 show, which starts at 3 p.m., are $10 for adults and $5 for students, and may be purchased online at, by phone at 218-844-7469, or in person at the Holmes Theatre Box Office, 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes.

In addition to that show, the Kargs will also be performing at Zorbaz in Detroit Lakes on Friday, Dec. 20, and at Spanky’s Stone Hearth in Vergas on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Both of those shows are open to the public.  In addition, they will be performing as part of the Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary Club meeting on Thursday, Dec. 12.

“We’re doing a whole bunch of things up north,” Kathryn says, noting that those who are interested in catching a show can visit for schedule updates. “We’ll be playing around Detroit Lakes and Frazee and Perham.”

Besides these holiday concerts, the Twin Cities couple also gives music lessons (Kathryn on piano, Andy in both guitar and voice), plays regularly at local music venues and yes, writes advertising jingles.

“We have one we just did for KARE (a Twin Cities television station), and they paid us for it, so hopefully they’ll use it,” she said. “That’s kind of exciting.

“We’re doing a lot of different things, just trying to be full-time musicians here in the Twin Cities.”

In addition, Kathryn continues to be active in the Miss Minnesota organization, acting as a mentor for the prospective candidates to hone their interview and communications skills, and

she “did a lot of work with talent as well.”

“We did five different (recorded music) tracks as background accompaniment for a couple of girls this year,” Kathryn added.

She also occasionally still works as a pianist for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Frazee, where she used to be the music director.

“I’ve been playing (at the church) for Christmas, and at special events, so I’m back there quite a bit,” Kathryn says.

Though they live and work in St. Paul now, the couple continues to make regular visits to Detroit Lakes, and in the summer, to the family’s lake cabin.

She likes to perform in the area whenever she comes back to visit, Kathryn says, as a way of “giving back” to the community, and everyone who has supported both her and her husband in their musical endeavors.

“That’s my hometown,” she adds. “I want to invite everyone to come see us.”

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