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Take time to see holiday concerts

The Trinity Lutheran Church Choir sings duning last year’s Candles and Carols concert. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The lakes are alive with the sound of music this holiday season.

A plethora of Christmas concerts are set to take place in and around Detroit Lakes this week, starting with today’s (Sunday) holiday concert at First Lutheran Church, featuring the Alleluia Ringers Bell Choir and Jubilate Adult Choir, set for 9 and 10:45 a.m.

The bell choir is under the direction of Carla Hansen, while Kathy Larson is directing the Jubilate choir.

This Wednesday, Dec. 11, First Lutheran will be hosting an Advent Mini Concert at noon, featuring Andy and Kathryn (Knuttila) Karg; the church’s final Advent Mini-Concert will be at noon on Dec. 18, featuring the music of Vicki Marthaler and Kim Schnitzer.

Both concerts will last about half an hour. Attendees are also invited to join the congregation for a soup and sandwich luncheon.

“The concerts are free, but if you stay for lunch, they do ask for a free will offering,” said Marlys Douglas, organizer of the Advent Mini-Concert series at First Lutheran.

“It’s a time to relax and enjoy some wonderful music, reflect and clear your mind for half an hour,” she added. “We’ve been doing this for several years now, and every year we try to bring in some different musicians.”

On Thursday, Dec. 12, pianist Lorie Line and her five-piece band, the Fab Five, will be bringing their holiday concert tour, “Born in Bethlehem,” to the Historic Holmes Theatre for a 7:30 p.m. show.

“What’s unique about this year is that the oldest member of my Fab Five is 23 years old,” Line said in a Thursday interview. “They’re all really young, and bring a new, exciting energy… it’s kind of a cool and hip little group.”

Of course, Line will also be doing plenty of solo piano numbers.

“All of the music in my show is traditional (holiday music),” she said. “Some of them are fan favorites, like ‘Carol of the Bells,’ ‘Joy to the Word’ and ‘Deck the Halls,’ and some are very unfamiliar songs — but they’re beautiful.”

Line said that fans are also encouraged to “bring their bells” for the audience participation portion of the show.

“There is this ‘bring your bells’ tradition in the show where my audience brings their bells and ring along (with certain songs),” she said. “We have lots of audience interaction, and at one points, kids ages 4-14 are invited up to the stage, because Santa always comes to visit my show.”

Line releases a new holiday album each year — she and her husband run their own independent music label, and she records all her music in a studio located in their home — and the holiday tour’s theme is based on the music from each year’s album.

“We’re one of the largest independent music labels in the country,” Line said. “I’ve been doing this for 24 years, and I never did sign with a label.”

That turned out to be a good decision for her, she says, because “I love the freedom of choice.”

For instance, when she sets up her tours, “if I want to go to Detroit Lakes, I go to Detroit Lakes.”

It also allows her more freedom in putting together her tour shows, Line said, because she is able to set her own budget, and “the fans win” because they are able to put together a top-notch production.

Line said she also loves touring; she has a spring and summer tour each year as well.

“You live in a kind of bubble, and it’s awesome,” she said. “We have a very set schedule that is really efficient, and everything’s decided for you in advance.”

But the main reason why she loves it, of course, is the joy of live performance.

“Playing music, that’s what I was born to do, and sharing my gift with others is the cherry on top of the sundae,” Line said.

Tickets for Thursday’s show are $49 apiece; groups of 10 or more can save $5 per ticket. Call the Historic Holmes Theatre at 218-844-7469 for more information, or order online at

Thursday will also mark the debut of the 2013 Detroit Lakes High School Madrigal Dinner, featuring Renaissance-style music, comedy and a full seven-course meal.

Seating begins at 6:15 p.m., with the Royal Fanfare (which heralds the beginning of the main performance) at 7 p.m.

Additional performances are set for Monday, Dec. 16 and Thursday, Dec. 19. All performances take place in the multi-purpose gym at DLHS. Tickets are $30 apiece, and may be purchased in advance at Central Market.

On Sunday, Dec. 15, there are not just one, but two fabulous holiday concerts planned.

Andy and Kathryn Karg will be presenting their full-length holiday show, “A Very Merry Christmas,” at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Historic Holmes Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and may also be purchased by phone, online or at the Holmes Theatre Box Office (806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes).

Trinity Lutheran Church will be hosting its “Candles and Carols” concert on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Family and friends are invited to sing carols, hear Christmas stories and listen to readers of all ages tell the story of the Nativity, all in a setting of warm candlelight.

The concert is free and open to the public. Immediately after the concert, the church invites the community to enjoy a traditional Christmas Turkey dinner, served buffet style.

The cost of the meal is $10.00 for Adults, $8.00 for children 6-12 years of age, and free for children 5 and under.  All money, over the cost of the food, is donated to a non-profit charity in our community.

The following week, on Thursday, Dec. 19, the Rock & Roll Christmas Spectacular returns to the Historic Holmes Theatre for another evening of rockin’ holiday tunes. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for adults can be purchased online at, by calling 218-844-7469 or visiting the Box Office at 806 Summit Ave.

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