The Minnesota State Band will perform in concert, under the direction of Keith Liuzzi, at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22 at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium.

The concert will feature two band members as soloists: Tom Wells on tuba (Park Rapids) and Fred Larson on clarinet (Wadena). The band also will perform its most recently commissioned work, "One Fair Summer Eve" by David Evan Thomas. This four-movement suite (Pronto, Carousel, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, On Machinery Hill) depicts different aspects of the Minnesota State Fair.

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"We premiered the work last November and now are happy to bring to more Minnesota audiences on our tours around the state," Liuzzi said.

The Minnesota State Band is the official band of the State of Minnesota. Founded in 1898, the 60-piece concert band is the only remaining state band in the nation and has represented the State of Minnesota on six International Goodwill Tours since 1986.

While international travel is important, the band sees its primary mission as providing high quality music to the residents of Minnesota The band's goal is to contribute positively to the development of music in the state and to affirm and continue the strong Minnesota band heritage in quality music.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council and Park Rapids Community Education are sponsoring the event, which will include an afternoon program for Century Middle School and Area High School band students.

The band's concerts are always free, but anyone can join the ranks of their esteemed associate band members by donating any amount. A very reasonable amount will procure one of their collectable stuffed animals. A free will donation also will be taken to offset local expenses.

The band's spring concert tour is funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

The Minnesota State Band also will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Memorial Auditorium in Wadena, located at 216 Dayton Ave. SW.

For more information about the band, including history, news and upcoming events, please visit

Also this weekend

• Comedian Jeff Foxworthy performs live at Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino this Friday, March 22 at 8 p.m. Foxworthy dropped his breakthrough comedy album, "You Might Be A Redneck If...", in 1994, and went on to star in his own television show as well as to tour with other comedy greats like Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White and Bill Engvall. Tickets start at $40 and are on sale now. They can be purchased by phone at 1-800-313-SHOW (7469), online at, or via the "Buy Tickets" tab on Shooting Star's Facebook page:

• The Cultural Center in New York Mills is proud to present the Lost Forty in concert on Friday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. This fresh and energetic duo performs the Irish-influenced music of men who roamed the Great Lakes region in the days when pine was king. Ticket pricing is $5 for students, or $12 in advance and $15 at the door for adults (members get a $2 discount for adult tickets). For more information or to purchase advance tickets, call the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339 or visit the Center's website at

• Honor the Earth will host a traditional spring pow wow, titled, "Water is Life," starting with the Grand Entry at 1 p.m. this Saturday, March 23. A traditional native feast will get underway at 5:30 p.m., followed by a second Grand Entry at 7 p.m. There will be a hand drum contest, moccasin games, and a showcase of native vendors and artists. Doors open at noon in the Pine Point School, 48075 Pow Wow Highway, Ponsford. All activities, including the dinner, are free and open to the public.

• Rachel Kurtz Concert: Trinity Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes will host a special concert by singer-songwriter Rachel Kurtz at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. The concert is free and open to all; a free will offering will be taken "to support and empower women both locally and globally."

• Honors Music Recital: The Lakes Area Independent Music Teachers Association will host an Honors Music Recital at the Historic Holmes Theatre, 826 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes, starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 24. Outstanding area music students will perform for the public; a free will donation will be taken in lieu of admission, to offset the expenses of the program.

• Faith Lutheran Church in rural Detroit Lakes will host a special concert featuring Mark Kiser and Kim Softing at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 24. The duo will perform a mix of southern gospel, hymns and other old favorites; a free will offering of thanks for Mark and Kim will be received in lieu of admission. The church is located at 24688 County Highway 6, Detroit Lakes. Call Gaye Harris, 218-850-4774, for more information.