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'New Standards' for holiday tradition: Show coming to Holmes Theatre this Friday breaks the seasonal mold

The Twin Cities-based trio known as The New Standards will be bringing their holiday show to Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre this Friday, Dec.8 for a 7:30 p.m. performance. (Submitted photo)1 / 3
The New Standards 2012 Christmas Show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul was a big hit with audiences. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
The New Standards includes the talents of Minnesota musicians (from left) Steve Roehm, Chan Poling and John Munson. The trio will bring their holiday show to the Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes this Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. (Submitted photo)3 / 3

A 10-year Twin Cities holiday tradition that sold out two shows at Minneapolis' 2,000-seat State Theatre this weekend (causing a third to be added) is coming to Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre on Friday, Dec. 8 for a 7:30 p.m. performance.

The New Standards Holiday Show, featuring a truly impressive supporting cast of guest musicians, is a unique blend of holiday concert, variety show and free-wheeling music showcase, says Chan Poling, one of the talented trio of Minnesota musicians that comprise the group known as The New Standards.

"This is the road version of the holiday show that we do in the Twin Cities," says Poling, adding that it's slightly scaled down as a result — but not by much.

"There will be 17 other musicians in the show," says Amy Stoller Stearns, executive director of the Historic Holmes Theatre, adding, "We're all very excited to be bringing this show to the Holmes Theatre stage for the first time.

"We had the New Standards here three years ago," she said — but it wasn't for their holiday show, which is a favorite of Twin Cities audiences.

Because there is considerable expense and manpower involved in bringing a show of this scale from the Twin Cities out to Detroit Lakes, Stearns began working with the group on obtaining a Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Tour grant shortly after their first show at the Holmes, and was successful in securing the necessary funds earlier this year.

"They're all excellent musicians," Stearns said of the New Standards trio, which is one of the reasons why she was excited to bring them back to the Holmes for the holidays. "This is a big show."

Though they have assembled an impressive guest list for Friday's performance, including past Holmes Theatre headliners like Chris Koza and Jeremy Messersmith as well as some of Minnesota's best percussion, string and horn players, Poling said they don't normally announce who all will be joining them on stage in advance of the show — for two reasons.

"One is that people who come to our shows really like to show up and be surprised," Poling said. The other reason, he added, is that "we don't like to use our friends' names to sell tickets."

As for the content of the show, Poling said that it's anything but traditional.

"I wouldn't come expecting to hear 'Jingle Bells'," he joked, adding that while the show does include some traditional holiday tunes, the audience might also hear a little Tom Petty, David Bowie or Barry White in the mix along with a sprinkling of classic jazz and alternative favorites.

"There's so much great music out there," Poling said. "It might be a country song, or a soul song, or a Christmas song... that's what the New Standards is about, playing our favorite songs, in our own way, and just spreading the joy of music.

"It can be very light hearted one moment, and then you'll hear something really beautiful," he added. "We allow ourselves to do both."

With funding from Essentia Health-St. Mary's, Lakes Region Arts Council, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment, tickets for Friday's show are $20 for adults and $10 for students; or you can buy one adult ticket and get a second, student ticket free of charge. Get your tickets by calling 218-844-7469, visiting the website at, or stopping by the Holmes Box Office, located at 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the show.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454