Holiday concert season kicks off today in Detroit Lakes
With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us for another year, it's time to embrace the Christmas spirit and enjoy some great holiday music. Detroit Lakes area residents will have plenty of opportunities to do just that this month, starting with Wednesday's Advent Mini-Concert featuring Tim Eggebraaten at First Lutheran Church, which gets underway at 12:05 p.m.; and Thursday's 'A Big Band Christmas' at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage of the Historic Holmes Theatre.
With another Thanksgiving weekend of family dinners and Black Friday holiday shopping behind us for another year, it's time for lakes area residents to embrace the Christmas spirit and enjoy some great holiday music.
Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church kicks things off with the first of four Advent mini-concerts, a performance by local favorite Tim Eggebraaten at the church this Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 12:05 p.m.
Three more mini-concerts are planned: A performance by First Lutheran's bell choir, the Alleluia Ringers (directed by Carla Hanson), on Wednesday, Dec. 8; solo performances from saxophone player Rich Johnson and vocalist Emma Duncan on Wednesday, Dec. 15 (with both musicians accompanied by pianist Karen Bimberg; and a fourth concert on Wednesday, Dec. 22, with music provided by vocalists from Detroit Lakes High School.
All of the concerts start at 12:05 p.m. Designed for local residents to enjoy during their lunch hour, each concert is just 30 minutes long, and is free and open to the public.
"We won't be having the soup and sandwich luncheons (typically held after each concert), because of COVID," said organizer Holly Heisserer, but she was also quick to add that they are happy to be able to hold in-person concerts this year rather than having them all go virtual, as they were last year.
"Masks are encouraged, but not required," she said. For those unable to attend in person, the concerts will also be streamed live online via the church's website at firstlutheranchurch.com , and will be available for viewing at the website and shown regularly on the local cable access channel, TV-3, throughout the holiday season. The concerts are all free and open to the public.
Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre also has four concerts planned this month, starting with 'A Big Band Christmas' this Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m., featuring music from the Fargo-Moorhead Kicks Band.
"People can expect an eclectic mix of hard swinging and beautifully sensitive holiday classics," says Kicks Band Musical Director Tim Johnson, "including new contemporary charts, and an original arrangement from the pen of our founder, Ed Christianson, called 'Santa's Samba.'
"A lot of time goes into choosing the 'right' music," he added. "I tend to program music that is more contrapuntal, meaning there is usually more than one voice to the musical 'conversation.' We'll also feature a few vocalists charts showcasing our talented singers in the group."
Though this concert had originally been planned for December 2020, COVID-19 restrictions prevented that from happening. This year's concert is being funded, in part, by a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council, through an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature.
Johnson noted that the Kicks Band "includes 16 excellent musicians from the Fargo-Moorhead area. Most of our musicians are college and public school band directors, all which have seriously studied music in college. Our concert will showcase our musicians' talents and many will be featured as soloists. For example, Jeremy Brekke will be performing the very thrilling and exciting Tom Kubis (arrangement of) 'O Holy Night ,' made popular by Wayne Bergeron."
He said that the FM Kicks Band has been doing holiday concerts since "around 1975," when the band itself was founded. For this concert, which will also be presented at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5 at Fargo's First Lutheran Church (not the one in Detroit Lakes), Johnson said they began rehearsals approximately two weeks ago.
"For many folks Christmas holiday music is music they grew up with," Johnson said. "It's recognizable and for the most part folks know what to expect, and in our case it will be with a jazzy big band twist. It's going to be hard to sit still!"
Tickets for Thursday's concert are $15 for adults and $7.50 for students, and may be purchased by phone at 218-844-7469, online at dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html , or in person at the Holmes Box Office, 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes, which will be open for two hours prior to the show.
More information about the Kicks Band may be found online at fmkicksband.com .
More holiday music at the Holmes
Additional concerts at the Holmes Theatre this month include "A Christmas Celebration with the Steeles," set for Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m.; and the enduringly popular "Rock & Roll Christmas," set for Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
The Holmes Theatre is also sponsoring a Christmas concert by the Lakes Area Community Concert Band, but this performance is set to take place at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. The concert is free and open to everyone in the lakes area, though donations to help defer costs are gratefully accepted. Visit lakesareaband.com for more information.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, go online to dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html or call 218-844-7469.