Thursday, January 10, 2013

Special events planned for MLK Day, Presidential inauguration

Special events are planned for Monday, Jan. 21, on campus in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the Presidential inauguration. First, the Inauguration Address will be played at 11 a.m. in Page Theatre.

At noon the MLK “I Have a Dream” speech will be shown in Page Theatre. Following the speech, Dr. Lori Charron (Theatre and Dance) will address the rhetoric of the speech.

Following her presentation, the President’s inauguration speech will be replayed.

A Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Prayer service will begin at 8 p.m. in  Salvi Lecture Hall, hosted by Campus Ministry.

The film documentary “At the River I Stand,” set in Memphis during 1960s about the events leading up to MLK’s death, will run in Salvi, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The offices of Residence Life and Student Activities will sponsor the film and provide light refreshments for the film.

All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.

SMU 10K ski races scheduled for Jan. 27, Feb. 17

This year SMU 10K cross-country ski races will be held on Sundays, Jan. 27 and Feb. 17, at Saint Mary’s University.

The public is invited to classic-style citizens’ ski events at 10 a.m.; skate races will begin at 1 p.m.
Participants can register in competitive or recreational classes.

Both races wind through the beautiful and challenging bluffs and valleys surrounding the Saint Mary’s campus. The cost to participate is $10 for one race or $20 for both races.

Registration, the starting line and the finish line will be near Saint Yon’s Hall, located on the back east portion of campus.

For more information, call Gary Borash at Ext. 8740 or e-mail A registration form can be found online at

“The Accidental Hero,” a Czech-American World War II true story, brought to life by a Saint Mary’s alumnus, will be performed at 2 and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at Page Theatre.

The show’s creator and actor Patrick Dewane is a 1985 graduate, and “The Accidental Hero” is about his grandfather, Lt. Col. Matt Konop, a World War II veteran who never openly shared stories from his time in the service. When Konop died, the family discovered typewritten accounts, photos and rare film footage that told an astonishing story. 

Based on this information, Dewane created a one-man, multimedia show that offers a captivating, humorous and heartwarming tale of coincidences and heroism. The performance includes World War II film footage, shot with a home movie camera of the liberation of a Czech town.

Dewane has performed “The Accidental Hero” throughout the United States and in the Czech Republic. His webcast performance of it from Rochester, N.Y., on July 4, 2011 was seen by more than 18,000 people worldwide. Dewane’s career in the arts began in 1985 when he moved from Winona to New York City. His career on the management side of the arts includes work with Luciano Pavarotti, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival and Minnesota Opera.

This performance makes good on a promise made in March 1981. Dr. Donald Peake, then chairman of Saint Mary’s theatre program, told Dewane (then a visiting high school senior) that if he enrolled at Saint Mary’s he would get to act on the stage of its new theatre. However, because of delays, the theatre opened two years after Dewane graduated. So this performance brings Peake’s prophesy to fruition. When Dr. Peake was told this story last spring, he responded with a hearty Irish laugh. Dr. Peake had read the first draft of “The Accidental Hero” a few years prior and was an early champion of the piece. Dr. Peake passed away last summer. “This performance is dedicated to his memory and the countless lives he enriched with his dedication and great wit,” Dewane said. “He was loved by many.”

The special 2 p.m. matinee has been added to accommodate seniors and those who prefer to not travel in the evening.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays or online at

A related Page in History event, “Military Genealogy: Finding Accidental Heroes” — is planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Winona County History Center, 160 Johnson St.

Family history researcher Sandy Mochal Thalmann will teach attendees how to search their families’ military service history using the latest research tools. This event is free and open to the public.

Special thanks to the Winona County Historical Society and the Winona Foundation for supporting this event and Winona National Bank for providing major support for the performances.

Auditions approach for Fireside

Auditions for the Fireside student music show are Jan. 25-26. Shows are Feb. 8-9. Sign up outside the Phi Mu Alpha room in the basement of Toner Student Center.

MCA announces winter programming

The new Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Winter Semester II Catalog is now available. Registrations are being accepted. Offerings run from Jan. 14 to March 23 and include:

•    Architecture for Kids (new) for youth in grades 1-3 and 4-6.
•    Creative Drama and Visual Art, and Creative Music and Movement (new) for children ages 3 to 5. Enroll your child in these classes and take Nia and Mindfulness classes at the same time for only $10. Pay-as-you-go options are available.
•    Jazz Combos (new) with well-known Winona director Dave Gudmastad. Three options are available.
•    Dance Technique for Boys for male students, ages 8-12. This $10 class focuses on the development of dance technique used in classical and contemporary disciplines in addition to increasing flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina.
•    Advanced Ballet packages (new) for individuals serious about ballet training. Additional classes have been added.
•    Theatre Division classes (new) for students in grades 4-6, and grades 7 and up.
•    Adult Wellness classes — including Mindfulness (new), Nia, Dance Conditioning, Clogging, Ballet, and Tap and Jazz. Parents who have a child enrolled in an MCA class can take an Adult Wellness class for $10. Pay-as-you-go options are available for Nia and Mindfulness.

Class days, times, and tuition vary. Financial need-based scholarships are available. For a brochure and a complete listing, visit, e-mail, “like” the MCA on Facebook, or call 453-5500. Interested students may register online, by mail, or in person at MCA’s Valéncia Arts Center.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre, year-round. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for ages 3 to adult at the Valéncia Arts Center located at 1164 West 10th St.

MCA announces 2013 DRC spring concert auditions

Auditions for the Dance Repertory Company of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will be Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. 10th St.

The DRC will present its annual Spring Dance Concert April 25-27 at Page Theatre. Roles for male and female intermediate and advanced dancers in rhythm, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, and classical/contemporary ballet and pointe are available for age 12 through adults. Younger students can participate by invitation only. Students under the age of 21 who are cast are required to be enrolled in at least one dance class at MCA, Saint Mary’s, or Winona State. A $75 performance fee is required.

This spring’s production will be a collaborative process, the focus being the incorporation of the visual and performing arts into all aspects of choreography.

For more information, contact MCA director of dance Tammy Schmidt at or call 453-5500.

Truax exhibiting in three shows

The artwork of Lisa Truax (Art and Design Department) is currently being exhibited in two group exhibitions and one solo exhibition. The solo exhibition, titled “Subsumed Remnants,” at the University of Wisconsin Parkside in Kenosha, is being held in the Fine Art Galleries, and runs Jan. 22 through     March 7. The opening is Feb. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Her work is also part of two group exhibitions, the Orton Cone Box Show, which is an international juried traveling show that will be at NCECA (the National Conference for Education in Ceramic Art) in Houston, Texas, starting on March 19. The specific NCECA exhibition venue is to be announced. The first location of the Cone Box Show exhibit was at Sept. 14 through Oct. 31 at the Lawrence, Kansas Art Center.

The second group show, “Two by Two, an international juried show, is at Eastern Washington University from Jan. 24 through March 14 at the EWU Gallery of Art.

Jazz notes

Century High School will host the John Paulson Jazz Sextet for a special evening concert Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in their auditorium.  Opening for the group will be the Century High School Jazz Ensemble. The school is located at 2525 Viola Road Northeast, Rochester, and tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for seniors and students.  Tickets will be available at the door. Also included in the JP Sextet is pianist Larry Price.
Swing Inc. performs 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday at Signature’s Restaurant, County Road 17, Winona.