The concerts started years ago.
At first, they were low-key affairs, highlighting the talents of students in the Minnesota State College Southeast musical instrument repair and building program.
Word got out. These students are good. The demand for tickets grew.
This year’s concert – as it has for the past few years – will be held at the Sheldon Theatre Sunday, March 26, at 4 p.m.
Tickets for "Strings, Winds and Brass" concert are available at the Sheldon Theatre box office. Adult tickets are $15; students are only $5. SheldonTheatre.org or call 651-388-8700. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation scholarships for music program students.
The annual musical variety showcase is called “Strings, Winds and Brass.” Proceeds from the concert benefit the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation scholarships for music program students.
Each of the acts performing won their spots on the Sheldon stage at auditions in February, judged by a panel of local arts and entertainment experts.
There are 16 acts covering a full gamut of music – rock, folk, a capella singing, classical piano and a professional Celtic ensemble that plays renaissance festivals around the country. There is even an alphorn.
Half the fun of performing is coming up with names for the groups. The concert will feature JT and the Knockpinners, the Semi-Aquatic Mammal Duo, the Four Saxophonists of the Apocalypse and the Vaguely Canadian Brass.
But behind each of those names is a group of talented musicians. Marie Kilde is one of those musicians. She will be performing with the Celtic ensemble Bardmageddon, a three-person band that has been together for 10 years. The group plays Renaissance festivals around the country.
The “Strings, Winds and Brass” concert is their first of the year.
“It seems like a fun way to kick off the season,” she said.
The group specializes in European folk music – English, Irish and Scottish.
“We have all been in the folk scene for a long time,” Kilde said. “We draw out of that folk tradition and put a little on it with music that inspires.”
She has been playing for years. Her parents started her in violin lessons when she was 7.
The fiddle she plays belonged to her grandfather and was built prior to 1890. She relates a sad story behind the fiddle. Her grandfather started taking lessons with a friend, but the friend died. The grandfather never played again.
Kilde enrolled in college programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin-Stout without finding a major that touched her passion. Then she enrolled in the violin repair program at Minnesota State College Southeast.
“I never really found what I was looking for until I came here,” she said. “It definitely helps me with the whole being a musician thing.”
Now she fixes her own violin and knows how to properly care for the 100-year-old-plus instrument.
Delmarice Price will be on stage a lot during the “Strings, Winds and Brass” concert. He is performing in three groups, playing the trombone.
He came to Minnesota State College Southeast after earning a music education degree from Rutgers and teaching music for a year.
“I was looking for a new opportunity,” he said.
The one-year program curriculum is intense. On a recent day, he worked on repairing the inner workings of a French horn in the morning before turning to saxophone repair after lunch. Over the lunch hour, he rehearsed for the upcoming concert.
“We learn two new things every day,” Price said.
Knowing how instruments work helps his playing.
His talent will be on display in three groups in the March 26 concert – the Vaguely Canadian Brass, a brass quintet with two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone and a bass trombone; the Bare Bones, a trombone quartet; and the Semi-Aquatic Mammal Duo where he’ll play a bass trombone duet with his roommate.
The groups were formed for the concert, but the musicians have been playing together all year.
“We were just doing it for fun before we knew there was a show,” Price said.
MSC Southeast Director of Communication Katryn Conlin said this year’s show promises to be special with a particularly talented group of musicians.
“This is going to be an exceptionally good year,” she said.
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