Weather Forecast


The Phipps Center for the Arts calendar

'Guys on Ice' performance added

"Guys on Ice," an ice fishing musical comedy, will be performed Jan. 12-28, on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis. The best availability is for the third weekend, where a performance has been added on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 3:30 p.m.

The frigid cold of January in Wisconsin is the setting for this musical comedy by Fred Alley and James Kaplan, who were themselves Wisconsin residents. Written in 1998, the show takes place in an ice shanty in the north woods where no one is in a hurry to get anywhere and beer can substitute for a breakfast drink.

Marvin (Mark Schaeffer, Hudson) and Lloyd (Bill Leahy, New Richmond, who is also the music director), a couple of working class guys, are anxiously waiting for an interview with Cubby Kvernen, host of the local cable TV fishing show. Tim Junko (New Richmond) plays Ernie the Moocher and is also the percussionist for the instrumental trio, which includes Janet Ellinger (River Falls) on keyboard and Ann Marie McIntire (Hudson) on electric bass. The humor, the music, and the drinking are classic Northern Wisconsin.

Director Beth Reidenbach has staged multiple productions with Schaeffer, Leahy, and Junko, including "Forever Plaid" and "Pumpboys and Dinettes." Their talent and history make for a uniquely entertaining chemistry on stage. While Reidenbach enjoys the hilarity of the show, she notes that loyalty and friendship are themes in this production.

Tickets are $26 for adults and $19 for students of all ages, with a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees.

Ballroom dance parties

Ballroom dance parties are offered on the first and third Saturday of every month October-May, and the third Saturday of every month June-September, from 7-10 p.m. in the dance studio of The Phipps in Hudson/

The Hustle and Lindy hop will be taught Jan. 20. The tango and cha cha will be featured on Feb. 3. The waltz and rumba will be taught on Feb. 17. This is an opportunity to have fun trying out new dance skills in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Dancers of all experience levels are welcome. Admission is $12 per person.

Larson has taught at The Phipps since 2003 and owns the Ballroom and Wedding Dance Studio in Minneapolis. He performed for five seasons with The Continental Ballet Company.

Ballroom and Latin dance classes

Ballroom and Latin dance classes will be offered through May at The Phipps. Students can now register for the third quarter, which begins Sunday, Jan. 21.

Tom Larson offers Beginning Ballroom & Latin, ages 8-adult, from 4-5 p.m.; Intermediate Ballroom & Latin 1, ages 8-adult, from 5-6 p.m.; Intermediate Ballroom and Latin 2, ages 8-adult, from 6-7 p.m.; and Advanced Ballroom and Latin, ages 8-adult, from 7-8 p.m. The fee for each class is $91 per eight weeks. The instructor's approval is required for placement. Partners are encouraged, but not required.

Larson has taught at The Phipps since 2003 and owns the Ballroom and Wedding Dance Studio in Minneapolis.

Stained glass class for teens & adults

Stained Glass Design—Tiffany Style, a two-week class meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 22-31, from 6-9 p.m., will be offered at The Phipps.

This class is a comprehensive introduction to stained glass design and creation using the traditional Tiffany techniques. Each student will design, create, and complete an original 8-by-10-inch framed panel. The colors of glass available for selection will be extensive and vivid. No previous experience in art or glass work is required.

Instructor Steve King was selected Teacher of the Year in both Virginia and Spain when he was teaching for the Department of Defense. His other teaching locations include Italy, Germany, Japan, and California. In addition to teaching at The Phipps, King currently teaches for both Hudson and Woodbury Community Education. He also serves as the art director for the annual Carpenter Art Festival.

The class fee is $139, including all materials. Necessary tools will be provided.

Ceramics classes

Two eight-week Pottery on the Wheel classes and a three-week Experiencing Clay Class, for students ages 14 through adult, are currently open for enrollment at The Phipps. All class sizes are limited to nine.

Beginning/Intermediate Pottery on the Wheel will be offered Mondays, Jan. 22- March 12, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Thursdays, Jan. 25-March 15, from 6:30—8:30 p.m. Beginning participants will learn basic techniques for throwing pots on the potter's wheel. For the intermediate potter, this class offers an in-depth development of more advanced skills and techniques. All students will be supported by the instructor in developing their skills. Having a mix of skill levels in class makes for a fun and diverse learning environment. The class fee is $229, including one 25 pound bag of clay, glazes, and firing.

Experiencing Clay will be held on Wednesdays, Jan. 24-February 7, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Students will have opportunities to try multiple approaches to working with clay. They will gain firsthand experience as they approach multiple facets of the ceramic-making process, including wheel-throwing, hand-building functional pottery, and creating sculptures in a variety of methods. The fee is $79, including clay, glazes, and firing.

In addition, all teen and adults enrolled in winter pottery classes have access to the pottery studio on Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m., Fridays from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon when their class is in session. No instruction will be given during open studio.

Clay Class for children

A Clay Class for children ages 7-12 is being offered Tuesdays, Jan. 23-Feb. 27, at The Phipps.

In this six-week class, students will learn the basic techniques of throwing pottery on the wheel and will build their skills and understanding of the sculptural possibilities of clay through pinching, coiling, and slab construction. Students will be given freedom to experiment with their new skills and will receive significant one-on-one attention.

The class fee is $129, including all materials and supplies.

Butch Thompson & Pop Wagner

Butch Thompson, a master of stride piano, and Pop Wagner, a folk icon, will perform in concert on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at The Phipps. Individually and together, they will perform blues, ragtime, jazz, roots, and much more.

Thompson's reach is wide, from classic ragtime by Scott Joplin to New Orleans stomps and tangos by Jelly Roll Morton, lyrical blues and boogie woogie from Southside Chicago, roaring Harlem stride by Fats Waller, early solos by Duke Ellington, and more.

Born and raised in Marine-on-St. Croix, at 18 he made his first visit to New Orleans, where he became one of the few non-New Orleanians to perform at Preservation Hall during the 1960s and '70s.

In 1974, Thompson played on a number of the first "A Prairie Home Companion" broadcasts. By 1980, the show was being nationally syndicated, and the Butch Thompson Trio was the house band, a position the group held for the next six years.

Through the 1970s, '80s and '90s, Thompson's travels widened. He toured extensively and often in Switzerland, Germany, Scandinavia, and eventually Japan and Egypt.

By the late '90s, Thompson was known as a leading authority on early jazz. He served as a development consultant on the 1992 Broadway hit "Jelly's Last Jam," which starred Gregory Hines. He also joined the touring company of the off-Broadway hit "Jelly Roll! The Music and the Man," playing several runs with that show in New York and with its touring company through 1997.

Wagner is a singer, guitarist, fiddler, lasso twirler, poet, and humorist. He appeared frequently on "A Prairie Home Companion" during the show's formative years, where he met Thompson, and for the last four decades he has performed throughout 44 states and ten countries.

Bill Hinkley of Inside Bluegrass comments, "Search as you might, you will never discover another individual with the unique talents and accomplishments of Pop Wagner. When you hear that smoothly-rolling John Hurt-inspired guitar and that cowboy drawl, or dance to that rowdy old-time Cajun-blend hoedown fiddle and his often-hilarious calls, or marvel at the unlikely sight of a man standing on a horse's back twirling a lasso around his torso, then you're sharing in the spell that only Pop can cast."

Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for students of any age.

The Phipps Choral Society welcomes singers for Schubert's Mass in G

The Phipps Choral Society and orchestra, under the direction of Thomas Dahle, will perform Schubert's Mass in G on Palm Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church, 920 Third St., Hudson. This lyric and tuneful masterwork was written when Schubert was a mere 18 years old.

Weekly chorus rehearsals begin Sunday, Jan. 28, 2:30-5 p.m. in the music studio of The Phipps. No auditions are necessary to be a member of the Choral Society chorus; however a good grasp of basic musicianship skills will be of definite benefit to interested singers. Membership is open to singers of high school age and older.

All singers are expected to attend the vast majority of the eight Sunday afternoon rehearsals. Singers must also be able to attend the final rehearsal with orchestra and soloists on Saturday morning, March 24.

There will be a $25 membership fee to help defray expenses of the performance. The chorus will use the G. Schirmer edition of the Mass in G. Singers may use their own such edition or will be provided one from The Choral Society's library.

Other selections will include "Agnus Dei," from Benjamin Britten's War Requiem (chorus, tenor soloist, and organ); "The Ground," by Ola Gjeilo (chorus, piano, and orchestra); "Laudate Dominum," by Mozart (chorus, soprano soloist, and orchestra); and "Agnus Dei," by Paul Halley (chorus, soprano saxophone, and organ). Music will be provided for these additional selections.

As part of the Palm Sunday program, violinist Michál Sobieski will perform the "Spring" concerto from Antonio Vivaldi's "The Seasons."

Digital photography classes

Learn how to use a digital camera to take better pictures in these hands-on photography classes for ages 14 through adults at The Phipps.

Photography I: Basic Photography will be offered four Tuesdays, Feb. 6-27, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Photography II: Understanding Photographic Composition, for students who have taken Basic Photography in the past, will be held on four Thursdays, Feb. 8-March 1, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Instructor Bob Lyksett holds a bachelor's degree in photography and has worked as a news photographer for the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been a photography instructor for the Park City School District in Utah, and enjoys photographing sports of all kinds along with anything to do with the outdoors. Lyksett's work has been published on magazine covers both regionally and nationally, and is permanently on display at the Stillwater Artist Guild Studio in Minnesota. To learn more about Lyksett and his work, go to

The fee for each class is $99.

Private violin lessons offered

Private violin lessons for students ages 7 through adult are offered throughout the year at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Instructor Sarah N. Bertsch has taught violin and coached ensembles for over 25 years. Previous positions include Northwestern College, Wooddale School of Music, Friendship School of Music, and Minnehaha Academy. She received her M.A. from St. John's University and her B.A. from St. Olaf College.

Bertsch has toured nationally with pianist Don Irwin and artist Fernando Ortega and has played concerts in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Japan, and Guatemala. She has recorded with Sara Groves and a number of regional church music groups. Bertsch enjoys playing and teaching a variety of musical styles. She plays violin in the Oakdale-based global music group Ensemble Aventura and enjoys collaborating in Hudson with pianist Layton James. Bertsch often performs in weddings as a soloist or in one of her string ensembles.

The instructor states, "My teaching style is somewhat traditional (note reading, counting, intonation) and lessons are tailored to each student's ability and life context. I strive to make every lesson a positive experience, not just with violin, but with music in general, and also self-esteem. Learning violin is a wonderful challenge with rich rewards for students in many stages of life."

For further information on violin lessons, contact Bertsch at 715-381-5735.

Voice lessons

Tony Holt, a former member of the King's Singers, offers private voice lessons for ages 11 through adult on Thursdays at The Phipps.

Holt, a native Londoner, was a boy chorister at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. He was a choir member of Christ Church, Oxford, as well as Chichester Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral. Holt was then a soloist and chorus member of the Monteverdi Choir and the BBC Singers. For 18 years he toured and recorded as first baritone with the King's Singers.

His lessons concentrate on singing in a healthy way, and enjoying a repertoire that can range from Bach to Broadway. He encourages singers to perform without tension, to communicate well, and to enjoy their singing.

The fee is $30 per 30-minute lesson.

Exhibitions by regional artists

Work by more than 20 regional artists is on view through Jan. 14 in The Galleries of The Phipps. Featured are encaustic photographs by Nadia Alenov (St. Paul, Minn.); wood-fired ceramics by Pat Barnick (St. Paul) and James Smead (Minneapolis, Minn.); digital prints on bamboo by Sarah Filipi (Blaine, Minn.); oil on linen panels by Wendy Lacska (Hudson); watercolor, ink and porcelain by Bri Larson (Hastings, Minn.); photography by members of the Western Wisconsin Photo Club; and ceramics by Casey Beck (River Falls), Emily Romens (River Falls), and Lisa Vang (Cottage Grove, Minn.).

Galleries hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m., as well as one hour before and through intermission of all performances in The Phipps theaters.

For further information, contact Anastasia Shartin, visual arts director, at 715-386-2305, ext. 103.