Weather Forecast


Pairing painting and music

Artwork by JoAnn Almich, "Just Friends," inspired a section of whimsical, lighthearted music in Dr. Maurice Monhardt's Five Glimpses Into an Art Museum. (Contributed)

If you check the dictionary, art is most simply defined as "The activity of creating beautiful things."

The word itself, small and unassuming, doesn't make distinctions. Its three letters are big enough to include everything adding beauty to the world.

Working from that same idea, two community organizations are coming together to blur the lines drawn between music and painting, and they're taking a group of preschool through 6th grade students along for the ride.

On Saturday, February 23 from 10 a.m. to noon, area children will have the opportunity to attend a free workshop held at Discovery Middle School (DMS) in Alexandria.

The hands-on workshop is a collaboration between Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra (CLSO) and the Alexandria Brush and Palette Club and allows students a chance to "show what they hear."

Students will listen to CLSO musicians perform selections from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a multi-movement piece based on several paintings done by a friend of the composer.

As they listen, members of the Brush and Palette Club will guide them in creating their own artwork based on the music they hear.

Kristina Peabody, an art teacher at Discovery Middle School and CLSO clarinetist, said she's excited for students to make a connection between music and visual art.

"I think it's really important for people to recognize the similarities between music and art - that music is an art - and also, in general, how people get their creative ideas," she said.

Thanks in part to grants from the Lakes Region Arts Council and Target Corporation, the workshop is free, offered through District 206 Community Education.

Children ages preschool through 6th grade can be registered by calling (320) 762-

3310, extension 4270; visiting; or in person at the Community Education office at Woodland Elementary School.



CLSO will perform the entire Mussorgsky piece, Pictures at an Exhibition, at a concert on Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m. at DMS.

The symphony will also perform the premiere of Dr. Maurice Monhardt's Five Glimpses Into an Art Museum, a piece commissioned by CLSO based on five paintings by area artists.

Monhardt, professor emeritus, was a member of the Luther College music department for 35 years and head of the department for 14 years. He has a long list of compositions performed by many groups, including the Minnesota, Louisville, Albuquerque and Julliard symphonies.

The works behind Five Glimpses Into an Art Museum, created by local artists, include Elven Woods (My Irises) by Dori Otterson, Wild Blue Yonder by Linda Frisell, Sea Life by Doris Judson, Just Friends by JoAnn Almich, and Blackbird Jazz (Rising Phoenix) by Judy Florell.

Maestro's Notes, offered at 1 p.m. Sunday, will give audience members a chance to talk with CLSO director Brad Lambrecht and principal oboist Joelle Burreson about the unique collaboration.

The Brush and Palette Club will host an art exhibition in the DMS cafeteria featuring the artwork that inspired Monhardt's Five Glimpses Into an Art Museum and students' artwork from the Saturday workshop.

The exhibition will be open one hour before as well as after the concert on Sunday, and select works will be on sale by the Brush and Palette Club.