Catch the holiday spirit at these upcoming events

There's plenty to do in Greater Grand Forks as the holiday season approaches.

Performing in the play based on C.S. Lewis' classic fantasy novel "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" are (from left) Jonas Ferguson (as Edmund), Nora Gillespie (as Susan), Saylor Curran (as Lucy), and Ian Peterson (as Peter), four siblings who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into Narnia. The play opens Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Fire Hall Theatre.
We are part of The Trust Project.

GRAND FORKS – Here are a few musical and theatrical events coming up in the days ahead to brighten your holiday season.

UND to host ‘Sounds of the Season’ Concert

The UND University Band and the One O’clock Jazz Ensemble will take the stage in the Memorial Union Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, to present “Sounds of the Season! A Holiday Concert.”

Admission is free.

It will also be livestreamed on the UND music department website, .

The concert will feature the ensembles performing unique settings of favorite holiday melodies.


The One O’clock Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Robert Brooks, UND associate director of bands, will perform arrangements of “Santa’s Limehouse Blues,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

UniversityBand,Dr.JamesPopejoy2 (1).JPG
The UND University Band, under the direction of James Popejoy, in conjunction with the One O'clock Jazz Ensemble, directed by Robert Brooks, will present a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in the UND Memorial Union Ballroom.

The University Band, directed by James Popejoy, UND director of bands, will present “Celebrations of Christmas” and “Christmas Village,” arranged by Randal Standridge; an arrangement of Prokofiev’s “Midnight Sleighride,” and Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride.”

Undergraduate Brady Zimmerman will lead the band in “Three Noels,” and graduate student conductor Juanita Caballero Casas will present Robert Longfield’s “Passacaglia on an Old English Carol.”

The Band and Jazz Ensemble will combine to close the program with performances of “Jing, Jing, Jingle” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

For more information, contact Popejoy at the UND Bands office, (701) 777-2815.

Thursday Music Club to present ‘Christmas Musicale’

The Thursday Music Club of Greater Grand Forks will present its annual “Christmas Musicale” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Calvary Lutheran Church, 1405 S. Ninth St.

A freewill offering will be taken.

The Thursday Music Club’s ladies choir will be singing several Christmas songs, including “Mary, Did You Know” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”


Nick Stokke will perform a trombone solo and vocalist Justin Montigne will sing Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” The Harp Choir and the Calvary Choir will also perform Christmas music.

The Northern Valley Youth Orchestras’ Chamber Ensemble will present various Christmas selections, and the program will conclude with Travis Middleton, piano soloist, playing “Silent Night”.

Nora Gillespie (from left), Saylor Curran, Jonas Ferguson and Ian Peterson are the leading actors in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," presented by the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre Company at the Fire Hall Theatre through Dec. 17.

Fire Hall to present ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’

The Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre Company opens its production of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Fire Hall Theatre, 412 Second Ave.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-3, 8-10 and 15-17, and 2 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11.

The show, directed by Veronica Lee Folkedahl, is based on C.S. Lewis’ classic fantasy novel for children.

“This story of love, faith, courage and giving, with its triumph of good over evil, is a true celebration of life,” said Amy Driscoll, executive director.

The play recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion; his struggle with the White Witch; and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia.


Cast members are: Saylor Curran, Jonas Ferguson, Nora Gillespie, Ian Peterson, Matt Axtman, Kirsten Dauphinais, J. Paul Zimmerman, Kailey Jerome, Maura Ferguson, Alejo Ibarra Pallotti, LleAuni Redding, Stella White, Mark Diers, Jessica Fulcher, Addison Foley, Jessica Davis, Cora Sheard, Polina Filikina, Avery and Violet Spartz, Kayla Pinkard, Grace Hanson and Mairi Ferguson. Stage manager is Zeke Bocklage.

Tickets, $20 for adults and $17 for seniors (65 and older), students and military, may be purchased at the theater; online at , or by calling (701) 746-0847.  

Second Wind Band hosts ‘Friends and Family Christmas Concert’

The Second Wind Band will present its “Friends and Family Christmas Concert” at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at Popplers Music store in the Grand Cities Mall, 1726 S. Washington. Everyone is welcome to attend at no charge.

This will be the last concert directed by Don Craig, who is retiring after 20 years as the group’s director.

“He has really given a lot of himself to (the band),” said Glenna Leedahl, one of about 24 band members. “We’re really going to miss him.”

The concert is meant to recognize Craig for his two decades “of dedication to our band,” said Ginny Bollman, longtime member. The public is invited to “come and help us thank him for all he has done and wish him well in his retirement!” according to a poster announcing the event.

Popplers is seeking to hire a band leader to take over for Craig, starting Feb. 1, she said.

UND Chamber Orchestra to perform at campus spiritual center

UND Chamber Orchestra will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Hopper-Danley Spiritual Center on the UND campus.

The free concert will feature trumpet teacher Cory Driscoll, performing a concerto by Torelli. Driscoll is a teaching assistant professor of trumpet and assistant director of bands and jazz in the UND music department.

The program will include masterworks by Nielsen, Grieg and Fuchs, according to Alejandro Drago, associate professor of music at UND.

For more information, call the UND music department at (701) 777-2644.

"It’s easy to make assumptions about a person based on their outfit or their day job," Coming Home columnist Jessie Veeder writes. "I mean, my dad used to work in a bank and he also broke horses and played in a bar band at night."

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
What To Read Next
Presented by Spirit Lake Casino and Resort
Presented by Spirit Lake Casino and Resort
Other films vying for best picture include "Avatar: The Way of Water," "Top Gun: Maverick," "Elvis," and "The Fabelmans," among others.