by Dennis Dalman
Lively music and a stunning variety of arts and crafts filled Sartell Middle School April 5 during the Pine Groove Art Festival, one of two fundraisers that took place on that day in Sartell for the Sartell Music Association.
The other event was an evening dance with the Andrew Walesch Big Band at the Mulligan Event Center.
“They were very successful,” said Maureen Putnam of Sartell, one of the organizers of the fundraisers. “We did much better than we’ve ever done for an arts event. It was so nice to see arts shared in the community. The Pine Groove Art Festival was a wonderful example of teamwork among the Sartell music faculty and others. They did an outstanding job.”
The evening event was also a success, Putnam noted.
“It was a good audience, a very fun dancing crowd,” she said. “The band was just outstanding, and by the end of the night everybody was on the dance floor, doing a kick-line dance to New York, New York. So many people told me to please offer the same event next year.”
About 30 vendors displayed their arts and crafts at the Pine Groove event. Throughout the day, there were performances by the Sartell High School Jazz Band, the Sartell Middle School Jazz Band and Strings Orchestra, the Sartell Community Band, Sartell musical faculty and many other talents from Sartell and elsewhere.
Thanks to the two fundraisers, the Sartell Music Association raised enough to purchase the following: a piccolo, a percussion stand, ukulele stands, a drum pedal, a new vocal-chord application program for the school’s sound system, sheet music and a bass amplifier.
Major donors included Al’s Instrument and Repair, Bridge of Harmony, Eckroth’s Music, Ham’s Music, Kracker Jack Drum Shop and Riff City. All of those musical businesses, who were vendors at the festival, made possible discounts on musical purchases by the Sartell Music Association. In addition, Mulligan Event Center donated space for the evening big-band event.
The Sartell Music Association is a non-profit group of parents, students and other residents whose mission is to enhance the music curriculum in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.