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WACS Student Art

Galleria Valéncia at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, 10th and Vila streets, is filled with 50 unique pieces of artwork created by Jody Berhow’s art students from Winona Area Catholic Schools (WACS). The exhibit features a selection of children’s artwork in grades 1-5. The art on display shows how these young artists express their ideas by trying new things and experimenting with changing materials each year in the art room. As they draw, paint, and make collages, they are learning about the world (color, shape and size of objects). This gallery exhibit is free and open to the public through Dec. 15 during office hours and while classes are in session. Visitors are encouraged to sign the guestbook, so that the young artists know who attended the show. The next exhibit in Galleria Valéncia will feature artwork of the Winona Area Homeschoolers.

SMU Jazz Performance

Start your holiday season with big band favorites, combo carols, and a quartet of crooners at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in Page Theatre. Saint Mary’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo 1 will be joined by vocalists Shauna Frahm, Liam Hahn, Darvell Jones, and Kelsey Thurston to celebrate the season in swingin’ style. From the music of “Peanuts” to “Jingle Bells” on the tuba, it’s an evening of music you won’t want to miss! Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at
For more information, contact A. Eric Heukeshoven at 507-457-7292 or

MCA Dance

Experience the talents of emerging Dance Repertory Company II (DRC II) members as they perform in the dance genres of ballet, jazz, tap, ballet, modern, and hip hop Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5. DRC II is the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts’ junior performance company, featuring beginning and intermediate students ages 6-13. Audience members will enjoy a trip down memory lane as tap dancers place money in a jukebox and experience the passion power of dance to express a message through the modern piece “Fight Song” by popular artist Rachel Platten. This showcase will also feature original choreographic works of advanced students who are learning the fundamentals through a choreography class. 
The concert will feature: Kathleen Bowey, Carter Briggs, Lilia Civettini, Megan Costello, Lilianna Herber, Jolie Hill, Zoe Hill, Elizbeth Hinz, Mattie Kreisel, Heidi Langowski, Ryann Leibfried, Rachel Lepper, Isabell Livingston, Nolan Livingston, Isaac Meinke, Preston Meinke, Carmelle Meyer, Keeli Meyer, Carol Miller, Olivia Nelson, Makarah Olcott, Amy Remoticado, Elina Skranka, Ella Skranka, Isa Uribe, and Max Uribe. The Dec. 4 performance will be held at 6 p.m. and the Dec. 5 performance is at 3 p.m. in the Academy Theatre of the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. 10th St. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults (cash or check only) and will be available at the door one hour prior to the performance. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, a nonprofit organization, offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre.  Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center. For more information, go online to, email, or call 507-453-5500.

American Education Week

Many gathered at Signatures/Visions Event Center to celebrate public education and American Education Week on Tuesday, November 17 from 4:00-6:00 pm.  Great opportunities to visit took place over refreshments, appetizers and cake offered at the free and open to the public event sponsored by the Winona Education Association, Signatures/Visions Event Center, and Merchants Bank. There was a program at 5:00 pm.  All were welcomed by WEA President, Janet Luttmers.  Awards were presented to Business Partner,  Winona National BankEducation AdvocateLezlea Dahlke, Childrens Librarian at Winona Public Library; and Community Partner, Winona Eagles Club  for everything they all do to support students and public education. Luttmers then introduced 2015-2016 WEA Teacher of the Year, Mary Cappel.  Mary is a PE teacher and Jefferson Elementary STEM School.  She spoke about her call to be a PE teacher and her efforts to educate the whole child. Her words were met with a standing ovation. 

Photo left to right:
Janet Luttmers, WEA President; Gabe Jorganson, Eagles Club President, Lezlea Dahlke, Education Advocate, and Mary Cappel, Teacher of the Year.  Not pictured: Jack Richter, Winona National Bank.

Lessons and Carols

The joyous and uplifting Christmas service of “Lessons and Carols” will be presented by the Saint Mary’s University Department of Music at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. The beautiful service, held in the majestic Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, features the Saint Mary’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Patrick O’Shea.  “Lessons and Carols” reflects on the Christmas story through several short readings, hymns and Christmas carols sung by the choirs and audience. Music includes familiar carols and selections by composers from the Renaissance to the present. The Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels is located at Wabasha and Vila streets in Winona. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Saint Mary’s Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only

STEM Program

Byron Gilliland, first grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary STEM School, wrote and received a BK5K grant this summer to purchase a Rigamajig set for his classroom. Rigamajigs allow students to construct in 3D and his students have been super engaged in their work.  Rigamajig set up a national contest and it spoke directly to the engineering challenges Gilliland's  students are working to solve. The Rigamajig challenge is as follows: Build a Rigamajig to improve your school. His students came up with ideas on their own based on what we want them to do at school. All of their ideas were based on 2 themes they came up with: Helping and Learning. Then they came up with the idea of a "Little Free Library.' Their families have donated books they no longer use to give away to students in our school who need books.We are extremely proud of their idea and hard work! Their creation will sit in the entrance and the students at Jefferson can feel free to take or give a book if they like. The purpose of their creation is to ensure that EVERY child has books to read even if they don't have the money to buy them. Winona Area Public Schools has a great group of giving students who enjoy their time at school and Jefferson Elementary STEM School is no exception. Mr. Gilliland's class is asking that folks take a moment to LIKE their project photos between now and Monday, November 30 on their class Facebook page-Mr. Gilliland's Engineers- to help them win prizes for their school. 

SMU Concert Band

The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band will unveil a new composition for concert band and baritone voice on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in the Page Theatre. “Ayshet Chayil” (A Woman of Valor), composed this year by Steven Rosenhaus, was inspired by the text from Proverbs 31. It will be the centerpiece of the concert, complemented by seasonal music from around the world. The work—expressive and lyrical, sung in Hebrew—is composed for baritone voice and concert band; the featured vocal soloist is Alan Dunbar. The composer wrote in his preface to the composition: “Proverb 31 praises ‘the good wife’—the ‘ideal woman’—in Judaism. Many Jewish (and Christian) scholars believe that Proverb 31 was written by King Solomon. Unlike the ‘Song of Songs,’ the focus is on a woman’s intelligence, wisdom, work ethic, and more; it is these attributes, not those of grace or beauty that last and are deserving of praise. In many Jewish homes husbands recite this proverb to their wives before the Sabbath dinner, in acknowledgement and praise of all their spouses do.”  Rosenhaus will be in residency at Saint Mary’s beginning Dec. 2, and he will conduct the premiere performance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the box office, 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only.

Dine In Day

Families are reminded to participate in Dine In Day on December 3 to celebrate the importance of healthy students, healthy families, and family & consumer science learning opportunities in our schools.  Full details are online at
Dine In Day asks families to prepare and eat a healthy meal together on December 3 and then snap a photo and tweet or upload to Instagram at #winonadineinday.  Also on the web site, visitors will find 2 main course menus and a dessert recipe and videos of Family & Consumer Science students preparing the recipes. 

photo:  WMS 8th grade FACS students preparing vegetables for Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry
left to right: Hailey Jones, Emily Jandl, Allison Keller, and Evelyn Lorenz