Past Feature Pics

Dorian Band Festival

Five students from Winona Senior High School participated in the 68th annual Dorian Band Festival, which took place Feb.  22 and 27 on the campus of Luther College in Decorah, IA.  Over six hundred students from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin participated in the event, one of the longest-running festivals of its kind in the nation.  In addition to working with well-known collegiate band directors and composers, over 100 students had the opportunity to perform solos for members of the Luther College music department. Students who represented WSHS in the Festival included seniors Emma Hitz-Kelly (trombone), Ananth Iyengar (tenor sax) and Brandon Lamberson (euphonium), and juniors Max Derbyshire (alto sax) and Sarah Halverson (flute).

Pictured (l-r ) Brandon Lamberson, Emma Hitz-Kelly, Ananth Iyengar, Sarah Halverson and Max Derbyshire

Sixth Grade Day-Buffalo County

On March 10, at Gilmanton High School all sixth graders in Buffalo County participated in the annualBuffalo County Partnership Council Sixth Grade Day. Sixth graders from all four school districts of Cochrane-Fountain City, Alma, Mondovi and Gilmanton engaged in the event.  The program was hosted by the Buffalo County Partnership Council, a group of teachers, students, county agencies, and community organizations that work to strengthen positive youth and family development in Buffalo County. Sixth Grade Day focused on preparing young people to start their middle school experience on the right foot.   Kelvin the Magician utilized a mix of motivation and magic to encourage young people to think critically about the actions to take when faced by a peer bully. Kelvin’s ventriloquist puppet, Charlie, shared with students the message to “Tell An Adult” when they are being socially, emotionally or physically bullied by another student. The final part of sixth grade engaged students in interactive experiences with other students from other schools. Gilmanton Buffalo County Partnership Council members Elizabeth Lay and Kayla Hostetter led a “pinky link” connection activity as well as a portrait of your partner experience. Students enjoyed engaging with fellow sixth grade students.

Pictured: Students sit back to back to make a connection with the draw a portrait of your partner learning experience.

WSU Concert-Grammer

Winona State University Programing Activities Committee (UPAC) will host Andy Grammer as the headlining act for the 2017 Spring Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28 in McCown Gymnasium. Andy Grammer is an American pop recording artist. Grammer debuted his first official album in 2011. The self-titled album, Andy Grammer, contained hit singles “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me.” Grammer’s most recent album, Magazines or Novels, was released in Jan. of 2014. The album contained such hits as “Back Home” and “Honey, I’m Good,” which reached number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. A deluxe edition of the album was reissued later that year with the popular song; “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah).” Grammer’s most recent single “Fresh Eyes” reached number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is the first single for his upcoming third studio album. Tickets cost $20 for WSU students and $30 for WSU employees and general public. Tickets are currently on sale exclusively to WSU Students with a valid student ID in the UPAC Office in the lower level hyphen of Kryzsko Commons. Starting on March 25, tickets will be available to the general public. Tickets may be purchased online or in the UPAC Office from 9 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Any remaining tickets on the day of the concert will be sold for $30 regardless of WSU student status. There is no limit to how many tickets can be purchased. However, refunds and exchanges on tickets are not permitted. For more information about the concert, visit or email UPAC directly at

Fine Arts Commission Reception

Recent Saint Mary's University of Minnesota student announced as Winona's first
Associate Poet Laureate by the Fine Arts Commission. Nicholle Ramsey will be mentored by returning Poet Laureate Ken McCullough, who was also appointed for his third term. Both will receive their honors at a reception at the Blue Heron Coffeehouse on April 4 at 6:00 p.m.
The Fine Arts Commission would like to announce the creation of a new position Associate Poet Laureate for the term of 2017 & 2018. Ken McCullough was awarded and has agreed to return to the position of Poet Laureate. The Associate position was created to further the educational mission of the Winona Poet Laureate by allowing for early career poets to have a chance to work alongside and glean experience from more established artists and will only be chosen if there is a candidate with the appropriate qualifications. Past Poet Laureate Emilio DeGrazia will help celebrate and the reception will precede the Poet Laureate event with Past Poet Laureate Jim Armstrong presenting works from his poetry class at Winona State.

WSU English Department

The Winona State University English Department announces Sajda Omar, Charlie Utzman and Danielle Eberhard as the winners of this year’s Winona Prize. Omar’s story “Ruby” won in the fiction category, with Eberhard earning honorable mention for her story “Rupture.” Eberhard’s essay “Here’s to the Bitch Faced Girls” won within the creative nonfiction category, with an honorable mention going to Madeline Milliren for her essay, “A Leaf Falling.” Utzman’s poem“How Not to Be a Poet” was the winner of the poetry category, with an honorable mention finish by Nasro Abbas’ poem, “English.” All three of the winners were awarded a $1,500 prize for their pieces, which will appear in the 2017 edition of “Satori.” The Winona Prize in Creative Writing is made possible by a generous donation from an alumnus of the English Department. Three prizes of $1,500 are awarded to three students whose work literary judges decide are the most well written in the categories of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. The gift is intended to encourage WSU students in their writing and literary pursuits, while helping them financially reach their educational goals.

Blues and Brews

Get your tickets now for this awesome event! 

MSCS-Strings,Winds & Brass

From Classical, Cajun, and Celtic to Bluegrass, Big Band and Broadway, Strings, Winds & Brass is an opportunity for the students, staff and friends of Minnesota State College Southeast to share their musical artistry at the annual variety showcase. The college’s signature band instrument repair, violin repair, and guitar repair & building programs draw students from across the United States and around the world, many with advanced education and performance degrees. This year, Strings, Winds & Brass will feature the talents of almost 50 performers from 19 states and Japan, Australia, China, and Canada!

Strings, Winds & Brass takes place on Saturday, April 8 (7:30 pm) at The Sheldon Theatre, 443 West 3rd Street, Red Wing, MN. Tickets are available at and by phone at 800-899-5759. All tickets are general admission. Advance tickets are $15.00 adults, $5.00 students. Advance tickets are also available at the MSC Southeast bookstore. Seats are general admission; doors open at 7 pm day of show.


Fish and Wildlife Refuge-Jobs

The Winona District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) will be hiring four students this summer to work on a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew. The YCC program will begin Monday, June 19 and end Friday, August 11, 2017. Crew members will work a 40-hour week, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and be paid the state minimum wage of $9.50/hour. Young men and women, 15 through 18 years of age, who are permanent residents of the United States, its Territories, or possessions, are eligible for employment without regard to social, economic, racial, or ethnic backgrounds. Applications are available at or at the Refuge office located at 51 East 4th Street, Room 203, Winona, MN, 55987.  Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2017.  Applicants will be selected by random drawing and notified by Friday, April 21, 2017.  Questions about the program should be directed to Curt McMurl at 507-494-6213. The LaCrosse District office is also hiring a YCC crew, interested applicants should contact that office directly at 608-779-2386 for details. Hiring is dependent on availability of funding.