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Beautiful Bach

Bach’s earthy and ethereal sides were both showcased in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra’s blockbuster Brandenburg Project on Saturday.

All six of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos were delivered in their entirety by RDSO musicians and guest artists in a behemoth 2 3/4-hour concert at the Red Deer College Arts Centre. In chamber groupings of seven to 13 players, the virtuosic musicians performed the first three concertos on modern instruments, then switched to period instruments for the last three. And the effect was fairly breathtaking — with a couple of humorous exceptions. READ

Treat your ears for a good cause

Playing for audiences is fulfilling. Performing music to help others is life changing. Naomi Delafield, director of the Rosedale Valley Strings, has seen young musicians grow as artists and as people every time they put on a Music With a Mission concert to fundraise for global projects. “It changes who they are and who they grow up to be,” said Delafield, who has seen youngsters go on to volunteer with non-profits, “empowered” by the idea of helping others. READ

Can’t beat original art

More people are eating local produce and shopping at local stores — so how about buying local art? READ

Less is more

From the horrors of the Boston Marathon bombing to the ecstatic win of wheelchair athlete Jessica Frotten, a gamut of human emotions is explored on Gordie Tentrees’ fifth album. READ

No time for self-pity, no place for blame

The tunes on Rodney DeCroo’s latest album, Campfires On the Moon, can be considered his Songs of Experience. After all, there was little innocence in DeCroo’s childhood. And his new release reflects on this. READ

Blue Moon rising

Playing Mississippi-influenced blues swing music for people living north of the Arctic Circle was an epic experience for the Central Alberta duo Blue Moon Marquee. READ

Bach never gets old

With antique and modern instruments, musicians of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra will bring to vigorous life six of Bach’s most beloved compositions on Saturday, April 25. READ

Hopes, fears, secret loves

Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood unfolded like a living poem when it opened this week in downtown Red Deer. This odd bit of whimsical theatre, running at the Welikoklad Centre, takes an extraordinary look at life in an “ordinary” Welsh village. Of course, there was nothing remotely typical about Thomas’s fictional setting. READ

Success of whimsical RDC production rests on lovely, playful use of descriptive language

Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood unfolded like a living poem when it opened this week in downtown Red Deer. READ

A play about nothing

The setting is a quaint Welsh village, not the Big Apple. And it’s written by Dylan Thomas, the greatest English poet of his time, not Larry David. Otherwise, Under Milk Wood, the last Red Deer College Theatre Studies play of the season, can be thought of as a sort of Seinfeld. READ

Red Deer Dancer performing in U.S. musical

Georgina Moore never imagined the tap-dancing classes she started in Red Deer would launch her on a journey to the Big Apple and beyond. Yet that’s what’s happened for the talented 20-year-old, a soon-to-be graduate of New York’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She will be performing in a U.S. touring company of the musical 42nd Street. “My Red Deer teachers are not forgotten,” said the Red Deer-raised singer and dancer. READ

MonkeyJunk: Not your average blues band

There’s traditional 12-bar blues, and then there’s MonkeyJunk. The Ottawa trio that performs on Sunday, April 19, at Fratters Speakeasy in Red Deer, keeps distinguishing itself by not being typical. Among the illustrious hardware that MonkeyJunk has earned over the last seven years is a Juno Award, 20 Maple Blues Awards, two Canadian Independent Music Awards and a U.S. Blues Music Award. READ

Singer/songwriter searches for middle ground on new album

Alberta-born singer/songwriter Mike Edel admitted he had to dig deep for his new break-up inspired album, India, Seattle. READ

Strange worlds

Jason Frizzell’s detailed psychological landscapes wouldn’t be out of place in a Mad Max movie. “Post-apocalyptic” is how the Red Deer artist describes the sparse environments he’s created in five table-top sculptures exhibited as part of Future Station, the Art Gallery of Alberta’s 2015 Biennial of Contemporary Art in Edmonton. READ

Anti-terrorism bill goes too far, warns Margaret Atwood

Renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood added her voice to a growing chorus opposing the federal government’s anti-terrorism bill. READ

Inspired by the Prairies

Del Barber made a country album inspired by Ian Tyson that didn’t fit the pop-country format of most commercial radio stations. “It definitely wasn’t what country radio wanted to hear,” admitted the Manitoba-based musician. READ

Upping the ante

The beauty of Manitoba’s forests, lakes and grasslands helped inspire Jess Reimer’s latest bluegrass-flavoured album The Nightjar and The Garden. READ

The body acting as a stage

Farmyards, compost heaps and oil derricks take on human proportions in the art of Jude Griebel. The Sundre-based artist actually describes his latest papier-mâché and epoxy-resin sculptures as self portraits. And sure enough, a face resembling Griebel’s own grows out of a grain field in his life-sized creation, Wheat Country — one of his works exhibited in Future Station, the Art Gallery of Alberta’s 2015 Biennial of Contemporary Art in Edmonton. READ

Fisher explores the softer side of jazz

Soothing, reflective music that goes down fine with a glass of wine. Central Alberta’s renowned jazz vocalist Cheryl Fisher aims to record that kind of album this spring with guitarist John Stowell and his Scene trio. READ

Heavy, loud, party rock

The fuzzed-out blues-rock band HighKicks is finding some depth in letting the good times roll. The Calgary duo of Matt Doherty on drums and Danny Vacon on bass has put out a self-titled debut album of thumpingly catchy songs designed as sing-alongs. READ

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