This year’s Christmas at Luther concert will be held at the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther College campus in Decorah, Iowa.

“Awake and Greet the New Morn” will be performed on Friday, Dec. 3, Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5 with the Sunday performance live-streamed online at 2:30 p.m.

K-W graduate Amber Olson is a member of the Alto II section of the Luther College Nordic Choir, one of the premier collegiate choirs in the country.

Cemetery Walk

Last Monday evening, a hearty group of Minnesotans gathered at the Holden Church Cemetery to hear the life stories presented by members of the K-W Band.

It was a beautiful evening with a full moon shining on the cemetery as Evelyn Scheffler and Sara Metcalf opened the evening, standing on the church steps telling the early history of Holden Lutheran Church.

Following the introduction, Louis Breimhurst, Sophia Culuris, Arin Kyllo, Ashley Rechtzigel, Ezrehn Supter and Elliot Olson told the stories from the first-person perspective of selected people buried in the cemetery. The presenters were well prepared and took a great deal of ownership while talking about their person.

The evening closed with a social time of hot cider and cookies as organized by Sydney Belcher.

Junior High Knowledge Bowl

The K-W Junior High Knowledge Bowl competed last Wed. K-W Silver and Red tied with K-W Black following in the standings.

Savannah Metcalf, Olivar Breyer, Sienna Carel, Emma Koncur, and Max Erickson were on the K-W Silver team. Gavin Blakstad, Sara Metcalf, Gunnar Blakstad and Gunnar Kalvig made-up the Red team and the Black team members were Rebecca Elzen, Adalee Geisinger, Elsie Braaten and Owen Caron.

Team Two from Houston Public Schools finished the day in first place.

College Hall of Fame

When this year’s K-W juniors and sophomores were in fourth grade, their reading teacher was Cody Anstedt, a 2011 graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

During homecoming weekend in October, Anstedt was inducted into the Carroll University Pioneer Hall of Fame.

As a soccer player for the Pioneers, she finished her career first in goals and total points for a career at Carroll. First in goals and total points in a single season. She was fourth in the Midwest Conference history with 70 career goals and seventh in conference history for career points with 159. At the end of the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Anstedt was the Midwest Conference Player of the Year and named to multiple All-Midwest Conference first teams during her soccer career. It was her contributions that led Carroll to three Midwest Conference titles.

In corresponding with Cody, she said, “The Hall of Fame Weekend was a great celebration, and I will be forever grateful to everyone who supported me along the way.”

Danny and Cody Anstedt live in Yorkville, Illinois, with their children Mason, Cameron, and Maddie.

During the NCAA Regional Volleyball tournament, Gustavus Adolphus player Kate Holtan set a new school record for kills in a season with 1,695. The previous record by Kenyon graduate and current K-W third grade teacher Val Flom Ashland was established 35 years ago when she finished her Gustie career with 1,684.

In 2003, Flom Ashland was inducted into the Gustavus Hall of Fame after an illustrious volleyball career in which she started nearly every match from 1983 to 1986. She was the leader of three of the most successful volleyball teams in Gustavus women’s volleyball history.

In 2015, Flom Ashland was in the inaugural K-W Hall of Fame class.

Cookie Walk (Sale)

The Kenyon Area Historical Society Christmas Cookie Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Gunderson House. This year a preorder option is being offered by the organization. Preorders need to be placed by Dec. 4 for pick-up on Dec. 11 during the traditional cookie sale. To place an early order, call Debb Paquin at 507-838-2632 or Cora Lee Monroe at 612-756-4687 or 789-6399.

The list of cookies available includes many traditional Scandinavian ones such as rosettes, krumkake, kringle, fattigmann, almond sticks, spritz, and sandbakkels. Other types of treats in the sale are caramels, fudge, frosted cut cookies, truffles and “hamburger cookies.”

Some items have a set price; otherwise, the cookies sell for $9 a pound.

Check the Kenyon Area Historical Society Facebook page or the City of Kenyon Facebook page for a more complete list of cookies.

Middle School Concert

On Thursday evening the K-W Middle School musicians presented their Fall Concert in the school auditorium to a large crowd.

The program opened with the announcement that after getting her choir students well prepared for the concert, vocal music director Stephanie Schumacher could not attend due to an illness.

Jan Strand, elementary music teacher, and Claire Larson, instrumental director, led the choirs in her absence.

The celebration of students started with the fifth and sixth-grade choir. During their portion of the program, they demonstrated how they have learned to sing in different rhythms and used syncopation. They thoroughly enjoyed singing their opening number, “Something in the Dark,” when choir members could add special effects to the song.

“More to Me,” sung by the seventh and eighth-grade choir, featured soloists Adolee Geisinger, June Sundin, Gunner Carlstrom, Hannah Ranc and McKinley Budahn.

There is a good balance of voices between sopranos, altos, and baritones in this choir.

They closed their part of the program with a song titled “Thank You, Soldiers,” which began with a solo by Ryan LaCanne.

Band Director Claire Larson opened the fifth grade band portion of the program, explaining that the students would be playing songs using the five notes they had mastered. Each instrumental section was featured playing familiar songs such as “Hot Cross Buns,” “Go Tell Aunt Rodde,” and others. Oboist, Lily Durst, is the only member of her section and played an excellent solo. Also demonstrating their skills playing solos in the fifth-grade band were Stella Haugen and Blaine Helgeson.

As the sixth-grade band was getting ready, Larson explained that the students had learned to play their instruments during a pandemic when sometimes they were on long-distance learning.

The challenges of the unique learning format did not hinder their progress as the band showed outstanding skills performing their songs, including one titled “Waltz of the Weiner Dogs.”

It is always fun to listen to the skill progression demonstrated by the seventh and eighth-grade band. They played three complex pieces, which included solos by saxophonist Bryan Jacobson, trumpet player Tate Lewis, and clarinetist Lindsey Short.

Zumbrota Community Band

The Zumbrota Community Band Christmas Concert is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at United Redeemer Lutheran Church 560 West Third St. in Zumbrota.

Following the concert, treats will be served in the Fellowship Hall with a free-will offering to support the band.

Dan Malloy of Kenyon is a member of the band.

Kevin Anderson is a guest columnist for The Kenyon Leader.

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