Monday, October 19, 2009

Barrage to bring 'fiddle fest' to Performing Arts Center

The Arts Council of South Wood County is pleased to present Barrage at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Performing Arts Center of Wisconsin Rapids, 1801 16th St. S. This high-octane fiddle fest has been referred to as "too Wow for Words" by the Denver Post.

The show is an eclectic mix of contemporary world music, layered vocal arrangements, and pulsating modern beats and rhythms. The young, hip cast delivers the show with amazing energy and musical virtuosity, often leaping into the air mid-song as they dance and sing across the stage.

The eight-member group originated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1996. The creators, known as 5 to 1 Entertainments, follow an "unshakable belief that artistic experiences can motivate, educate, cross cultural boundaries and still be fun." Dean Marshall, the artistic director for the group, is distinguished as having stretched the parameters of violin playing by incorporating fiddling and traditional music styles, and a world-beat sound into his arrangements.

Those chosen to perform for Barrage are selected via intensive audition calls that occur year-round, around the world. Consisting of five violinists, one drummer, one guitarist and one bass player, the current members hail from Canada, Germany and the United States.

The Arts Council sought the performance for Wisconsin Rapids per the recommendation of local strings teacher Ginger Marten. The group is well-known for its student outreach programs and influence on young musicians. The Arts Council will be offering a student outreach program for music students. To make arrangements to attend, call me at 421-4552.

The Lincoln High School Chamber Group will be performing in the Performing Arts Center lobby prior to the performance. The Lincoln High School Cheer and Stunt team will offer refreshments.

Tickets for the Nov. 5 performance are $33 for adults and $15 for students. A group discount of 15 percent is available for groups of 10 or more. To order tickets, call the Arts Council office at 424-2787 or go to the office at 1040 Eighth St. S., Suite 101, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets also are available at Daly Drug, 3215 Eighth St. S.

The Arts Council would like to thank Marshfield Clinic and Renaissance Learning Inc. for financial sponsorship of the show. In-kind media sponsorship is provided by 1320 WFHR-AM and Wisconsin Public Radio (90.9 WHRM-FM).

Christine Scheller, is executive director of the Arts Council of South Wood County. She can be reached at 424-2787 or

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