From: Margaret and Ray Kiihne
One of our favorite experiences during the Shakespeare Festival is listening to Concerts On the Green. Thanks to the organization and music knowledge of the COG committee backed by essential funding from a grant through GRSF (along with “pass the hat” donations), the public is invited to enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday evening prior to show time on the Winona State University green in front of the Performing Arts Center, surrounded by lush plantings and two water fountains.
And what great music! The mix of ages in the audience attests to the well-chosen “music for everybody”: this year it ranged from Dixieland to Balkan Klezmer playing, from Bluegrass and folk music to contemporary jazz . Musicians came from the national scene as well as local stages, including G-E-T High School’s a capella choir. Whatever one’s preference in music, the quality was consistently high and the musicians generous with their talents.
The scene on the green is entertaining too: among the hundred or more listeners were picnickers on lawn chairs sharing snacks or enjoying a grilled meal from Jefferson’s tent, youngsters riding small bikes on pathways, a laughing child and parent dancing to the music, grandparents with visiting families. It’s a perfect place to welcome your out-of-town visitors to Winona and introduce them to the Festival.
Concerts On the Green have been a gift for everyone! They are free only because of the generous support of the Great River Shakespeare Festival and individual contributions. We hope very much that GRSF will continue to support these concerts which have become such a delightful and entertaining compliment to seeing Shakespeare in Winona.