Soprano Sage Deagro-Ruopp was always interested in singing — she has performed in dozens of musicals — but didn't always love opera. Then, five years ago, she heard the Metropolitan Opera's live simulcast of Hansel and Gretel, and everything changed. Now the Traverse City 15-year-old is a student at the Interlochen Arts Academy and is focused on an opera career. While her pals listen to pop artists on their iPods, Sage favors Pavarotti and Renée Fleming.
Memorable childhood experiences — piano lessons, traveling with her family, singing in the choir — gave Molly Dean a great start. Now, this Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter is combining elements of folk, pop, and blues in her music, and she's captivating audiences across the Twin Cities and beyond with her sultry, ethereal voice. Resonate is her most recent CD, and a new album is in the works.
Willey Lee thinks of himself as a work in progress. At 17, he's been playing piano for seven years, and hearing him perform a piece by Debussy or Chopin, one can only conclude that he has progressed splendidly. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he moved to the United States with his family when he was two. They settled in Morgantown, West Virginia, where his father teaches at West Virginia University. Willey is looking forward to attending a state college with a good music program.
Theodore Van Dyck
Born in England, Theodore Van Dyck has lived in Brunswick, Maine, since he was seven. He started playing trumpet at 10 and enrolled at Interlochen Arts Academy as a high school freshman. Since his sophomore year, he has been principal trumpet in the orchestra and lead trumpet in the big band. Now 17, Theo is looking forward to this fall, when he will head to New York to begin his studies in classical trumpet performance at The Juilliard School.
Interlochen Arts Camp String Octet
Four Interlochen instructors and four Interlochen campers have come together to form the Interlochen Arts Camp String Octet, assembled especially for this broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion. Representing the faculty are Susanna Perry Gilmore (violin), Timothy Shiu (violin), Leonard Schranze (viola), and Astrid Schween (cello). The students: Rachel Graves (violin), Andrew Cheshire (violin), Anders Cornell (viola), and Harry Wilde Greer (cello).
Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka, graduated from the University of Minnesota ('66), and lives in St. Paul. He is the author of numerous books, including Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny (Viking), and the editor of several anthologies of poetry, including Good Poems: American Places (Viking).
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. Keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he also writes all the script themes and underscores. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.
Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers, and others. Nobody's Fault (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's 10 albums.
Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band and Sammy Davis Jr., with whom he toured for several years. He was first call for dozens of touring Broadway shows, including the first presentation of The Lion King. Gary teaches at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
Richard Kriehn is principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony. But it's not all classical all the time; he is equally at home playing bluegrass fiddle and mandolin. He was a member of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and the bluegrass group 1946.
Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. He is author of the book (and CD/CD-ROM) MouthSounds. Fred admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."
One minute he's mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he's George Bush or Julia Child or Barack Obama. We've yet to stump this man of many voices. In other roles, Tim played the part of Al, the stage manager, in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and a detective in the Coen brothers' A Serious Man.
On APHC, Sue Scott plays everything from ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners to leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. The Tucson, Arizona, native is well known for her extensive commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as movie and stage roles.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).