Date:   9/1/2006

Keeping the Arts Alive in Green Lake

How many communities of this size can boast of having a beautifully restored opera house nearing its 100th anniversary, claiming appearances by national and international performing artists, children’s theatre workshops, an annual chamber music festival, lectures, or community meetings?  Green Lake can, thanks to the Thrasher Opera House.  Through the dedication of its Board of Directors and staff, along with financial support by the community and help of devoted volunteers, TOH continues to serve as a premiere performing arts center and community gathering place.


Maybe you’ve laughed along with Canada’s self-proclaimed Clowned Princes of Humor, the Arrogant Worms, or applauded your child’s stage debut with the Missoula Children’s Theatre troupe.  Perhaps you got up and danced to the beat of the Grammy-winning Cajun band, BeauSoleil, or experienced the high-energy of Lunasa – described by The New York Times as “The hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet.”  However, these and countless other high-caliber performers could not make their way to the Thrasher stage without your help.


Attending a performance is always one of the most pleasurable ways to support Thrasher. The remaining 2006 calendar is filled with great music from which to choose, with a variety of performances and a familiarity of the artists that runs the gamut - just take a peek. 


Harmonica master Corky Siegel, and longtime friend and guitarist, Jim Schwall, of the Siegel-Schwall Band, are making a return visit this September 8 & 9 (Chili Cook-off weekend). This legendary blues band from the 60’s and 70’s, along with peers like Paul Butterfield, introduced the Chicago blues to a wider national rock audience, resulting in a huge following of dedicated blues fans and winning the respect of many significant recording artists.     

Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines haven’t been here in almost three years – but we’re happy to announce that they’ll be returning on Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m.  Since 1997, Terri has worked and toured with producer and instrumentalist Lloyd Maines (Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dixie Chicks). With Terri on guitar, harmonica and mandolin, and Lloyd on guitar, mandolin, pedal steel and dobro, they have played some of the most celebrated venues and festivals across the country and Europe, and to date, she has released six studio CDs and three live discs.

An all-woman swing band from Madison, Ladies Must Swing, will bring their big sound -  featuring five saxophones, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, drums, vocals and congas, to the stage on Saturday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. This extremely fun-loving and very talented group of women bop their way through a roaring repertoire of 20th century dance classics.  As their agent, SRO Artists describes; - Ladies Must Swing puts audiences In the Mood for a Sentimental Journey to Route 66 and beyond, scattering Stardust and creating Mood Indigo wherever they go. Because… swing they must!  

As a family band composed of musical prodigies ranging in age from 24 to 12 years, the Clayton Miller Blues Band has performed with Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Ringo Star, Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mississippi Heat, Joan Jett and Blues Traveler…and that’s just to name a few!. With Dad on bass, brothers Clayton and Cole on guitar, drums and vocals, and 12-year-old L.D. wailing on the harmonica, the Millers will leave you amazed and wanting more.


At age 10, L.D. Miller, labeled early as a harmonica prodigy, was one of four finalists on NBC’s America’s Most Talented Kid.  Most recently, the now twelve-year-old, along with his twenty-year-old brother, Cole, became finalists on this summer’s runaway reality show, NBC’s America’s Got Talent.  From the stages of venues around the country, to hit television shows, and now, to the historic Thrasher Opera House – on Saturday, November 11! 


Making his appearance for the fourth time at Thrasher is world-renowned melodic folk pianist, George Winston, on December 18 & 19.   He has risen to the top of contemporary instrumental music with some hugely successful albums such as his trilogy of albums titled, “Winter into Spring,” “December,” and “Autumn.”  With sell out performances all over the globe, in places ranging from Osaka, Japan to Oregon, and always a sell out here at Thrasher – you’ll want to get these tickets soon.   


This is just a mere glimpse at the variety and quality of entertainment we’ve been fortunate to present, however, in order to continue to bring music of this caliber to Thrasher, financial support is needed in more ways than ticket sales.  Individuals, families, and businesses can make donations in support of the day-to-day operations, which are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by the law. 

If you are a local business owner or an individual interested in showing support for the Opera House programming, sponsorship of a particular concert allows unique advertising exposure in a variety of ways.  Your  name will appear on over one-hundred twenty five posters widely distributed throughout the area, will appear in all press releases, and is acknowledged on radio interviews and ads.  It is also included on the TOH website, added to an eblast newsletter to our large email list and will be printed in the year-end public sponsors and donors report.


Contributions such as this help keep ticket prices affordable and the entertainment quality high.  A wonderful show of support for our community and again, these donations are tax-deductible. 


Would you like to help support the Opera House while having a fun evening filled with fantastic food and great entertainment?  How about purchasing tickets for the “The Best of Wine, Dine & Song” 2006 Annual Benefit coming up on Saturday, September 30?  On that evening, patrons will enjoy; Wine Tasting - the BEST selections of many wine purveyors; Head Chef’s Selections – the BEST hors d’oeuvres and desserts from the Goose Blind, Heidel House & Two Chez - along with the BEST appetizers donated by local residents; Eric Bibb – the BEST in music, and according to Executive Director, Roby Irvin, “Thrasher’s most requested performer.”  


Want something to show for your contribution?  In that case, you may want to check out the “Harvest of Bargains” sale of new and gently used items running on Golden Days Harvest Festival weekend September 23-24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., both days.  Maybe you’ll find that special treasure while helping to support our community treasure (TOH)!  A white elephant-type sale will be running concurrently with a silent auction – giving even the most discerning bargain-hunter a respectable selection from which to choose.


If you have more time than money, Thrasher Opera House also has myriad volunteer opportunities available.  As you see, there are so many ways to contribute!


No matter how you choose to show support for the Thrasher Opera House it is greatly appreciated.  When you purchase tickets, become a donor, volunteer, or partake in any of our special fundraising events, you not only help the Opera House, you help maintain Green Lake area’s only historic performance venue bringing the community together and keeping the arts alive in Green Lake for nearly one-hundred years. 


For additional information on memberships, sponsorships, volunteering, or upcoming special events such as the “The Best of Wine, Dine & Song” 2006 Annual Benefit, the “Harvest of Bargains” sale, please contact the Thrasher Opera House office at 920-294-4279 or visit the web at  We look forward to seeing you!


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