Shows
This week on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, it's a live broadcast from the newly renovated Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. With special guests, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra-the only full-time professional chamber orchestra in the United States-conductor Philip Brunelle, our good friend Vern Sutton, vocal powerhouses Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, and singer Hilary Thavis. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and the latest News from Lake Wobegon.
  • Hilary Thavis

    Funny how things come together. Born in Rome, Italy, to parents from Minnesota, Hilary Thavis grew up loving music - especially folk music - from Woody Guthrie to Italian folk singers like Fabrizio De Andre and Francesco De Gregori. But it was the blues that ultimately captured her attention. Trouble & Truth is the 2011 recording from her band Gaia Groove. Now making her home in the Twin Cities, Hilary is working on a solo album of original songs.
  • Jearlyn Steele

    Growing up in Indiana, Jearlyn Steele sang with her siblings as The Steele Children. One by one, they moved to Minnesota and started singing together again. Now music is the family business. Jearlyn has recorded and performed with Prince, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, and others. She also hosts Steele Talkin', a Sunday-night radio show that originates on WCCO in Minneapolis. Her most recent solo CD is Jearlyn Steele Sings Songs from A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Jevetta Steele

    Growing up in Indiana, Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele sang with their siblings as The Steele Children. One by one, they moved to Minnesota and started singing together again. Now music is the family business. Jevetta's performance of "Calling You," from the film Baghdad Cafe, was nominated for an Academy Award. Her solo albums include 2006's My Heart.
  • The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

    The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra formed 55 years ago, performing its first program under the baton of Leopold Sipe. During Sipe's tenure as music director, the SPCO would become the only full-time professional chamber orchestra in the United States. Now regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world, the SPCO tours nationally and internationally, and presents more than 150 concerts per year. Today's performance is under the direction of Scott Yoo.
  • Philip Brunelle

    Philip Brunelle is an internationally renowned conductor, choral scholar, and performer. He is also the founder and artistic director of Minneapolis-based VocalEssence, one of America's premier choral arts organizations. His many awards include the Royal Order of the Polar Star from the King of Sweden and Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. In July of 1974, Philip appeared on the very first live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Vern Sutton

    Vern Sutton has collaborated with major musical organizations as a singer, actor, director, and educator. He was a founding member of the Center Opera Company, which became the Minnesota Opera, and composers Dominick Argento, Robert Ward, Conrad Susa, Libby Larsen, and others have written for his voice. For 36 years, he taught at the University of Minnesota School of Music, and for four summers he was artistic director of Opera in the Ozarks. Vern was a guest on the very first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.
  • 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. A masterful keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he writes all the script themes and underscores, and he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renee Fleming. 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, Sammy Davis Jr. - with whom he toured for several years - and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass 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. When Richard Kriehn turned 10, his mom bought him a mandolin; at 19, he'd won the Buck White International Mandolin Contest. He went on to play with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and bluegrass group 1946. On the classical side, he has performed with numerous orchestras and was principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony.