This week: we're heading up the Mississippi River to its junction with the Rum River for a live broadcast from Anoka High School in our host's hometown of Anoka, Minnesota, the Halloween Capital of the World. We'll have a few other Anoka alums along to show off what they learned on the AHS stage, including globetrotting soprano Ellie Dehn and Broadway belter Kate Beahen. Plus: the Anoka High School Pep Band and the Seventh Avenue Singers will join us to represent the next generation of Anoka arts; our Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, will channel all the drama and comedy of their high school years; and pianist and music director Rich Dworsky and the band (drummer Bernie Dresel, bassist Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, and guitarist Chris Siebold) with a rock'n'roll tornado that's sure to have everyone dancing on the lockers in the Main Commons. Sharpen your pencils, power up those graphing calculators, be in your seat before the bell, and we'll see you at 5pm Central for a public radio pep rally! "I'm proud of my old high school for the spirit of its students and for its high standards of education and for its commitment to the arts, music and theater, studio art, and creative writing. My grandmother taught school in the district and from her we Keillors got the idea that you could work with your brain as well as your back. When A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts from Anoka, it'll be in homage to her and to the teachers who changed my life and the teachers who are still changing lives. And it'll be our chance to bring soprano Ellie Dehn from the opera houses of Europe back home to the Anoka High gymnasium." - Garrison Keillor
  • Ellie Dehn

    Soprano Ellie Dehn has appeared in many of the world's leading opera houses, from the Metropolitan Opera to Teatro alla Scala and Bayerische Staatsoper. But her love of music started during her childhood in Anoka, Minnesota. She was raised in a musical home - the granddaughter of a Minnesota Orchestra flutist and the daughter of a piano teacher - and she went on to study at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
  • Kate Beahen

    Originally from Anoka, Minnesota, actor and singer Kate Beahen earned a degree in music theater from Florida State University, spent a few years in New York, and is now based in Minneapolis. In the Twin Cities, she has appeared in productions at the Guthrie Theater, Theater Latte Da, the Ordway Center, and more. Kate also directs and teaches youth workshops across the state.
  • The Anoka High School Pep Band

    The Anoka High School Pep Band, under the direction of Tim Hauser, follows a long tradition of bands providing music and school spirit for the Anoka community. Every school assembly starts with the Pep Band playing rousing tunes as the students file into the field house and ends with "Anoka Fight," the school song. Sometimes a small ensemble, sometimes more than 100 students, the Pep Band has a presence at many athletic competitions, whether a regular season game or a state tournament. Anoka High and the whole Anoka family are proud of the dedicated students and directors who spark excitement at events throughout the year.
  • The Anoka High School Seventh Avenue Singers

    The Anoka High School Seventh Avenue Singers, under the direction of Michelle Hayes, is an a cappella vocal chamber ensemble that has been in existence since the mid-1970s. Often wearing traditional Renaissance costumes - long dresses, capes, top hats - the group performs repertoire ranging from Bach to pop. During the winter season, they travel throughout the Twin Cities area, caroling and performing their show of holiday tunes intermingled with a written script. They often chalk up more than 25 performances during the month of December alone.
  • Lyle Bradley

    Lyle Bradley taught biology at Anoka from 1953 to 1985. A native of Dubuque, he was a Marine Corps fighter pilot in the Korean War. He instituted summer field trips for students to study nature out in nature. He is an active bird-watcher, firewood chopper, and writer.
  • Pam Leindecker

    Pam Leindecker is in her 32nd year at Anoka High, the past 12 as school librarian, the previous 20 teaching Social Studies. A native of Olivia, Minnesota, the Corn Capital of the World, she is the mother of two Anoka High graduates.
  • Stan Nelson

    Stan Nelson taught physical education at Anoka from 1953 to 1983 and coached football and baseball. A native of Dawson, Minnesota, and an Augsburg alumnus, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. In his retirement, he golfs with his daughter Cheryl at least once a week, enjoys fishing with some of his former players, and attends many football games at Minnetonka High, where his son Dave is the head coach.
  • Garrison Keillor

    Garrison Keillor was born in 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. He is the host of The Writer's Almanac and the editor of the Good Poems series of anthologies from Viking.
  • Rich Dworsky and The October Boys - October 24, 2015

    Richard Dworsky Keyboardist, composer, and arranger Richard Dworsky is APHC's music director. He leads the band, composes themes, improvises script underscores, and collaborates with such diverse guests as Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth, and Sheryl Crow. He has released many recordings of original material and has provided music for documentaries on HBO and PBS. Bernie Dresel Bernie Dresel has been in the percussion game since he got his first drum kit at the age of two. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, he headed to Los Angeles. He's worked with countless artists, from Chaka Khan and Maynard Ferguson to David Byrne and Brian Wilson, and spent 15 years with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He currently plays with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and heads up his own 12-piece funk band, BERN. Larry Kohut Bassist Larry Kohut has played on dozens of albums and many film scores, as well as performing with jazz artists such as Patricia Barber, Mel Torme, Vincent Colaiuta, and Tony Bennett. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches acoustic and electric bass. Richard Kriehn 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. Chris Siebold Bluegrass to big band jazz, Chris Siebold knows his way around a guitar - or a bunch of other instruments, for that matter. Based in Chicago, he draws from a deep well of influences and styles, and has put his talents to work in ensembles such as Howard Levy's Acoustic Express and Kick the Cat. In 2010, he formed the band Psycles, whose album Live at Martyrs' was released the following year.
  • Tim Russell

    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. Says fellow APHC actor Sue Scott, "He does a better Ira Glass than Ira Glass." A well-known Twin Cities radio personality and voice actor, Tim appeared in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and the Coen brothers' A Serious Man. Tim has also been reviewing films professionally for over 10 years.
  • Sue Scott

    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 stage and movie roles, including the part of "Donna" in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Fred Newman

    Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. Turns out, no one is more surprised than Fred that he's made a career out of doing what he used to do behind the teacher's back -crossing his eyes, making sounds, and doing voices. He readily admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."