The February Show!
with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske
with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske
St Mane Theater, 206 Parkway Avenue North, Lanesboro, MN
A wonderful show of all things February (yes, including Valentine's Day! Steve is joined by jazz singer pianist JoAnn Funk and bassist vocalist Jeff Brueske. Enjoy an evening of music and humor! St Mane Website
The Dunsmore Room, 6161 Highway 65 NE, Fridley, MN
Music and laughter! In February! Jazz pianist singer JoAnn Funk brings her unique piano vocal style to this entertaining show. Her style has been compared to Blossom Dearie and Diana Krall but is very much her own. JoAnn is a Twin Cities favorite who most recently performed with Jeff Brueske for Jazz in The Lobby Bar at The Saint Paul Hotel. Her fourth and most recent CD, Jazz in The Lobby Bar, continues to receive international airplay. These days she is traveling and performing - enjoy this rare treat to hear her in the Twin Cities! Baritone Steven Marking will be performing an astonishing range of music, from Schubert, Samuel Barber and Flanders and Swann, to songs from musicals. Steven has over 40 opera roles to his credit. Since his move to the Twin Cities in 2012, he has sung with the Minnesota Chorale, Metropolitan Symphony, performed a role with Minnesota Opera, sung many oratorios, led hymn sings and performed his popular show Our Mighty Mississippi, as well as shows with Jeff and JoAnn. His newest CD, "Holy Chestnuts", is collection of Victorian Era Anthems, recorded with organ and piano at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, where he was the bass baritone soloist for four years. Never one to take himself too seriously, Steve has a comfortable stage presence and is a marvelous storyteller. Bassist and vocalist Jeff Brueske rounds out the talented trio, adding swing and beauty to everything, and also doing some great singing. Jeff might be the most understated musician you will ever meet. He is a choir director, educator, has a master's degree in guitar performance and is also a fine bassist. His vocals are a treat and are reminiscent of John Pizzarelli.
Steven grew up in the Lutheran church, singing the classic hymns like “How Great Thou Art” and “ Shall We Gather At the River”. Throughout his expansive music career, he has established himself as a choir director, conductor and soloist and has always been involved with sacred music, be it Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Unitarian, Christian Scientist, or Episcopalian. Steve is currently the baritone soloist at Hennepin United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, a church with a rich and highly respected musical tradition.
Grandma’s Favorite Gospel CD
The picturesque church above is Halfway Creek Lutheran Church, in Holmen, Wisconsin. This church holds a special place in Steve’s heart. As a child, his Norwegian grandmother had often taken him to this church for lutefisk and lefse dinners. In 2010, Steve learned that Halfway Creek Lutheran Church had now outgrown their space for lutefisk and lefse dinners and that they needed a fund raising campaign for the new addition. It was Steven’s idea to record the “Grandma’s Favorite Gospel Hymns” CD and contribute the profits from the ensuing concert and CD sales to the church. What a success - over $5000 was raised in one day!
Steve wanted to record these hymns as his grandmother would have heard them at her country church, with the unadorned arrangements that we all know by heart taken directly out of the hymnal. Steve assembled a choir and recorded Grandma’s Favorite Gospel Hymns CD live in Halfway Creek Church, with just the electric organ for accompaniment. You can hear the spirit of grace and joy in the beautiful singing. This CD is Steve’s best seller and is beloved by anyone who loves hymns or has sung in a church choir.
Grandma’s Favorite Gospel Hymn Sing
What is a hymn sing?
A hymn sing is a joyful gathering of many people, often a very large church group or a combination of churches, who celebrate through singing the great hymns: “Rock of Ages” , “In the Garden” and other favorites. Steve will lead and conduct the hymn sing. His warm presence and his experience as a choir director, conductor and his natural leadership skills make this an easy and joyful and worshipful experience. Solos can be divided up between Steve and the soloists from numerous churches within a community. People will flock to hear and sing their best loved hymns in a proper church setting. This is a beautiful way to establish community between members of a church or to bring together members from many churches.
A hymn sing can also be used as a simple Sunday service, and enjoyed by those who are not able to attend Sunday services.
A highlight of any Grandma's Gospel Event or service is Steve's uplifting "Our Father" by Albert Malotte.
How can a Grandma’s Favorite Gospel Hymn Sing be used as a fundraiser?
Just as Steve did with the concert for Holmen Lutheran Church, combining a hymn sing concert and Grandma’s Favorite Gospel CD sales is an excellent and worshipful way to raise funds. Generous portions of every CD sold will be donated to your cause. Steve is happy to work with you to determine the best plan for your hymn sing fundraiser.