Perhaps it's because of the late, wet spring. Perhaps it's because the school starting date is earlier than ever. Perhaps it's both, but "summer" 2013 seems to be coming to a premature closure. No matter how you feel about that...happy or sad...you're sure to enjoy the Carnegie Cultural Center's annual "Farewell to Summer" treat, the Johnson Strings. In concert on Sunday, August 18, at New Hampton's Mikkelson Park band shell, the performance will start at 6:30 pm and refreshments will be available. Back-up performance site will be Trinity Lutheran Church.
The rural New Hartford family including Paul (husband/father), Linda (wife/mother) and children (ranging from 10 to 20 years in age), Laura, Karen, Luke, Abigail, Seth, and Silas have been performing as the "Johnson Strings" for the past six years. Playing in venues throughout the Midwest, the Johnson's repertoire varies from classical to old folk music, ragtime, bluegrass, and gospel. With the exception of Paul, everyone in the family plays multiple instruments...piano, viola, violin, banjo, mandolin, cello and harmonica...and have had formal voice training. The children also have lessons with instructors at Wartburg and Coe colleges and the University of Northern Iowa.
The Johnson's ability to pick up and perform is made easier by the fact that all of the children are home-schooled, with the older children taking advantage of on-line providers for advanced degrees and certificates. The family is in the process of renovating a loft on their acreage into a concert hall so they can host events and concerts on site.
Admission is free, so everyone is invited to "tip their hat" to the season and take in what promises to be a highly entertaining event. For more information, contact the Carnegie Cultural Center at (641) 394-2354 or visit its website www.carnegieculturalcenter.org
Photo: The Johnson Family of New Hartford is certainly one of the finest when it comes to Iowa-produced musicians.