Prudence Johnson is no stranger to the Festival’s stage where she has performed in the past. Her long and happy career as a singer, writer, and teacher has landed her on the musical theatre stage, in two feature films, (A River Runs Through It, A Prairie Home Companion) national radio, (several long stints on A Prairie Home Companion) and on concert stages across North America and occasionally Europe (Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Gorky Park and an old mosque in Israel being the most exciting.) She has released more than a dozen recordings, including albums dedicated to the music of the Gershwins, Hoagy Carmichael, Greg Brown, and a collection of international lullabies. Prudence finds great pleasure in working with young people, serving as a music director at SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development since ’96 and teaching private lessons.
Pianist, accordionist and occasional storyteller Dan Chouinard is a Minnesota native who performs tours and records regularly with an ever-expanding roster of musicians and writers. He has hosted Festival’s annual Earth Day events since 2009, collaborating with musicians such as Ann Reed, Larry Long, Prudence Johnson, Warren Nelson and Peter Ostroushko.
Dan regularly creates special programs that blend storytelling, interview and music, many of these for Minnesota Public Radio. Two recent shows, “Cafe Europa” (2005, 2008) and “Mambo Italiano” (2006) have been aired on Twin Cities public television and broadcast statewide on MPR. He works occasionally on "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor, and served as rehearsal accompanist to Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin and Lindsay Lohan on the set of the Robert Altman-directed movie “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Returning to direct the Festival Singers chorus is Marty Harding . The choir will be performing a selection of songs following the river theme, and will round out this event with Dan Chouinard and Prudence Johnson.
Reservations for “Once Upon a River” are highly recommended. Tickets are $21 in advance, $26 at the door, and this concert is Flex Pass eligible.