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Caron and Bartz workshop and concert

When Ben Caron returned for a visit to his hometown of St. Ansgar, he became inspired.

So much so, he and his brother-in-law, Will Bartz, are going to give back to the community by holding a series of songwriting workshops culminating in a public performance.

“I was recently back in St. Ansgar for the All-Alumni School Reunion,” Caron said. “I was so inspired by the amazing work Nancy Nickerson Lee is doing with the Cedar Summerstock Theater as well as the work that’s been done to turn the old elementary school into a community center.”

Caron said it was Lee’s passion which inspired him to want to give back to the community with his skillset in the arts, songwriting.

“So, I reached out to my brother-in-law and St. Ansgar alumni, Will Bartz, about the idea of bringing songwriting to the adults and high school students of St. Ansgar,” Caron said. “Both of us have been spending the last twenty years writing original music and want to bring what we’ve learned back to the community we came from.”

Through that partnership, Caron and Bartz are inviting community members to a fun, unique and educational community workshop teaching them how to write an original song. “No experience required,” Caron said.

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“The best part is, at the end of the workshop, participants will get to perform their song themselves, or one of us will perform it for them,” he said, “with a full, live band in concert, at South Square, to raise money for the St. Ansgar High School choir and band programs.”

During two, 3-hour sessions, scheduled for 7-10 p.m. on Sunday, July 21 and Tuesday, July 23, participants will work in groups with Caron and Bartz to write original songs. By the end of the week, songs will be ready to be showcased in the concert being held from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, at Acorn Park Golf Course. A rehearsal will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, just prior to the live concert.

This 2-hour, live-band concert will feature fun covers, original songs from Caron and Bartz, along with the original songs from the songwriting project.

All proceeds, after costs, go to the band and choir programs of St. Ansgar High School.

Those interested in participating, should contact Carson by email at bencaroncreates@gmail.com, as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday, July 18. Space is limited for this workshop and admittance is first-come, first served.

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