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Koopman Family to perform New Year's Eve

The Koopmann Family will offer a variety of music at their New Year’s Eve Day Show in Motley on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2 p.m. Pictured, from left, are Anna, Cindy, John and Sarah Koopmann. This concert is underwritten by Ernie’s Grocery. Submitted photo

Start the New Year's Eve festivities with the multi-talented Koopmann Family, who will be performing at the United Methodist Church in Motley on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2 p.m., as part of the Staples Motley Area Arts Council's regular season.

Expect to hear a variety of music from the Koopmanns, known for their stellar instrumentals brought to life by trumpet, harp, piano, violin, guitar and cello; sprinkled with crystal clear vocals and some humor as part of their show.

The group hails from Motley and consists of husband and wife John and Cindy; along with daughters Sarah and Anna. They will be joined by Twin Cities-based jazz guitarist Karl Koopmann, John's brother.

"We want people to feel like they're with us in our living room, enjoying music together on a Sunday afternoon," Cindy Koopmann said recently.

They represent a wealth of musical knowledge and experience.

John, a Detroit Lakes native, currently works as the director of the orchestra program for the Staples Motley School District. In addition to his teaching and conducting skills, John is a renowned trumpet player. He has served as principal trumpet for the Minnesota Opera Orchestra since 1998; and has performed with a number of nationally-acclaimed acts, including the Minnesota Orchestra, North Star Opera, American Ballet Theater, Vocal Essence Music Series, Celtic Thunder and Mannheim Steamroller. Recently, he provided trumpet for the Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant Christmas concert at Target Center in Minneapolis, an event he has been a part of for the past three years. He holds a music education degree from Concordia College in Moorhead and has pursued graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Cindy (Trout) is a graduate of Motley High School, where she was a student of Jeanne Rohr, who inspired in her a love of music education. She went on to earn a degree in marimba performance and music education from Concordia College in Moorhead, where she and John met.

"We were in band together," she recalled, adding that it was during a band tour that they first got to know each other. "We sat together on the tour bus."

They eventually got married and down the road brought two daughters into the world. Their oldest, Sarah, is currently a sophomore at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, where she is studying general business administration and public health; and plays violin in the college orchestra. In addition, Sarah is a paid section leader at a Twin Cities church and plays on occasion with a folk band. John and Cindy's youngest, Anna, is a freshman at St. Olaf College in Northfield, pursuing degrees in English and harp performance. She plays in both of the college orchestras; and in addition to harp, is studying cello and voice.

"Music has always been a big part of both of our families," Cindy said, adding that her dad is very musical and that her grandfather Gerald Trout was in a band years ago. John's mom is a gifted pianist; and when she was younger, taught organ and voice lessons. Having both grown up with music in the home, John and Cindy are glad that it is a part of their immediate family as well.

They're looking forward to reuniting for this holiday show in Motley, which will include a few Christmas favorites in addition to their regular repertoire. "It will be a variety show," Cindy said, adding that Anna will be performing a silly skit song and John will be debuting an original piece on the piano. There's been a request to hear John and Sarah's duet rendition of "The Prayer" which may be on the program as well.

"And since it's New Year's Eve, we plan on performing, 'Auld Lange Syne,'" Cindy said.

Still to come on this year's SM Area Arts Council season are Dawn Timbs, Ted Feyder and Gary Timbs, performing folk, country and gospel music; and Mikko & Friends, a traditional Irish Pub Band.

For more information, check out the arts council's website at www.staplesmotleyarts.org.

Tickets for The Koopmann Family are $12 adult and $6 student in advance, $15 adult and $7 student at the door. Use a credit card to order tickets online at the Arts Council's website. For more information call (218) 894-1112.

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