WINONA, Minn. — The Page Series at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will present a week-long residency with orchestral indie-rock band We Are The Willows on March 25-30 at locations throughout Winona. The residency culminates in a performance at the Page Theatre on Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m.
We Are The Willows is a Minneapolis-based orchestral indie rock band featuring songwriter/frontman Peter Miller’s unique countertenor voice and guitar, supported by Jeremiah Satterthwaite (guitar/banjo), Leah Ottman (violin/voice/keys), Hilary James (cello/voice/keys), Travis Collins (bass), and Stephen Lindquist (drums/voice). We Are The Willows crafts dynamic, intimate songs with instruments and voices combining to create energetic rhythms, intricate melodies, and heartfelt arrangements that evoke shared nostalgic feelings of love and loss.
After performing at Twin Cities clubs and festivals like Mid West Music Fest, We Are The Willows has expanded the scale of their touring and residency work and will bring their concept album, “Picture/Portrait,” to the Page Theatre stage. Inspired by 350 letters written by Miller’s grandparents during World War II, “Picture/Portrait” explores themes of family, separation, life, death, and identity. The songs communicate complex ideas delivered with nostalgic, pop-sensible charm. Throughout the performance, images will illustrate Miller’s family stories. About the album, Andrea Swensson of “The Current” said, “ … in the hands of Miller, already and accomplished songwriter and vocalist, it becomes a story not just about his grandparents but about anyone who has ever been pushed down into the darkness and pulled out again.”
In the week leading up to the performance, the Page Series will offer free workshops, artist talks, and pop-up concerts with We Are The Willows:
- Rhythm and Muse Workshop: This three-part workshop invites Winona Friendship Center members to explore their own family histories and discuss creative processes, develop creative habits and practices, and explore songwriting and storytelling together. (March 26 and 27 from noon to 2 p.m. and March 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center. To register, call 507-454-5212.)
- A Page in History: Miller will discuss the process of creating “Picture/Portrait,” and Winona County Historical Society staff will give an introduction to preserving family archives. (March 27 at 3 p.m. at the Winona County History Center.)
- Music Industry Panel: Representatives of We Are The Willows and Treedome Productions discuss album creation, recording, and navigating the music industry. (March 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, Saint Mary’s Performance Center.)
- Artist Talk: We Are The Willows will discuss their music and creative process and offer a sneak peek of their March 30 concert. (March 28 at 12:10 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, Saint Mary’s Performance Center.)
Homeschool Music Workshop: A songwriting and music-making workshop for members of the Winona area homeschool community. (March 29 at 1 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center. To register, visit pagetheatre.org.)
- Willows Around Winona: Band members will offer short, pop-up performances as a preview to their March 30 performance.
- Winona Public Library: March 25 at 4 p.m.
- Senior Living at Watkins: March 26 at 5:15 p.m.
- Blue Heron Coffeehouse: March 28 at 6:30 p.m.
- Island City Brewing Company: March 29 at 5:30 p.m.
- Winona Farmers Market: March 30 at 10 a.m.
To learn more about residency activities, visit pagetheatre.org. Tickets to the March 30 concert are $15 for the general public and $12 for youth ages 17 and younger. Tickets can be ordered online at pagetheatre.org, or by calling the Saint Mary’s Performance Center box office at 507-457-1715 (noon-6 p.m., weekdays).
About the Page Series
Now in its 32nd annual season, the Page Series connects professional performing artists from around the globe with thousands of Winonans each year. With events at the Joseph Page Theatre on the campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, as well as at locations across the Winona community, the Page Series offers dance, music, and theatre performances, workshops, classes, and more that inspire, uplift, educate, and invite community members to discover the relevance of the arts in their daily lives.
Page Series community programs are made possible, in part, through grants from the Xcel Energy Foundation and the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. We Are The Willows residency is made possible through a Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Tour grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.