Rich Larson- Emcee
Rich Larson is the News Director with KYMN Radio in Northfield, where he delivers the news every morning on the KYMN Morning Show, and hosts The Weekly List, Public Policy This Week, Legal Talk with Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Gordon Moore, and Chamber Chat with Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Jane Bartho. Many Northfielders know Rich from his days as a bartender, first at the Contented Cow and then at Imminent Brewing, where he still pops up behind the bar on occasion. Rich’s involvement with Northfield Shares began in 2021, when he co-hosted the first edition of Northfield Shares an Evening of Entertainment, and he is proud to have been asked to come back and do it again.
Tara Berndt- Emcee
Tara Berndt is a Northfield native. She and her husband, Fred, have two children. Claire is a sophomore at Northfield High School, and Connor is a sophomore at Carthage College. Tara enjoys supporting her kids and can be found cheering from the bleachers in a gymnasium or on a pool deck. Tara and her family enjoy taking road trips with their camper and are two states shy of visiting all 50 states. When Tara isn’t traveling, her favorite place to spend time is at the family cabin near Danbury, WI. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and is always up for a good time!
Tara has been employed in the banking industry for 30+ years, currently at Reliance Bank in Faribault. Over the years, Tara has spent many hours volunteering for various non-profits, serving on local boards and supporting the Northfield community. She is the current Northfield Shares Board President, having previously been the Board Secretary. Giving back is simply a way of life, and what better way to do that, than to share time, talents, and financial support.
Anders first began his musical journey in 5th grade, where he became acquainted with Dr. Jun Qian and Scott Anderson, both former professors of clarinet at St. Olaf college. Under Qian and Anderson’s teaching, Anders achieved positions in the Minnesota all-state band and orchestra summer festivals and was a featured soloist with the Medalist Band, Bloomington Symphony, Dakota Valley Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. Anders attributes much of his success not just to his early education at St. Olaf and his hard work, but to the plethora of performance opportunities provided to him by Bethel Lutheran Church of Northfield.
Ashlyn May, originally from Anza, CA, earned her Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College, and continues to reside in Northfield, a place she loves because of the close community. Ashlyn has spent her time post-graduation exploring her performance and teaching careers. She has engaged in various performance settings, whether it’s a stage alongside some of her fellow operatic performers, a spot to sing some Rock ‘n Roll, or some Car Karaoke!
Baile Folklórico Northfield Arts Guild
“Dances from Jalisco” Performed by Ana Baez Fredrickson, Maria Noveron Mendez, Atia Cole, Airam Reyes Lopez, Annika Reister, Kate Stuart.
The Guild’s Baile Folklórico has been a part of the Northfield Arts Guild since 2005. Founded by Ana Baez Fredrickson, the group studies dances from the Baile Folklórico tradition of Mexico, especially dances from the states of Jalisco, Sinaloa, and Veracruz. Participants range from age five through adults, and new students are accepted every year starting in September. Learn more at northfieldartsguild.org.
Ben Wang moved to Northfield at the age of six from Shanghai, China. In his youth he developed a love for film and acting and was part of the Northfield Arts Guild Young People’s Theater program. He was also involved in theater at the Northfield High School. Ben credits his Northfield theater mentors, Bob Gregory-Bjorklund and Shari Setchell, for pulling him in the right direction. Following graduation from Northfield High School, Ben studied acting and theater in New York, and in addition to acting, has expanded into writing, and directing. He is best known for his role in the hit Disney+ show “American Born Chinese”. Other acting credits include “Dinner is Served”, MacGyver”, “The Last O.G.”, “The Good Egg”, and “Chang Can Dunk”.
Chad Johnson and Jeenti Dutta
Chad Johnson, born and raised in Northfield, is a singer, songwriter, and musician. Jeenti Dutta, originally from Assam, India, is an internationally acclaimed lead guitarist, as well as a composer and sound engineer. They are part of Chad Johnson & The Minnesota Transplants, and have shared the stage with Miranda Lambert, Jordan Davis, Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Clint Black, Craig Morgan, Joe Nichols, The Gear Daddies, and many others. They have performed at many of the biggest festivals and fairs, recently at Winstock Music Festival. They also drew record-breaking crowds to the Defeat of Jesse James Days main tent for 4 consecutive years. Chad’s hit song “Fire and Steel” resulted in a tour of Scotland. Seven albums have been released to date, one with Magenta Records, and another with Grammy-award winning engineer Casey Wasner at the Purple House Studio. The latest album, Minnesota to New Mexico, was recorded locally at Summit Stream Studio. Learn more at www.chadjohnsonmusic.com.
Northfield Dance Academy
“Donya” Performed by Mariana Cruz, Emmalin Simmons, Tennyson Roiger. Choreography by Daphne McCoy.
“Arwen’s Promise” Performed by Anna Diericks, Havilah Diericks, Lilyana Simons, Katie Nesseth. Choreography by Daphne McCoy.
Daphne McCoy is a lifelong dancer and instructor, with a BA in Music Theatre from the University of Central Oklahoma, an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Illinois, and a certification to teach Alexander technique. Daphne has taught at many colleges and universities, currently at Carleton College, where she teaches Modern dance technique and choreographs for Semaphore Dance Company. Her professional and collegiate choreographic credits are numerous and impressive. Many times, Daphne’s modern dance choreography has been represented at American College Dance festivals, including at Mankato in 2013. She has worked with every demographic of dancers and looks forward to continuing to train a diverse group of people at her studio, Northfield Dance Academy. The Northfield community loves her connection to the arts, from being a dance professor at Carleton, her studio, as well as the Northfield Arts Guild. Learn more at northfielddance.com.
Northfield Youth Choirs
“The Journey” Performed by Louie Arnold, Abby Atzinger, Nora Becken, Molly Brandt, Tommy Cahoon, Emerson Carlson, Catriona Chapman, Havilah Diercks, Edward Enders, Hazel Feiler, Nora Flannery, Quinn Flannery, Will Flannery, Violet Froehle, Nika Hirsch, Hannah Holleran, Lily Jacobson, Sparrow Janssens, Olia Jorgenson, Jay Koehler, Hailey Kramer, Jamie Martig, Autumn Mastin, Max Mazzariello, Molly McQuiston, Luke Middlebrooks, Emmett Norrie, Wyatt Norrie, Avari Parker, Addie Perkins, Astrid Peterson White, Skylar Petty, CJ Riehle-Merrill, Evey Riehle-Merrill, Adelaide Rubenstein, Theo Rustad, Mia Sahlin, Ian Schleif, Elizabeth Tracy, Elijah Wagner, Jack Wolff, Emilia Zayas. Conducted by Michelle Bendett and Zach Kubasta. Accompanied by Mary Davis (piano), and Thomas O’Keefe (violin).
The Northfield Youth Choirs is a great place to sing and a great place to grow up. Since 1986, hundreds of young people have found their voices and lifelong friends singing with these extraordinary choirs. Singers in grades K through 12, college students, and adults enjoy weekly rehearsals, retreats, area performances, and tours appropriate to their ages and developing voices. They also benefit from the skills and discipline they acquire as well as from the fires kindled within them. Rabelais had the right idea: “A child is a fire to be lit, not a vase to be filled.” Learn more at http://northfieldyouthchoirs.
St. Olaf Taiko
“Matsuri” and “Oiuchi” Performed by Autumn Blackwell, Koharu Ferguson, Madeline Chang, Adrieanna Summers, Cassidy Albrecht, Delaney Ensor, Oli Lew, Mike Yanez.
Taiko is a form of Japanese drumming. Originally played by one person during ceremonies, taiko was popularized by jazz musicians that played in an ensemble called kumi daiko, meaning ‘set of drums’. It was brought to America by Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, who formed the first American taiko group, San Francisco Taiko Dojo, in 1968. Taiko is passed down and taught through oral and visual tradition and has spread across the country in the form of professional, collegiate, and community groups. Taiko is not only musical, but is also a visual art, as the movements used to play are usually connected to the song itself. St. Olaf Taiko, founded in 2004, is student-led. New members are called kohai and learn taiko techniques and songs from our more experienced members, senpai. Experienced taiko players hold concerts, workshops and field trips every semester. Learn more at https://pages.stolaf.edu/