Tom Hilgren is excited about the upcoming fall concert schedule at the Chatfield Center for the Arts.

"Not only are there more events than ever scheduled for this fall, but the quality continues to be top notch, and the diversity of events is even greater," he explained. "We hope to bring in many people who have not previously attended a Center for the Arts event."

Hilgren, the Chosen Bean Concert Series co-organizer, added, "Our Chosen Bean Concert Series is doing well, but we are stretching to try to build the activities that are part of the broader Chatfield Center for the Arts. Letting people in Chatfield and southeast Minnesota know about what's happening is instrumental in getting people to come enjoy the music and other entertainment that is being provided."

He first outlined the Chosen Bean Concert Series calendar, noting, "The Chosen Bean Concert Series has four concerts. Ann Reed, the Sudden Lovelys, Laurie McClain and Dave Nachmanoff are all exceptional musicians who will be performing in the Legion Room."

Minnesota native Ann Reed, who will perform Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m., has appeared on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion." She has also been named Minnesota Music Academy Performer of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and earned Best Recording of the Year, as well having toured the United States and Canada throughout her 30-year career.

"Ann Reed is a mainstay of the Minnesota folk scene, and the Sudden Lovelys, who bill themselves as aggressive folk, are a young vibrant duo that pushes the boundaries of contemporary folk," Hilgren stated.

The Sudden Lovelys will perform on Saturday, Oct. 5, with Laurie McClain coming on Friday, Oct. 25, and Dave Nachmanoff on Friday, Nov. 15.

"Laurie McLain has played in Chatfield many times dating back to the Chosen Bean Coffee House on Main Street from which our series takes its name," Hilgren added. "Dave Nachmanoff wowed the audience when he stopped through last fall, and he will also be working in the school as a musician in residence for a few days. Various concert series members have seen each of the musicians and they all come highly recommended."

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and last approximately two hours. "Our membership in the series has doubled in just two years, so we are hoping to sell out some of the concerts," Hilgren said.

He encouraged those who may be interested in attending the concerts to check out the musicians and purchase advance sale tickets by going online at www.chosenbeanconcerts.org and following the directions provided to contact us by e-mail.

"Of course, we always hold tickets to accommodate some walk-ins," Hilgren added.

Chosen Bean tickets are $15 per person, and memberships are still available.

Local artists and artists of national renown will take the stage at the Chatfield Center for the Arts this fall.

Hilgren cited, "The Center for the Arts also has two great concerts this weekend to kick off the fall. The Gravities, an alternative rock group fronted by Chatfield native and high school math teacher Dan Conway, and including four Chatfield lads, will play an 'unplugged' concert in the Legion Room this Saturday, the 14th."

According to The Gravities' website, "When questioned about influences and where the style of their music comes from, the Gravities fought off a pinpointed response. With five members, all listening to different types of music and having played in so many unique bands, one influence is hard to find. You can make the simple comparison to Pearl Jam, The Replacements or even Dave Matthews, but to pin it on one single genre would be false. They have found that everyday life influences them more than any one band ever has."

The tunes continue this Sunday, Sept. 15, in Potter Auditorium. "The Memory Brothers Large Band will play a concert on Sunday the 15th in Potter, and pianist Lorie Line and her Fab Five will be returning to Chatfield on Saturday, Oct. 6," Hilgren continued. "And of course, there is the annual Firefighter's Variety Show and Lions' Brat Supper on Oct. 12, and the Fillmore County Deputy Sheriff's event starring country singer Wade Hayes."

Other upcoming art and cultural opportunities at the Center for the Arts will include author Atina Diffley talking about her writing in early October and Chatfield will host a day-long symposium on the Legacies of the New Deal in the Upper Midwest in early November.

December includes the annual Community Concert and Commercial Club soup dinner. In addition, a group of local musicians will be holding a jam session tentatively scheduled for the last Sunday of each month.

Hilgren said that more information will be provided on the Chatfield Center for the Arts website as it becomes available.

"The Chatfield Center for the Arts and the Chosen Bean Concert Series both continue to grow. The events promote both arts and the community, Hilgren concluded. "We hope to build a stronger relationship with local businesses as we grow. Finally, as attendance increases, so does the ability to bring in more performers. We encourage people to attend the Center for the Arts and the Chosen Bean Concert Series - we think they will be very pleased that they can enjoy such great entertainment so close to home!"

For more information on Chosen Bean Concert artists, links to their individual websites can be found at www.chosenbeanconcerts.org, and for more information on musicians appearing on the stage at Potter Auditorium, log onto the Chatfield Center for the Arts website at www.chatfieldcfa.com.

The Chatfield Center for the Arts is located at 405 S. Main St., Chatfield. For more information, call (507) 867-3810.