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Alzen family highlights Silver Teas program

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Dakota County Library's annual Silver Teas program is back, which means everything from bluegrass to ballads and steel drums to jazz sounds. Programs are scheduled for nine Dakota County Libraries in May, including Hastings.

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The musical programs, all free and specially created for adults 55 and older, are presented with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Library staff will be at each event to introduce older adults to library services and programs designed specifically for them. Refreshments will be provided.

The Alzen Family will be the featured group at the Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings. They will perform from 1 p. m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 21.

The Alzen Family delivers a wide variety of family-oriented bluegrass, gospel bluegrass and old-time music and hymns with four-part vocal harmonies.

The group consists of Brad (father) on rhythm guitar, Denise (mother) on harmonica, and six children: Isaac on upright bass, Lucas on whiz-bang, AnaLise on mandolin, fiddle and guitar, and Tessa on fiddle, banjo and dobra. Jacob is learning the bass and Jonas isn't sure yet what instrument suits him best. Each family member sings, and the variation from Isaac's deep bass voice to Tessa's sweet alto to AnaLise's powerful soprano provides great variety and interest in their music.

The family lives on small acreage in northwestern Wisconsin, where they have tasted some country living, complete with wood-burning stoves and a flock of egg-laying hens. The Alzens strive to live life a little more like the "old days." Television has been mostly replaced by reading, playing board games and sports, learning foreign languages, fishing and hunting, and, of course, making music together.

For more information about the Silver Teas, call 651-450-2918 or visit www.dakotacounty.us/ library.

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