Valley City Times-Record
Family-friendly holiday show plans local performance
Christmas Memories is the name of this year’s travelling Medora-themed Christmas tour, which will play in 20 different communities including a Dec. 5 performance in Valley City.
The family-oriented travelling holiday show features past and present performers from the acclaimed Medora Musical. A featured act, The Waddington Brothers, has been added to this year’s program.
Now in its sixth year, the show has sold out at venues across the Dakotas and Minnesota. The Valley City show will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Vangstad Auditorium at VCSU.
“It’s a wholesome, family-friendly show that really puts people in a celebratory holiday mood,” said Producer Bill Sorenson, himself a longtime Medora performer.
“Once we perform in a community they want us to keep coming back year after year.” The show will celebrate both the sacred and secular traditions of America’s most beloved holiday.
A new twist this year is the featured act, The Waddington Brothers, four brothers from southwestern North Dakota who have been performing together since 2004. They have built a national reputation as a versatile acoustic group with a musical style that ranges from hard driving bluegrass to mellow and dynamic western harmonies.
The oldest Waddington brother, Seth, is the leader of the quartet. He started playing guitar at age 10 under the tutelage of his father. Ethan first picked up the five-string banjo at age 11, and was 18 he took second place in the National Bluegrass Banjo championships. He also plays the upright bass. Jacob has played the Mandolin since he was 12, and also plays the four-string tenor guitar. At 17, Job is the youngest Waddington, and specializes in playing the upright bass and the chromatic harmonica.
Returning artists include host Bill Sorenson, who keeps the audience engaged with lively banter, “dad” style jokes and magic. Also returning are Emily Walter, Travis Smith, Amberly Rosen and Misti Koop. New this year is master magician Colin Zasadny.
Born and raised in Bismarck, Sorenson has been involved in performance most of his life. For more than 40 years in he has performed in Medora, including the 4M Review and co-hosting the Medora Musical.
Walter, known as Medora’s “Queen of the West,” has spent over 30 years traveling the world as a professional vocalist and actor. She’s served as a singer in the U.S. Air Force Band and entertained in shows on many cruise ships worldwide. After hosting the Medora Musical for several seasons Emily took on the new challenge in helping launch Medora’s popular Gospel Brunch.
Amberly Rosen has been playing violin since the age of 3 and performing since she was 6. She has studied and performed many styles of music including classical, old time fiddle, bluegrass, Celtic, as well as traditional folk dance music.
Misti Koop grew up on stages in East Grand Forks and Grand Forks. She performed at Fort Totten Little Theatre, Frost Fire, and spent seven summers in the Medora Musical. She currently manages and performs during the Frost Fire Summer Theatre at Pembina Gorge.
Travis Smith is originally from Pickerington, OH. He has been a music director for nearly 100 professional productions including this tour of Medora Christmas Memories. Travis collaborated on several original children's musicals which have been seen and performed by thousands of children every year, and performs in The Medora Musical and Medora Gospel Brunch.
Colin Zasadny is a 21-year-old magician from Florida and who has been perfecting the craft of close-up magic for more than 11 years. He’s regarded as one of the most talented young magicians in America, and will be returning to Medora for another summer of entertaining tricks!
Additional information, including tickets for many locations, is available at www.medorachristmas.com.