World-class bluegrass entertainers Monroe Crossing will appear in concert at the Story Theater Grand Opera House in Story City on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Proceeds from this concert will benefit the Story Theater Historical Foundation, an entity that helps maintain the historic theater, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Named in honor of Bill Monroe, Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and heart-felt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada.
“Monroe Crossing is very well known in the bluegrass music community. Their award-winning talents and musical expertise is top notch,” said Todd Thorson, owner of the Story Theater Grand Opera House.
Since 2000, Monroe Crossing has released 14 CDs and a live concert DVD and has made more than 1,500 concert appearances throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The band’s latest release, “Because You Asked,” is a live collection of audience favorites. The second half of every Monroe Crossing show always features audience requests, and the latest CD documents this tradition.
What’s the secret to the band’s longevity and success?
“It’s just plain hard work and dedication,” said Lisa Fuglie, fiddler and lead singer. “We all share a love for bluegrass music and for performing on stage. We appreciate every audience, large or small, and understand that we’re there for them, not the other way around.”
“We have learned the importance of entertaining audiences and not just playing top-quality music. We regularly hear people say that they didn’t think they liked bluegrass music until they saw us play,” said mandolin player Matt Thompson.
Monroe Crossing appeared at the Story Theater during its 100th anniversary year in 2014 and contacted Thorson about returning to Story City.
“They so enjoyed performing on the historic stage and in the historic surroundings of our local opera house that they wanted to come back,” he said. “The Story Theater looks forward to presenting Monroe Crossing for an encore appearance here in Story City on Nov. 2. I encourage everyone who loves this type of music, or just loves professional music performances in general, to not miss this show.”
Monroe Crossing has been showered with awards, including Best Female Vocalist, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo at the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association’s 25th Anniversary Awards Banquet. Monroe Crossing is the only bluegrass band ever nominated as the Minnesota Music Academy “Artist of the Year,” which also recognized the band with an award for “Bluegrass Album of the Year.”
In 2007, the group was selected as an Official Showcase Band at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Convention in Nashville, and later that year, they were inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.
Band members are Derek Johnson (guitar, lead vocals), Lisa Fuglie (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, lead vocals), Matt Thompson (mandolin, fiddle, harmony vocals), Mark Anderson (bass, bass vocals) and David Robinson (banjo, dobro, harmonica, harmony vocals).
Tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the door and are available now at the Story Theater, 512 Broad St., during normal business hours. Or you can mail in your request with check payment to: Story Theater, 512 Broad St., Story City IA 50248 (include $1 for postage and handling). For more information call 515-733-4551, 515-733-4319 or 515-290-4011 (cell). If there is no answer leave a message.