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Category Archives: Bits & Pieces

7:00 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2018 Ronan Performing Arts Center

John began playing the piano at the age of 5 while living on an isolated ranch in southeastern Montana. There was no TV, but there was a piano. At age 11, he picked up trombone to play in the grade school band. After graduating in 1996 from Montana State University – Billings with a BA in Music Performance, John moved to Los Angeles to earn his Master of Fine Arts in Western Orchestral Trombone Performance from California Institute of the Arts.
Feeling equally comfortable in orchestral and commercial music realms, John has been touring, recording, and performing in Los Angles, around the U.S. and around the world, including Mexico, India, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia and Africa. Tours include Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca (Congolese/Cuban), Bobby Womack (Soul), Los Pinguos (Argentine), The Temptations, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and others. Other performances and recordings include multiple Grammy events, Chris Botti, Feist, Sting, Dr. Dre. Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Frank Sinatra Jr., Chaka Khan, Burt Bacharach, The Ojays, Christina Aguilera, NPR, PBS, Disney, and others.
After 16 years in Los Angeles, John is currently on staff at MSU Billings as a Jazz music theory, low brass and World Music instructor. He also maintains a private studio, ranging from beginning to college level musicians, teaching brass skills, classical repertoire, production, jazz and commercial theory ad improvisation. Along with his private studio, he regularly works ad performs as a clinician and guest artist in schools, continuing to home his skills as an educator by sharing the “real world” of music with his students.
John is active in the Montana and Los Angeles performing and studio scenes as an arranger, bandleader, session player and composer. Most recent works are the new Dr. Dre production, “Straight Outta Compton”, and Ricardo Lemvo’s new Cuban-West African album.

Season Flex Tickets 7 performances: $75.00 4 Admission Flex Tickets: $45.00 Single Tickets: $13.00 in Advance, $15.00 at-the-door College Students $5.00 with College ID and Youth 18 & under FREE Polson Ticket Outlets: First Interstate Bank and Vine & Tap Ronan Ticket Outlets: R & R Health Care Solutions and True Value

The Mission Valley Ice Arena Association’s second annual WinterFest is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, from 10 am to 2 pm at Polson’s Riverside Park. It’s free and you’re invited to play ten-minute Broom-ball games on the park grounds. “Don’t feel like a full-blown game of Broom-ball? No problem!” Says MVIAA Chair Hilary Lozar. She invites you to participate in easy hockey skill games overseen by local hockey enthusiasts, with equipment for all activities provided by the MVIAA through Greater Polson Community Foundation grants.
Local merchants have donated raffle prizes and ticket sales boost the non-profit MVIAA fund. Prizes include gift certificates for the Red Lion Hotel, MacKenzie River Pizza, and a scenic flight over the Mission Valley, thanks to Blue Goose Aviation. Hot chocolate will be available free of charge, and donations are appreciated.
MVIAA board members and volunteers will be wearing white hockey jerseys and will be available to answer any questions you have about the ice rink project.
“This event is primarily to increase awareness of our ice rink project, as well as spark an interest and love for winter sports, so please, invite anyone you can think of and share this event with your friends and family,” Lozar added.
Parking is available along the street above the park, with easy access down the stairs. Overflow parking may be found along Third Avenue.

Passion for Polson big ticket auction items provided jet setting adventures long after our 9th celebration was over. Jim & Barb Sohm were whisked off in a private jet to Spokane to enjoy an exclusive weekend of shopping and dining

Dr. Nick & Coral Costrini were winners of the Denver Bronco get away, where Nick & his daughter took in all the fanfare at the Mile High stadium. The football game did not end in the Bronco fans favor but they loved the experience and family time.

Don & Barbie Wimett-Creveling were first timers at the Passion for Polson fundraiser as well as the winners of the Seattle Seahawks package. Pictured with their sons Jordan & Josh at the stadium, they added dinner at the Metropolitan Grill was nothing short of amazing.

A few of the other amazing auction items up for bid this year included a 90 minute Ultra light flight soaring over Flathead Lake, an exclusive catered dinner for 8  at the home of Chuck & Penny Jarecki, a four night stay in a private condo at Trump Tower overlooking Central Park in New York City, a fun golf weekend for 4 and a Flathead River Rafting experience. All the auction winners shared the same sentiment, they are all excited about next year’s event and warming up their bidding panels. What new auction adventures await our 10th Anniversary celebration? Mark your calendars for August 3, 2018 to find out!



Greater Polson Community Foundation Announces New Grant Funding Cycle:

The GPCF invites 2017 grant applications.  The 2017 grant application deadline is April 28, 2017.  Grant applications will be accepted from non-profit organizations with a 501c(3) status in the Greater Polson area.

Grants from the Greater Polson Community Foundation can make a significant difference.  A total of $414,755.00 has been contributed to meet needs in our community since grants were first awarded in 2009.  Grants are funded annually by the earning’s from the foundation’s growing permanent endowment and other available GPCF funds. Past grant awards have supported a variety of youth and community projects. GPCF President Toni Young says “our grant funding support to our community non-profits and their projects is a highlight of our year”.

The Committee is looking for how well the prospective project matches the mission and values of the GPCF as well as addressing critical needs that strengthen our community.  As you prepare your application, think about how your project can enhance and improve the lives of the people who live here.

The GPCF is planning a Grant Application Workshop at the North County Library in Polson on March 23rd from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. This workshop, which is not mandatory, will walk an applicant through the process and is beneficial to non-profits writing grants or foundation requests for funding.

GPCF will accept applications for pre-screen completeness until April 14th 2017 and complete applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, April 28th.  The complete 2017 Grant Application is available to download online at  where you will also find a list of previous GPCF grant recipients.  If you have questions, please contact the GPCF office at (406) 883-4723

12045595_1491305281195870_9142907095899526039_oThe Greater Polson Community Foundation awarded grants to seven local non profits last week as part of its 2015-2016 grant cycle.

“It’s a highlight of our year and why we’re here, really,” said GPCF President Penny Jarecki at a grant recipient workshop last Thursday.

Grants are funded by earnings from the foundation’s permanent endowment fund, which now has over $570,000. This year’s contributions will support youth and community-oriented projects including enhancing the Flathead Lakers’ watershed education program, Boys and Girls Club member swim lessons at Mission Valley Aquatics and directional signage to the Mission Valley Mariners ball fields at O’Malley Park.

(Left to right) Penny Jarecki, President Greater Polson Community Foundation; Pam O’Mara, Dayton-Proctor Park Association; Tom McDonald, Mission Valley Mariners; Dawn Veteto, Onward and Upward; Robin Steinkraus, Flathead Lakers; Frank Tyro, Flathead Lake International Cinemafest; Sue Ball, Sandpiper Art Gallery. Behind the camera: Ali Bronsdon, Mission Valley Aquatics.