Annual Winter Solstice Celebration of Local Musicians + Community
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Begins @ 7pm
FREE to attend & open to ALL!

All are welcome to join us for our winter solstice celebration of local musicians and community connections held annually on the LONGEST NIGHT of the year!

This concert is FREE to attend and ALL are welcome! The night begins at 7:00. Doors open at 6:30. Refreshments and cash bar available.

The 2022 lineup of musicians includes:

  • Amanda Standalone
  • Blue Red Roses (Mary & Dan Olson)
  • Dave Virnala
  • Day Gun (Michael Dagen)
  • Elliot Frost
  • Generation Gap 3.0 (Erin Swyter, Maggie Ragan, Phil Gilbert, Doug Eckes)
  • Kevin Mastel

Bruce Engebretson will also share piano music and sing-alongs throughout the evening. Please see below for artist info and photos, and don’t miss your chance to see and hear all of these talented local musicians live in concert on December 21st!


An eclectic group of local, beloved artists will share their gifts of musical talent with the community. This year’s line-up currently includes:


Amanda Standalone

Amanda Standalone is an award-winning writer, folk musician, composer, and multi-instrumentalist originally from Sabin, Minnesota. She earned her BA in music from Minnesota State University Moorhead while also performing with her group Amanda Standalone and the Pastryshop Girls, releasing the album Millions of Blackbirds in 2010 (available on streaming platforms).

Standalone started her musical journey in the fiddle circles of Saint Paul, MN. Her schooling in Appalachian old-time music informs her work without overpowering it. Creating original material from older forms gives her music a comforting and familiar feel. With a strong string background and a voice that’s been described as “deep and earthy,” she will help you venture into new musical landscapes, but she’ll always bring you home.

Standalone is excited to return to New York Mills for The Longest Night Celebration! Check out her October 2022 release You’re Still Here, available at


Kevin Mastel

Kevin taught himself how to play guitar at age 7 and began piano lessons at age 9. He has been in various choirs most of his life, and he grew up listening to John Denver, Carol King, James Taylor, The Eagles, Chicago, and many other great artists from the 1970s.  Music Kevin listens to today includes rock, pop, blues, bluegrass, Americana, folk, musicals, and gospel. Kevin is happy to be performing at the Longest Night Festival this year.


Blue Red Roses (Mary & Dan Olson)

Out of Battle Lake, Minnesota emerge Blue Red Roses. Songwriting partners and life partners Mary and Daniel Olson craft melody-laden hooks with an organic groove and nostalgic sound.

Mary and Dan both come from live rock and roll backgrounds along with years of musical theater and classical training. With an unapologetic love of ’70s music, their sound is nostalgic, upbeat and off the cuff — featuring up-front vocals and tight harmonies. Their live experience is akin to a stripped-down ABBA with a touch of Beatles pop and Tom Petty rock and roll.

Mary and Dan have been touring regularly throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana — opening for the Brevet at First Avenue 7th Street Entry, playing on Radio Free Fargo, and landing features on Prairie Public Television. Learn more at, on Instagram @blueredrosesmusic, or on Facebook at @blueredrosesmusic.

Dave Virnala

Dave Virnala began playing guitar at the age of eight. His influences include John Prine and Guy Clark. Dave has performed at every Longest Night Music Festival held at the Cultural Center over the years.



Generation Gap 3.0

Generation Gap 3.0 is a group of musicians and philanthropists from Perham who enjoy sharing the music they love with others. Their name comes from the fact that they represent four different generations and play music from many generations. They represent the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Xennials.

Erin Swyter is the lead singer, Maggie Ragan is on keyboard and vocals, Phil Gilbert plays fiddle, and Doug Eckes is on vocals and guitar.


Day Gun (Michael Dagen)

Michael Day Gun is an unruly artist who resides in Hewitt, MN.

You can find Day Gun’s work at





Elliot Frost

Elliot Aaron Frost started playing the guitar and piano during the same year when he was 10. He mainly plays fairly older music using those instruments. That’s pretty much it 🙂




We hope you can join us for this free community event, the last Cultural Center concert of 2022, and a wonderful chance to PAUSE + CONNECT with neighbors and friends amidst the flurry of holiday activities.

This event is our way of celebrating local artists and community, and saying THANKS for all the support all year long. We are so grateful for all of our donors, volunteers, and supporters that make our work possible!

The night begins at 7:00. Doors open at 6:30. Refreshments and cash bar available.  ALL are welcome!

While the Longest Night has always been free in order to be most accessible to all, it is not without cost. If you would like to sponsor a Longest Night artist, click below.

Sponsor a Longest Night Music Fest Artist >


NOTE: This letterpress print image pictured in this post is designed by local artist and print-maker, Nikki Thompson. Thanks to Nikki for creating several years of Longest Night designs!




This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through an operating support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.