Maple Grove Sun Light by Rod Smoliak

Maple Grove Sun Light, by Rod Smoliak, received first place in the City Landmarks category in our annual Focus on Maple Grove photo contest.

Pipe organ work is not a particularly visible profession these days. Maple Grove resident and organ restoration expert David Engen attributes this to the fact that nowadays, organ repair and restoration is done almost exclusively within churches and colleges and not in private homes.

Local folk trio Family Three had no intention of performing at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair. According to member Taylor Bongard, a friend secretly signed the group up for an audition, which they successfully passed.

Anna Shmidov describes her life as a dream come true. She came to Maple Grove from Russia in 1980 as a political refugee, along with her husband and two children, and brought a vast musical knowledge with her.

Spark Music Studio uses new technology and genre variety in its music lessons. Employing classical, jazz, rock and pop, owner Nick Tucker teaches students ranging in age from 3 to 65.

Step into Rince Nua Irish Dance studio in Maple Grove and the energy is palpable. On this wooden floor, dancers of all ages come to learn the intricate, centuries-old steps of Irish dance.

With fame on her horizon, Maple Grove’s very own Lacey Canfield is leaving her mark on the world of country music. Canfield was featured in a 2011 issue of Maple Grove Magazine, and at the time was just emerging as an up-and-coming musician.

While Mark A. Schaffer has used both film and digital photography techniques, he prefers the latter. For this photo, Schaffer was able to use his Nikon D90—an “old model by today’s standards,” he says—along with a 50 millimeter lens with exposure for highlights.

Matt Cici, a former Maple Grove resident, made his screen acting debut earlier this year in a new film called The Center. You might remember Maple Grove Magazine’s coverage of Cici in 2011, when he was working on finding a distributor for his first film, Lambent Fuse.

Stu Nankin wears many hats. Known as a music producer, arranger, electric bassist, mastering engineer and all around music wiz in the Twin Cities area, he is seemingly always busy with a new development.

It wasn’t until college that Rex Isom Jr. realized he was born to be a performer. Once the Maple Grove resident made the discovery, he pushed his career forward to become a member of Stevie Ray’s Improv at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.