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home : news : this week's news May 24, 2016

5/14/2014 8:33:00 AM
Hall-of-Famer's musical connection to Windom has endured for 60 years

Serving as Windom's vocal music director for a decade (1956-1966) may seem like a limited resume for inclusion in Windom Area High School's first class of the Fine Arts Hall of Fame.

However, criteria for induction goes beyond having solely been involved with the school's fine arts programs. The new Hall also seeks individuals who "have continued to refine and share their talents with the broader community."

When John Folin left Windom High School after a decade as the school's vocal music director, his connection to the fine arts didn't end. In fact, it was only beginning. For the past 50 years, Folin not only has been involved with music, but maintained an important musical connection to Windom - supplying the Windom Concert Association with performers for its annual concert series.

Indeed, when Folin left Windom, he joined Allied Concert Services (ACS) booking performers for concert series throughout the Upper Midwest. Eventually, he purchased the company and today continues to run the business with his sons, Paul and David.

Folin's inclusion in the Hall was an obvious choice.

"It's an honor and a surprise, but wonderful," says Folin, now 82 years young.

Folin actually got his first introduction to Allied Concert Services after coming to Windom to serve as the vocal music director in the fall of 1956. Almost immediately, he was asked to not only be a member of the decade-old Windom Concert Association, but also serve on the board. Folin jumped at the opportunity.

He worked closely with then ACS owner Norm Wendt.

"At one point, Norm said, 'John, if you ever decide to leave teaching, come and talk to me. I'll give you a job,'  " Folin recalls. "So, I did and he said, 'All right, you can come to work for me.' I think there were a few people in Windom who thought, 'What? You're going to give up a good, solid, reliable teaching job and go sell concerts?' My wife, I'm sure, may have had some reservations, but she never said anything and went along with it.

"As it turned out, it worked out beautifully. Now, I have both of my sons in the business and it earns a good living for three families, plus we employ five other people."

For much more on Folin's life and career, see the story on the Faith & Family page in the May 14 issue of the Cottonwood County Citizen on newsstands today.


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