Tickets still available The OK Factor to perform Jan. 20

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Olivia Diercks, left, and Karla Colahan will perform in Guttenberg twice on Jan. 20, hosted by Umbrella Arts at River Park Place. (Photo courtesy of The OK Factor)

By Molly Moser

Limited tickets are still available to Umbrella Arts' presentation of The OK Factor, a string duo of Luther College graduates playing new-classical, crossover and original music.

Olivia Diercks, cellist, and Karla Colahan, violinist, joined musical forces during their education at Luther. Though both now reside with their husbands in Minneapolis, they will return to their Decorah roots for a two-week residency at Luther College Jan. 16-28. During that time, they'll spend an afternoon in Guttenberg performing twice at River Park Place on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 3 and 6 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance and include refreshments and a meet-and-greet with the musicians. 

The OK (short for Olivia and Karla) Factor released their fourth studio album, Have Yourself an OK Christmas, just last month. The pair have been writing, performing, and touring regionally together for five years - with nearly 50 performances in 2017 alone. The two describe their musical connection as 'lucky,' writing and performing their original music organically. Their new-classical crossover style has caught the attention of the Minnesota music community in which they live and work, and  continues to bring them success on stage at places like The Cedar Cultural Center, The Dakota Jazz Club and even on Minnesota Public Radio.

Music is a passion-turned-full-time job for Diercks and Colahan. In addition to writing, performing, touring and recording, the pair conducts workshops for string students of all ages. During their elementary school clinics, students play games, visit an instrument 'petting zoo,' and learn a variety of musical techniques. In middle and high school clinics, The OK Factor takes students on an adventure in folk music through composition, arrangement, and personal creativity.

In March of 2017, they concluded a year with the Class Notes Artist program, part of a classical Minnesota Public Radio initiative called Music for Learning. The free program brings educational music performances to young and diverse audiences in Minnesota's elementary schools, creating authentic and transformative live-music experiences through Minnesota musicians, who visit classrooms to perform and talk about music, instruments, and composers. 

Diercks and Colahan also provide outreach programming in many community settings, including senior living communities, discussion groups, VA hospitals and hospice care facilities, creating an experience that inspires and encourages communities to explore music and cultivate a curiosity about its role in their lives. 

During their residency in Decorah, the pair will also perform at The Lingonberry, 218 Water Street, on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 5 p.m. Joining the performance with jazz and pop inspired folk vocals is award-winning Swedish  quintent Jaerv. "Our residency is continually evolving as new opportunities arise throughout the community," say the women, "but so far it includes time on campus at Luther College, writing and editing quartet arrangements of some of our pieces; working with a group of string players and potentially student composers to help us assess what works and what doesn't in these arrangements; and workshops and performances for students at John Cline Elementary, Decorah Middle and Decorah High Schools."

To purchase tickets to either Jan. 20 show in Guttenberg, contact any Umbrella Arts member, or call Sherri Oliver at 563-252-3462 or Karen Riser at 563-880-7140. 

For more information on the musicians or to listen to their music, visit 

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