“Sister” is the collective talents of three real singing sisters originally from southern Minnesota. Kjersten, Kara, and Alisa are the whole performing package, each individually gifted with the music that has been a part of their family for generations and each uniquely skilled to put that music into both live performance and recorded platforms. Sister has a vast repertoire pulled from their heritage, their Midwestern upbringing and their own creative resources. Wisconsin is a second home to the trio as both parents, Douglas Norvold and Randvig (Johnstad) Norvold hail from Woodville and Pigeon Falls, respectively. Embedded in these small Norwegian communities is the context by which the trio forms their unique blend of music and live entertainment. Rich harmonies bring to life everything from gospel favorites to original Scandinavian regional humor. Sister believes that family comes first and music comes second. Their relationship onstage and offstage creates a warm, fun, and inviting atmosphere that is reminiscent of “going home” bringing audiences every where right into the heart of the Midwest: family, heritage, hospitality, and of course, music.
In addition to the Scandinavian and Gospel themes woven into their performance, the trio has a love for the great music of all time and a gift for making it their own. Alisa Leonard provides the group with her unique ear and ability for arranging Sister favorite standards. As lead vocalist for the group, her rich, warm and powerful tones provide the core to Sister’s unique sound. As a pianist, Alisa accompanies the group on certain numbers, nimbly bouncing back and forth from the center stage to her second home at the keyboard. She can banter with an audience, tell a great story, and then turn around and play a heart felt, reflective rendition of a familiar song that is somehow true to both her style and the original intention of the music.
Kara Millerhagen provides an anchoring stage presence for the group in a live performance setting connecting the pieces together through the spoken word which allows the audience a glimpse behind the music into the inner workings of what makes the group a whole. A poet, composer, actor, and humorist, Kara brings great dimension to the stage in addition to her contribution to the sound of the trio as she provides the upper harmony to Alisa’s lead. Kara’s energy and stage presence creates the ambience of the Sister show and allows the trio to take the audience on a wonderful ride of laughter, heart tugs, and an overall feeling of good will.
Kjersten Dysthe provides the buttery third part to the trio in her low vocals. Her stage character brings accessibility to the group as she always puts the audience first, connecting with communities and with leaders of organizations in order to secure the details that bring Sister in front of the people they so dearly love. As Kjersten is constantly evaluating the next move and reading the needs of Sister’s audiences, she is the energy behind the logistics. Though her talent and abilities lend themselves to much of what goes on behind the scenes, it is her heart for family and the music that energizes those efforts. While others seek the spotlight, Kjersten is quick to deflect the light in order to put the emphasis on what is most important; putting that message of love, hope, friendship and laughter into as many people as she can reach in order to help create a world of possibilities through Sister music.
The Sister Show is a celebration of music, family and laughter that is suitable for everyone. Audiences can always count on clean humor, real relationships, and amazing vocals and harmonies. Audiences can count on hearing familiar and original music. Audiences can count on quality and authenticity as well as a live “in-the-moment” experience at the theatre which only comes from a lifetime of performing. “Sister” is the sum total of three lifetimes in front of audiences that have shaped, seasoned, and ultimately created a style that is greater than its parts. Like a good family, it is just better together.