The Roundup -

By Jill Hill 

2015-16 Big Sky Concert Series Announces This Year's Schedule


On Thursday, April 7, the season finale presents Nashville singer/songwriter, Jonathan Kingham.

The Sidney Performing Arts Council and the Northeastern Arts Network are pleased to present the 2015-16 Big Sky Concert Series to our community. This year's series features exciting live theatre and a kaleidoscope of musical entertainment as part of this art organization's ongoing commitment to provide quality entertainment to the community with a variety of shows that will appeal to every age and interest.

The first performance of the season kicks off with Montana Repertory Theatre's presentation of*Growing Up in Wonderland – Alice's Coming-of-Age Story." This coming-of-age story is played out by three actors who introduce us to high school freshman Alice, her friend and math tutor Charlie Rabbit, and the not-so-nice but ever smiling senior Kat (the Cheshire Cat), just to name a few, as they wind their way through the hallways of high school life on the way to growing up. This production takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

You won't want to miss the excitement on Thursday, Oct. 22 when Montana native, Wylie Gustafson & the Wild West Band set the stage. Over the last 25 years, Wylie and his band, The Wild West, have performed their refreshing blend of cowboy, swing, folk and yodeling music worldwide. They have performed at such prestigious venues as the National Folk Festival, A Prairie Home Companion, the Conan O'Brien Show and the Grand Ole Opry. Worldwide, their genre-friendly performances have taken them to China, Russia, Australia, Europe, South America and Japan. That is not the resume of a mediocre performer!

In November, the Big Sky Series brings back pianist, Scott Kirby on Thursday, Nov. 5. Kirby's "Music in the Dark" piano multi-media presentation includes his own photography, archival photographs, his own paintings and music for the visual aspect of his show. Scott's professional music career includes recording the complete rags of Scott Joplin, where he made his debut at all of the major ragtime festivals in the United States and abroad. Kirby's artistic passion grew to include visual art, and in 2005, while living in France, he completed 75 paintings and 28 piano compositions, which set the groundwork for his new multi-media project "Main Street Souvenirs".

On Thursday, Feb. 4, NAN proudly hosts The Valinor Quartet, a unique and talented international group. The all-acoustic Valinor Quartet encompasses the diverse cultural backgrounds of its members, hailing from Russia, USA and England, to influence its stylistic diversity and unique performance aesthetic. The group's riveting displays utilize a breathtaking range of styles, from classical to Beatles; from Gypsy Jazz to Klezmer, from popular movie soundtracks to Tango and a few surprises in between.

On Thursday, April 7, the season finale presents Nashville singer/songwriter, Jonathan Kingham. Kingham quickly developed into a seasoned performer while sharing the stage with the likes of Shawn Colvin, Joan Osborne, Michael McDonald, Doug Stone, Vanessa Carlton and Jonathan Brooke. He has toured with such diverse acts as Julio Iglesias Jr. and currently plays keyboard and steel guitar for Toad the Wet Sprocket. With a soothing blend of folk, pop, country and jazz, he usually comes armed with a huge tub of Red Vines, a quick free-style wit, and has rapidly become a favorite on the circuit.

All concerts are held at the MonDak Heritage Center at 7 p.m. Season tickets can be purchased at the door: adults $50, senior $45, and students $35. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. For additional concert information contact Candy Markwald 406-488-4155, Jill Hill 406-489-4304, or Karen Boehler 406-433-4375. "This series is made possible in part by the Montana Performing Arts Consortium Presenter Development Program which is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Montana Arts Council, and legislative grant from Montana's Cultural Trust and the Western States Arts Federation.


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