Monday, November 20, 2023

Two Shows Coming to Celebrate the Season

Christmastime is here and the Western Plains Arts Association invites you to swing into the season with After Midnight, and then celebrate “Away in a basement” with the hilarious Church Basement Ladies.

Both programs are made possible through major grants from The Dane G. Hansen Foundation and the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundations for Logan County and Thomas County. Admission for each program is by WPAA season ticket or adults $20, students $10 at the door.


After Midnight swing band

After Midnight, Colorado’s premier swing band, will share their infectious music Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. central at the Cultural Arts Center, Colby.

Award winning clarinetist Roger Campbell leads the hottest jazz band since the swing Era. Colorado’s Premier Swing Band is the only sextet featured in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame at Red Rocks. Swinging hard for nearly 25 years, this extraordinary group of musicians has performed hundreds of concerts. They conquer dizzying charts by the likes of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Lionel Hampton, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. You’ll hear great swing music recently made popular by the likes of Dianna Krall, Michael Bublé, and Harry Connick Jr.


The band’s sound and style is modeled after the famous Benny Goodman Sextet but with a sophisticated and vintage vibe. Their hard driving swing is refreshing and infectious, inspiring dancers and bringing toe-tapping joy to listeners of all ages. This music is incredibly difficult to play and they enjoy making it look and sound effortless. After Midnight features clarinet, vibraphone, piano, bass, guitar, and drums. 

Visit the group’s website

Church Basement Ladies

Mark your holiday calendar for Thursday, Dec. 7. The Church Basement Ladies are returning to Oakley High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. central with “Away in a Basement.” 

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Ronald Radford to Perform in Oberlin

Ronald Radford, the Flamenco guitar virtuoso whose brilliant performances have evoked standing ovations on for continents, will appear at the Gateway’s Morgan Theater in Oberlin, Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. Central.

There is also a school outreach presentation at Oberlin Elementary on Monday morning, Nov. 20, at 9 a.m. The Western Plains Arts Association is sponsor of both presentations. Radford is familiar to WPAA audiences. 

A protégé of the legendary Carlos Montoya, Radford lived and traveled in Spain where he immersed himself in the musical wisdom of the Flamenco guitar masters, in addition to classical studies with Andres Segovia. He is the only individual ever to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Flamenco.

This gifted artist takes you far beyond the usual guitar concert. Radford complements his masterful technique with an illuminating narration, which recreates the very spirit and essence of this ancient folklore. He draws the audience into an unforgettable world of sounds and feelings as he conjures up the soul-stirring laments and fiery Gypsy dance rhythms of Flamenco – the heartbeat of Spain.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Barbershop in Colby on November 2nd

Wanted. Northwest Kansas men and women, boys and girls, to travel to Colby, Thursday, Nov. 2, to join in a night of barbershop singing. 

The Colby United Methodist Church, 950 S. Franklin, is the location of this special guest night from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Central. Sponsored by the Tumbleweed men’s Barbershop Chorus and the women’s Prairie Rose Harmony Chorus, members of both groups will be on hand to lead guests in the joys of signing harmony. Guest night means there is no obligation to join either sponsoring group.  Refreshments provided.

Thomas Annis, Oakley, is the music director for both groups. This is a special weekly rehearsal, not a show.  Plans are to have a large number of men from the Hays Chorus present in Colby, in addition to all present and many past Tumbleweed and PRH chorus members.

Eighty-five years ago, the founders of The Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) stumbled onto something quite profound: The joy and transformation that comes with four voices singing together. The BHS wants more people to have the opportunity to experience the joy of singing.

Alferd Packer Memorial String Band in Quinter

The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band
is five multi-instrumentalists, dressed in old time costumes, singing and playing fiddles, banjo, guitars, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, accordion, bass, and creative percussion.

Based in Lawrence, Kansas, the band has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, and in a documentary called “Overlooked” which aired on KTKA-TV. They were the focus of articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Readers’ Digest. Their music has been used in a national broadcast on NPR. Their infectious good humor and high energy leave no toe untapped. Last year the Band was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. Visit The band has produced three compact discs in their more than 25-year history.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Magician Joshua Lozoff presents "Life is Magic" in Colby

Joshua Lozoff has been studying and sharing magic around the world for more than 20 years. The magician will present “Life is Magic,” with amazing, mesmerizing and mind-boggling magic and mentalist magnificence. Sponsored by the Western Plains Arts Association, he will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 22 at Colby Community College’s Cultural Arts Center.

“The most beautiful thing about magic is how it appeals to everyone,” he said. “Everyone has a few moments in time which transcend our ordinary reality; moments of awe, of astonishment, and just a flat-out fun time.”

Performances combine his love for the art of magic, with his fascination with psychology, the powers of observation, and influence. In one moment, he makes a drawing come to life just by pointing; in the next, he predicts an audience member’s choices even before she knows them herself.

To encourage families to attend, admission is just $10 adults, $5 students at the door, or by WPAA season ticket. The Dane G. Hansen Foundation and the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation, with grants for Thomas and Logan counties, have provided major funding for this show.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Wichita Children's Theatre in Area Schools

Wichita Children’s Theatre will present “The Ugly Duckling” for the area elementary schools listed below. Sponsored by the Western Plains Arts Association in cooperation with each of the school districts, major funding has been provided by the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation (GNWKCF) for Logan & Thomas Counties, Bird City, and the Dane G Hansen Foundation, Lenora.

Anyone outside the public elementary school system desiring to attend one of the free performances should contact the local school office staff ahead of time to make arrangements.

Monday, Oct. 16

9 a.m. CT Atwood Elementary School, 205 North 4th Street, 785-626-3217.                                                      1:30 p.m. CT St. Francis Elementary School, 307 N Webster, 785-332-8143.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Glen Miller Orchestra in Colby

 Spend an evening with the Glenn Miller Orchestra Oct. 7

One of the greatest Big Bands of all time, the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, is coming to Colby on Saturday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m. CDT, at the Colby Community College Cultural Arts Center. 

The Western Plains Arts Association is sponsor of the special evening performance. Admission is by WPAA season ticket or at the door: adults, $20 and students $10. 

Major contributors for the Glenn Miller Orchestra include: The Dane Hansen Foundation, Logan, Kan., the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation —Dane Hansen Community Grant for Thomas County, Bird City. A large number of businesses and individuals across the area make these live programs possible.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra has been swinging in his memory ever since 1954. Miller started his orchestra in March 1938. After touring with Benny Goodman, the Dorseys, and other greats, Miller began recording under his own name for Columbia records in 1935. During his professional career, the Glenn Miller Orchestra produced an average of more than ten Top 10 hits every year from 1939 through 1944.

Just a few of his career hits include: Moonlight Serenade, Tuxedo Junction, Pennsylvania 6-5000, In the Mood, A String of Pearls, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Chattanooga Choo-Choo and That Old Black Magic.