Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Acoustic Eidolon in Goodland

Specializing in American and European contemporary folk, including Celtic, classical and original music, Acoustic Eidolon will perform for the Western Plains Arts Association, Sunday, Feb. 25 at the Goodland High School Auditorium. Acoustic Eidolon has appeared for WPAA numerous times in recent years. The program begins at 2 p.m. Mountain (3 p.m. Central). Goodland is in the Mountain time zone.

Admission is by WPAA season ticket or adults $20, students $10 at the door. 54th anniversary season programs are made possible through the generous support of area businesses and individuals, including a special season grant by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.

A few years after the Boulder, Colo., musicians met, neighbors Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire found themselves between full-time musical engagements. Joe called Hannah, saying he’d always wanted to hear the cello and the double-neck guitjo together. He had a feeling the harp-like sound of the guitjo, combined with the warmth of Hannah’s cello, would be beautiful together. Captivated by the music they created together, Joe and Hannah immediately agreed to clear out their schedules, start rehearsing full-time, and form what would become Acoustic Eidolon.

What started as a musical/business partnership and friendship blossomed into their marriage three years later in fall 2001. Joe and Hannah joke that this was a marriage of convenience since they were already together all the time anyway. But, anyone watching them perform can feel the love that draws them together. Their love for one another, and their passion for life, speaks through their music.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Dueling Fun Pianos in Colby!

Get ready for a duel, Sunday afternoon, Feb. 11. No, not the shoot ‘em up kind but the jazz ‘em up kind. The Western Arts Association presents Dueling Fun Pianos, a 176 Keys Fun Pianos show based in Loup City, Neb. The show roster will pit any two of a five-member professional piano entertainment staff to a keyboard duel. The show starts at 3 p.m. central at the Cultural Arts Center, on the campus of Colby Community College. Admission is by WPAA season ticket or adults $20 and students $10 at the door. Major funding for the program comes from The Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation-Dane Hansen Community Grant for Thomas County and the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. The duelers have rocked out at rowdy fraternities and bachelor parties, kept the kids involved and parents, and delivered at over a thousand memorable office parties all across the country. They involve the audience, making

Monday, January 29, 2024

*Rescheduled!* Rex Havens Coming to Hoxie!

Rex Havens “Women and Children First” has been rescheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, March 17 at the Hoxie High School Auditorium. His show was postponed due to the mid-January polar weather.  

For more than 20 years, Rex Havens, comedian and motivational speaker, has entertained audiences around the world with his insightful observations about the hilarious miscommunications that populate our personal lives. He will present “Women & Children First: after that it’s every man for himself” for the Western Plains Arts Association. Hoxie High School Auditorium is the venue for this first 2024 program slated from 3 p.m. central, Sunday, Jan. 14. Admission is by WPAA season ticket or $20 adults, $10 students at the door. The Dane G. Hansen Foundation is a ma
jor benefactor for this 54th WPAA season. 

Havens has been delighting comedy audiences in world-famous comedy clubs like The Improv, Catch-A-Rising Star, Funny Bones and Zanies, on television for Showtime, Comedy Central and Comic Relief, on radio with Bob & Tom and NPR, cruise ships worldwide, as well as, leading corporate clients and numerous non-profit and charitable organizations.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Marla Matkin in St. Francis and Surrounding Areas

Marla Matkin, Hill City, Kan., an independent humanities scholar and performer, will present “Women on the Trail,” Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. at the St. Francis High School Auditorium.

Admission to the Western Plains Arts Association program is by season ticket or adults $10 and students $5 at the door. In addition to numerous business, individual and foundation funding, The Dane G. Hansen Foundation is a major financial contributor.

She will provide two elementary programs on the state’s 163rd (1861) statehood anniversary, Monday, Jan. 29, to St. Francis students in the morning and to Rawlins County (Atwood) students in the afternoon.

Matkin comes by her love of history having been born in Dodge City and raised nearby.  She is on a continuing search to expand her knowledge and understanding of the legend and lore surrounding the region and its people. This deep connection can be traced back to her great-grandparents who homesteaded in southwest Kansas in 1877. Add to this her love of drama and she makes a compelling case for the ladies she portrays and the history she imparts as teacher, historian, living historian and now children’s author.

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 aftermidnightjazzband.com

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.