PITTSBURG, Kan. — The annual tradition of a weeklong series of free concerts continues this summer with the Pittsburg Festival of the Arts, planned for June 11-18 in venues at Pittsburg State University and throughout the community.
Organized by Associate Professor Raul Munguia in collaboration with the Pitt State Department of Music, local businesses, and the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, the week will feature a mix of indoor concerts featuring jazz, brass, Latin, chamber music, and more. A related exhibit also will be on display at the Bicknell Center.
Additional details will be shared in coming weeks at Facebook.com/PittsburgArtsFest
The lineup includes:
Sunday, June 11
At 2 p.m., the Bells of the Balkans, a community hand bell choir based in Pittsburg, will perform an “All That Jazz” program, tracing the history of the American art form in song and the spoken word with the participation of soloists Professor Rusty Jones on saxophone and vibraphonist Fayne Speer, a 2023 graduate of the music department. The concert will be held at the Bicknell Center.
At 7 p.m., the Four State Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform at the Bicknell Center in its fourth and last concert of the academic year. The ensemble is comprised of regional music educators, college professors, students, and retired area musicians. The program will include traditional and contemporary band literature. It is directed by Assistant Professor Andrew Chybowski.
Monday, June 12
At 2 p.m., local musician and longtime retired music educator Jim Harris will perform a variety of American folk tunes on a variety of folk instruments at Root Coffeehouse & Creperie, 402 N. Broadway Suite A.
At 7 p.m., a Kaleidescope of Styles will be held in the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall at Lindburg and Broadway. The concert will illustrate different styles and ensemble combinations which will include some of the most recognizable artists in the region performing a variety of pieces, including Pitt State music faculty Professor Reena Natenberg, Instructional Professor Patrick Howle, Munguía, as well as former students and regional artists.
Tuesday, June 13
At 2 p.m., The Root’n Toot’n Jazz Combo will perform at Root Coffeehouse & Creperie, 402 N. Broadway Suite A. The combo of current students and recent graduates is comprised of Fayne Speer (drums), Louie Hurtado (saxophone), Jude Wolfe (keyboard), Evan Harries (guitar), Gavin Burdette (bass).
At 7 p.m., Quattro Voci Ensemble, a versatile voice quartet that tours the region, will perform at the First United Methodist Church, 415 N. Pine. It is organized and directed by baritone Marvin Murphree, who has worked as a conductor for professional and amateur choirs and orchestras and has appeared in concert throughout the U.S. and Central America. The group’s repertoire ranges from musical theatre to opera.
Wednesday, June 14
At 2 p.m., Duo Capriccioso will perform “Brewtiful Tunes” at Signet Coffee Roasters, 109 N. Broadway. The duo is comprised of adjunct music faculty Denissa Munguia on the flute and Munguia on the violin performing a variety of American, classical, and Latin American melodies.
At 7 p.m., Rusty & Friends will perform at the Bicknell Center. Professor Emeritus and former Music Department Chair Rusty Jones will bring together former students, area players, and current bassoon instructor John Atteberry for an upbeat evening of mixed ensemble repertoire featuring different styles and combinations.
Thursday, June 15
All day Thursday, a one-day Summer Youth Band Camp for all area high school musicians is being planned. Directed by Pitt State music faculty and organized by Chybowski, the day will include rehearsals, masterclasses, and a lot of fun. It will be held in the world-class Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. Cost: $25 (includes lunch and dinner). Register at pittstate.edu/summercamps
At 6 p.m., the Summer Youth Band will perform a concert.
At 2 p.m., woodwind specialist Colton Sprenkle will perform at TOAST, 401 N. Broadway Suite D. Sprenkle graduated from Pitt State in 2020 with a degree in Music Education and completed his graduate degree in Woodwind Performance at Oklahoma City University in 2023.
At 7 p.m., violinist Raúl Munguía and the Festival Chamber Orchestra will perform a musical journey of iconic Baroque works including Italian and German luminaries such as Vivaldi, Corelli, Handel, Bach, and others. The venue is Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 109 E. Ninth St. Hearing it in this architecturally impressive church, the audience will experience the selected repertoire the way it was intended in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Friday, June 16
At 2 p.m., cellist Hyerim Mapp and pianist Soojin Jin will perform a program of short Romantic works. This event will be held at Books & Burrow Bookstore, 212 S. Broadway. Jin is an international sensation. Born in Seoul, Korea, she began piano lessons at age 3 and by age 7 had won her first national competition. She has since performed around the world, including in Carnegie Hall, and won major national and international competitions. Mapp is a sought-after orchestral and chamber musician, orchestral director, soloist, clinician, and teacher. She has performed with symphonies across the nation and was a concerto competition winner in her native Korea.
At 9 p.m., guitarist-singer-songwriter Dustin Treiber will perform at Jolly Fox Brewery, 301 S. Broadway. A familiar solo artist in the Southeast Kansas area, Treiber specializes in acoustic rock, country, and Christian music.
Saturday, June 17
At 2 p.m., Ronda Herold will perform “Violin Adventures” at The Corner Patio, 919 N. Broadway. Herold is a professional violinist who is a member of Holland America’s Adagio String Quartet, has had the opportunity to perform in port cities on six of the seven continents.
At 7 p.m., Darius Lim will perform at the Bicknell Center as part of the Pittsburg Treble Clef Piano Competition and Festival. Lim is the founder and director of the world-class ensemble “Voices of Singapore.” A world-renown pianist, composer, and conductor on an American tour, he’ll collaborate with Pittsburg High School Vocal Music Director Susan Laushman on a program that includes some of his most performed works. The concert will also feature the winner of the 2023 Piano Young Artist Competition.
Sunday, June 18
At 3 p.m., the Summer Kicks Jazz Band, directed by retired professor Bob Kehle, will perform in the lobby of the Bicknell Center. The band is comprised of some of the most talented musicians in the area, including faculty, students, alumni, and community members, who will perform jazz standards and a few contemporary numbers.
On display in the Bicknell Center Gallery throughout the month of June and coinciding with the music festival is an exhibit from the 70-plus year collection of the Jim Halsey Company.
It includes more than 30 outstanding portraits of superstars and events represented by the Halsey Company: Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys, Merle Haggard, Wanda Jackson, Hank Thompson, Minnie Pearl, Leon McAuliffe, Lee Greenwood, Glen Campbell, and more.
He and his staff have guided, promoted, or managed the careers of numerous prominent U.S. entertainers — particularly country music stars — including 29 inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame and 10 inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
His collection includes portraits taken by world renowned photographers commissioned by Halsey, including Annie Leibovitz, Alan Messer, Allan Ballard, and more.
The exhibit may be seen during the week, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and when the center is open for evening and weekend performances.