Judith Arts Society

Judith Arts Society Announces 2013-2014 Season

Information shared by Vicky McCray, Judith Basin Press News-Editor

The Judith Arts Society Board of Directors has made its final decisions for the 2013-2014 performing arts season and has signed contracts with presenters. The concert line-up is sure to have something – if not everything – for everyone.

The first concert of the year, known for the last several years as Pub Night, is Friday, Sept. 27, at the Utica Community Hall, 7 p.m. It is sure to be a hall-burner, as Conrad native Wylie Gustafson and his band, The Wild West, make a stop in Utica on their way to Bozeman. This is good-time cowboy music, a perfect performance for the annual Pub Night in Charlie Russell's favorite Montana town. According to "Fun Facts about Wylie" on his Web site, Charlie Russell is Wylie's favorite artist, and one of his three favorite books, "Trails Plowed Under," is written by the famous artist as well. What a perfect place for Wylie!

The singer/songwriter began playing music in high school bands in the mid-70s. He has since become very popular, performing with his band across the United States in well-known places like the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. They are favorite visitors at The Grand Ole Opry, having performed there more than 50 times. These guys have also played in Russia, Japan, Australia, Europe, and South America. The JAS board is delighted to be able to bring them to Judith Basin County.

The group performs a variety of music – from cowboy, to swing, to folk – and Wylie is one heckuva yodeler; in fact, he is noted as a virtuoso yodeler by Wikipedia, as he created and voiced the signature "Yahoo-oo-oo" for Yahoo, Inc. He has also published a book and CD, "How to Yodel - Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils."

Joining Wylie on stage are The Wild West: Rick Bryce on drums and vocals, Shane Queener on bass, and Sam Platts on guitar. According to one reviewer, Wylie and The Wild West draws a crowd and keeps them there. In Wylie's own words, his goal at every performance is "To win a crowd with good music and make 'em feel like they got their money's worth."

No doubt that will be the case in Utica on Friday, Sept. 27. In addition to the fantastic music, Pub Night includes great hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. The good eats will be ready to serve Friday evening at 6:30, so folks are encouraged to come early, get a good seat, and enjoy the first JAS concert of the season.

On Sunday, Nov. 17, the JAS Board will welcome solo contemporary guitarist Chris Proctor to the Hobson School multipurpose room at 4 p.m.

An Army brat born in Germany, Chris has made Salt Lake City his home since his youth. He began playing with a local garage band but didn't really "get into" the guitar until attending the University of Utah, where he graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1973. During that time he was playing guitar from 6 to 8 hours every day.

He re-enrolled at the University five years later and studied music theory, sight-singing, ear-training, counterpoint, and jazz theory for 2 1/2 years. In 1982 he was the U.S. National Fingerstyle Champion and released his first recording, "Runoff." He began touring nationally the following year.

According to the Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association, fingerstyle refers to using each of the right-hand fingers independently in order to play multiple parts of a musical arrangement that would normally be played by several band members. Bass, harmonic accompaniment, melody, and percussion can all be played simultaneously when playing fingerstyle. It is this style that gives Chris Proctor's music an orchestral quality.

Chris creates guitar music on both a 6-string guitar and a 12-string guitar that reflects the whole heritage of the instrument: folk, jazz, pop, classical, and ethnic. He composes his own music and shares that with his audience also. In other words he turns a solo guitar evening into a festival of guitar music that leaves the audience wondering how one guitar can create that much music and entertain an audience that completely. One reviewer noted it "seems like there are three guitarists on stage instead of just one." Chris is a favorite of guitar and music lovers, a real "musical storyteller" and true pioneer of the contemporary fingerstyle form.

Stanford, Geyser, and Surprise Creek Colony students will enjoy Chris Proctor's music on Monday, Nov. 18, at the Stanford School auditorium.

The JAS Board brings the Chinook Winds Quintet to the Hobson School multipurpose room in the new year, Feb. 9, 2014, at 4 p.m. This group is the professional resident wind quintet of the Great Falls Symphony and each member is a principal player in the orchestra. The Symphony has offered the quintet for concerts and to school programs and residencies throughout Montana and the Northwest since 1992. Although the members of the Chinook Winds have changed more than once during this time, the quality of their music has not.

This year all five members of the quintet are new to Montana and look forward to sharing their music with the JAS audience.

Native Georgian Norman Gonzales plays the flute. Prior to coming to Montana, he served as principal flute with the Erie Chamber Orchestra in Pennsylvania. He holds a master of music degree and performer's certificate from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Melanie Pozdol was born into a musical family, singing in the church choir at age 4, starting on the violin at age 5, and adding oboe at age 10. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a double performance degree in violin and oboe. She then earned her master of music degree from Eastman School of Music. She brings her talents on the oboe to the quintet.

Horn player Mike Nelson is native to Florida and earned his bachelor of music degree, along with a chemistry minor, from the University of Florida. He then traveled to Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for his master of music degree and is currently finishing his doctor of musical arts degree in horn performance along with studying orchestral conducting.

Useon Choi, a native of South Korea, brings his talents on the clarinet to the quintet. He earned his masters of music from Indiana University and his doctorate of musical arts at the University of Illinois. Choi has performed a Carnegie Hall in New York City with a wind symphony as well as internationally. He has also taught master classes. The quintet's bassoon player, Elizabeth Crawford, is a native of upstate New York who is co-founder and board member of the Utah Wind Symphony. She attended Eastman School of Music preparatory division and finished high school at Interlochen Arts Academy, a fine arts boarding high school in Interlochen, Mich. She completed her undergraduate degree in performance at Manhattan School of Music and earned her master's degree in music performance from the University of Utah. Crawford has served for 12 years – active duty and national guard – as bassoonist and vocalist in the Army band.

The Chinook Winds will perform a variety of musical genres including familiar classical and popular tunes. They will also provide a demonstration of their instruments.

Trio Voronezh is on tap for the final concert of the season, March 16, 2014, at the Hobson School multipurpose room, 4 p.m. This just might be a case of saving the best for last, as these three men, originally from Russia, have created a sensation wherever they have performed.

Known for their virtuosity, passion, and sensitivity, the trio offers a diverse repertoire: classical works by Vivaldi, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov; Russian folk songs; Argentine tangos; gypsy dance music; bluegrass; and Gershwin. They arrange their own music and perform entirely from memory.

Vladimir Volokhin, Valerie Petrukhin, and Sergei Teleshev have been playing and performing together since they were young children. They all received their classical training and further musical study at the Conservatory in Voronezh, Russia, 350 miles south of Moscow. They formed the trio in 1993.

They were discovered playing classical favorites and folk tunes in a Frankfurt, Germany, subway station in 1995 and became part of the international stage. In 1996 they made their U.S. debut at the Oregon Bach Festival. They have since become U.S. citizens, calling Eugene, Ore., their home base.

The trio members play Russian folk instruments that draw an audience's attention even before the music begins.

Volokhin won the National Champion Domra Competition in 1986. The domra is a long-necked stringed instrument, a member of the lute family that looks a great deal like a mandolin with its round body. It can have three or four metal strings, although today in Russia the three-stringed domra is used almost exclusively. It is played with a plectrum, or pick.

Petrukhin plays the national instrument of Russia, the balalaika. Musicians say its music is the sound of the country and the heart of its folk music. It is triangular in shape and has three strings. The balalaika family comes in various sizes from the highest pitched, the  prima, to the lowest pitched, the contrabass. Petrukhin plays a bass and is currently an honored member of the Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society. 

Teleshev has won many regional and international accordion competitions with his bayan, a type of chromatic button accordion developed in Russia in the early 20th century. It has a much greater right-hand range than accordions with a piano keyboard.

The JAS Board hopes its audience enjoys Trio Voronezh as much as they did at the Montana Performing Arts Consortium in January. Not only is the trio very talented, but its members are quite personable as well.  Trio Voronezh will perform at the Hobson School on Monday, March 17.
Admission to all of the concerts except Pub Night is by season ticket or at the door: $10 for adults, $5 for high school students, and $3 for grade school students. Pub Night admission is by season ticket or $15 at the door, but it includes tasty hors d'oeuvres and one drink ticket for use at the no-host bar.

Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through any JAS board member: Conni Kaufman at 406-423-5332, George Keating at 406-423-5531, Norma Zimmer at 406-566-2651, and Vicky McCray at 406-735-4429.

The Judith Arts Society has been in existence since 1984. Originally established as the Judith Cultural Committee, it is a non-profit corporation with a Board of Directors that meets as necessary.

In 1988 the Committee applied for an IRS non-profit determination, which allowed the Board to apply for available grants from state and national art groups. The present name was selected in 1996 through the aid of a contest.

Today the JAS receives partial funding from Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Montana Performing Arts Consortium, National Endowment for the Arts, Montana Arts Council, Montana Cultural Trust, and a couple of local endowment funds, The Hobson Endowment Fund and the Judith Basin Endowment Fund. Business sponsors, ticket holders, and private donors also fund the organization.

The Board members attend the Montana Performing Arts Consortium Artists' Showcase in January to select the performers for the season. Choosing a broad selection of performers, with at least one performance being a cross-cultural performance, is the Board's goal.

Board members feel they have met this goal this year and look forward to a fun and well-attended concert series this season.

JAS Season Tickets
on Sale Now!

Admission to all of the concerts except Pub Night is by season ticket or at the door: $10 for adults, $5 for high school students, and $3 for grade school students. Pub Night admission is by season ticket or $15 at the door, but it includes tasty hors d'oeuvres and one drink ticket for use at the no-host bar.

Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through any JAS board member: Conni Kaufman at 406-423-5332, George Keating at 406-423-5531, Norma Zimmer at 406-566-2651, and Vicky McCray at 406-735-4429.   

Look What the Judith Arts Society is Bringing to the Area - See below!

"Wylie Gustafson
& the Wild West Band

September 27, 2013
Pub Night! - 7:00pm
Utica Community Hall

"Chris Proctor"
November 17, 2013
4:00 pm - Hobson School
November 18, 2013
4:00pm - Stanford School

"Chinook Winds Quintet"
February 9, 2014
4:00pm - Hobson School

"Trio Voronezh"
March 16, 2014

4:00pm - Hobson School
March 17, 2014
4:00pm - Hobson School