Rehearsing for 'Havey'

The 2009-2010 Clay County Arts Council season will feature a wide variety of returning programs including a nationally known pianist, the return of the Piotique community play, an evening of dining and dancing with the Kings of Swing, among other events.

The first membership event of the year will be the Piotique community play, to be during Piotique weekend. "Harvey," written by Mary Chase and directed by CCCHS drama teacher Nathan Ross, will presented at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27. The play features a cast of 12.

"Harvey" is the delightful play about a gentleman with an invisible pet rabbit, and has been a theatrical standard for many years.

In the next several weeks, Arts Council Board members will sell memberships for the year's programs. Memberships are $20 for single, $35 for family, $50 for patron, $100 for sustaining, $250 for silver, $500 for gold and $1,000 for platinum.

Memberships can be purchased form the arts council board members, or by calling Beuford Rook at 632-2381 or Susie Swanson at 632-5322. Memberships can also be purchased at Mayo's or the Union State Bank in downtown Clay Center. Tickets can be purchased at the door for each membership program for $2 for students and $10 for adults for non-members.

In addition to the Piotique community play, the Arts Council is offering a selection of entertainment choices. As in the past, several programs will feature Clay Center talent.

WRITING PRESENTATION -- "The Writer and the Land" will be given by Denise Lowe, past poet laureate of Kansas from 2007 to 2009 on Monday, Oct. 19. Lowe is an outstanding poet who lives in Lawrence and teaches at the Haskell Indian Nations University.

Lowe will spend the day in Clay Center working with high school students at 2 p.m., and with adults at 4 p.m. at the Presbyterian Manor. At 7:30 p.m. that evening she will conclude her day with the writing presentation.

KINGS OF SWING DINNER CONCERT -- Returning to this year's concert series is an evening of dinner with music provided by the Kings of Swing, one of the oldest dance bands of its kind in the state. C.L. Snodgrass, retired CCCHS band director, has been a member of the group for many years.

This special event will be held 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 in the Clay Center Methodist Church Family Life Center. An advanced ticket will be needed for admittance and ticket prices will be $12 for Arts Council members and $20 for nonmembers. Danny's Grill and Catering will serve the dinner.

WINTER BAND CONCERT -- Well-known tuba player and clinician Patrick Sheridan will spend the day with USD-379 students and then perform with the band during the evening program 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 at the Martyn-Snodgrass auditorium.

PATRIOTIC MUSIC CONCERT -- The Blue and Gray Brass Brigade will perform for Arts Council members 2 p.m. Sunday, March 14 at the Methodist Church Family Life Center. The seven-member group will play traditional patriotic music in its original from especially from the Civil War era.

BLACK TIE CONCERT -- The final membership event of the year will feature Black Tie, a ladies barbershop quartet from the Topeka and Kansas City area, performing 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 11 at the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Shelia Olson Martinez, a 1962 CCCHS graduate, is a member of the group, which was selected as Region No. 7 Quartet Champion, in Nashville, Tenn. Following this program, the annual Arts Council membership meeting of the organization will be held.

In addition to a variety of membership programs, the Arts Council will sponsor the following non-membership events:

RETURN OF TOYING WITH MUSIC --The Arts Council is pleased to announce the return of Steve Unruh presenting "Toying With Music" to students of USD-379 on Feb. 22 and 23..

"Toying with Music" was presented to the public as an arts council membership event in April and was so well received that the group wanted to bring Unruh back to share his talents with the Clay Center students.

Unruh will perform on a variety of instruments, and will also talk about his role in the invention and development of several digital and electronic toys.

His presentation is being made possible by memorial funds given in hours of the late Berniece Holtgren, who passed away earlier this year and was a long-time violin teacher and friend.

CHRISTIAN PIANIST -- Nationally known pianist Gordan Mote will perform 7 p.m. Sept. 16 in the Martyn Snodgrass Auditorium.

Mote, who is the Gaither Vocal Band pianist, writes much of his own music and was recently named as the Academy of Country Music Keyboard/Piano Player of the Year. The Arts Council is proud to be co-sponsoring this Christian artist of such high caliber. There will be a free-will offering taken at the concert.

LITHOGRAPH PRINT EXHIBIT -- A public art exhibit featuring the etchings and lithograph prints of James Munce, will be presented at Union State Banks from Oct. 8 through Oct. 28. Munce is a retired Kansas State University art professor. On the conclude day of the exhibit, James will conduct an art presentation for CCCHS art students at the high school.

PHOTO EXHIBIT -- Photographs of local citizens Alicia Beaver, Jim Beck and Dispatch editor Ned Valentine will be displayed in the public photography exhibit to be held at Union State Bank from March 9 through March 23. An opening reception honoring these photographers will be held 2-5 p.m. at the bank.

STUDENT BOOK PROJECT -- The arts council will co-sponsor the Ann Parr Student Book project for a number of USD-379 students. This is the third year for the highly successful book project facilitated by Parr, a former Morganville graduate, who now lives in Lindsborg.

INSPIRATIONAL SING -- The popular Inspirational Sing will be held again on Palm Sunday, 2 p.m. March 28, at the Evangelical Covenant Church. As always, this program will feature local talent of all ages and a free-will offering will be taken to the local Arts Council scholarship.

The mission of the arts council is to provide quality fine arts programs to the citizens of Clay County.

The 2009-2010 board members are Monica Anderson, Jim Beck, Carol Benninga, Kris Brezikofer, Ruth Browne, JoAnne Chalpman, Anne Clark, Toni Crozton, Mary Ann Fowls, Sally Griffiths, Cathy Hafner, Nancy Hammel, John Kaul, Tracy Lebo, Barb Lenhart, Sylvia Mansfield, Jaque Meek, Jay Mellies, Evelyn Nelson, Cheryl Payne, McKenna Porter, Beuford Rook, Nancy Ryan, Ruth Ann Smith, C.L. Snodgarass, Pauline Snodgrass, Marion Stuart, Susie Swanson and Pam Wenger.

Anyone interested in more information about the arts council call president Susie Swanson at 632-5322 or Beuford Rook at 632-2381.