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Friday
Oct112013

“Simply Delightful” – L.A. Guitar Quartet 

We had a great turn-out for L.A. Guitar Quartet, the second performance in our 10x10 Arts Series. A big thanks to everyone who came and made this a special night. We have one more 10x10 show this month, with the “Monty Pythons of Music,” Mnozil Brass, on Friday, October 25.

Here are a few comments we received from you after the show:

“Best 10x10 yet!!”

“Great Group, Great Sound”

 

Our next 10x10 performance features Mnozil Brass! RSVP to the Facebook Event to stay up-to-date with the latest information on the pre-show Creative Conversation, and the post-show party where you can mingle with the performers and enjoy a signature 10x10 cocktail! Watch the video below for a sneak-peak to see that these funny guys mean business!

Wednesday
Oct092013

10x10 is back with Los Angeles Guitar Quartet!

This Thursday, Oct. 10, we have our second 10x10 Arts Series performance with Los Angeles Guitar Quartet! The Grammy® Award-winning group plays across the genres. Their programs have included Latin, African, Far East, Irish, Folk and American Classics that transport listeners around the world! 

We had the chance to ask members John Dearman and William Kanengiser a few questions! Check them out below, then watch a video of them performing.

1. What great advice did you receive when you began your artistic journey?

William: Find the best teacher you can, and do everything he says!

2. What is your most memorable performance and why?

John: We played a concert in a giant lava tube - kind of like a cave created by a huge bubble in an ancient lave flow - on Lanzarote; one of the Canary Islands. It was actually a real concert hall and was part of a whole underground complex of hotels, restaurants and bars. An awesome place! 

William: Doing "Don Quixote" with Monty Python's John Cleese; sharing the stage with one of my comic heroes is something I'll never forget.

3. What kind of art inspires you?

John: I saw a film called 'Gerhard Richter Painting' recently - I like what he does.

4. Who is your artistic icon? Why?

John: I love the Assad Brothers. Of course they're guitarists, they play Brazilian as well as classical music, and for me, they just have the perfect temperament as performers and personalities. They never fail to astound me in every way.

William: Maestro Pepe Romero.  As our mentor, friend and role model, he epitomizes the ideal of the virtuoso soloist, consummate ensemble player and inspirational stage performer.

5. What profession other than yours would you most like to attempt?

John: Restoring vintage motorcycles.

William: Gourmet chef.

6. What are the three most played songs on your iPod?

John: I don't really know but: Recently I listened to “Forrobodo” by Egberto Gismonti in a loop for about 30 minutes. 2 others that come to mind: “The Soleares from En Vivo” by Paco de Lucia.  A tune called “Greenwich Mean” by the guitarist Wayne Krantz.

William: Glenn Gould's 1981 “Goldberg Variations,” “Romance de Abindarraez” played by Jordi Savall and Hesperian XX, "California" by Joni Mitchell.

7. What do you want audiences to walk away with after your performance?

John: That they've heard something new and they liked it.

William: With a new appreciation for the sonic potential of the classical guitar. And a few copies of our CD's, I suppose!

8. If there were a feature film created about your life who would play you?

John: Bryan Cranston, of course.

William: Paul Giamatti!

9. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

John: HBO - there's just too much good stuff on TV these days!

10. Why a quartet? What is so magical about 4 guitarists as opposed to 2, 6, or 8?

John: The Romeros were such an inspiration and we've never really thought about any other formation.

11. Do you have a favorite sports team?

John: Any team that's playing against the Celtics.

William: Sadly, the Los Angeles Lakers.  It's going to be a long year.

 Tickets are still available, so help us welcome these amazing musicians to NWA! Join the Facebook Event to stay up to date with all the information on our pre-show Creative Conversation with a member of LAGQ team, and the post-show party where you can mingle with the performers and enjoy a signature 10x10 cocktail!


Monday
Oct072013

"Oh my, oh my!" - AnDa Union

What an amazing kick-off to our 10x10 Arts Series with AnDa Union! Thanks to everyone that joined us last Friday for this performance and helped make it an evening to remember! Our next 10x10 show is this Thursday, October 10 with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

The AnDa Union pre-show Creative Conversation with Tim Pearce (sound engineer and tour manager) and Sophie Lascelles (artistic director) was a wonderful experience.  Tim shared his experience going from a London concert promoter to focusing his work around AnDa Union and working to create the documentary “From the Steppes To The City” with his Sophie, his wife.

If you’ve never been to a performance featuring throat singing, you missed out! The singers of AnDa Union filled Baum Walker Hall with their unique sounds; you could feel it in the air in a way videos can’t capture!

Here are a few comments we received from you after the show:

“Beautiful! Amazing voices. I appreciated the background photos that showed life & scenery in Mongolia. Interesting instruments too.”

“AnDa Union – mesmerizing and thrilling”

“I like the funny noises they made and I like all of the songs.” – Owen, 4 years old

“I’m saddle sore – tearing across the grasslands. Thanks”

 

Our next 10x10 performance features the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet! RSVP to the Facebook Event to stay up-to-date with the latest information on the pre-show Creative Conversation, and watch our blog for a Q&A with some of the members this week!

Wednesday
Oct022013

Introducing...Bear State of Mind!

In 2010, Walton Arts Center partnered with Trike Theater to create Digging Up Arkansas – an engaging Arkansas history production for students in grades 3rd through 5th.

Now, a new play has been developed for K-2nd grades, called Bear State of Mind!  WAC, along with partners Trike Theatre, NWA playwright Ashley Edwards and songwriter Shannon Wurst, produced Bear State of Mind as a way to help students learn about Arkansas. The play uses experiential theater techniques, music and puppetry to meet Common Core State Learning Standards, including Arkansas history and social studies curriculums.  Pre- and post-show lesson plans, activities and materials were developed by our Learning & Engagement Team for schools, to deepen students’ understandings of Arkansas history.

More than 2,000 area students from 14 schools have already seen Bear State this year, and seeing them experience this show has been great!

The story is about Bear, who travels through three of Arkansas’ geographic regions and meets new friends and uncovers native wildlife, folklore and state symbols. The unique staging of the play makes the most of 5-8 year olds’ natural tendency to explore their surroundings; seating them under a tree canopy in a “Magical Forest” to help facilitate their physical participation in the performance.   

Students at a performance of Bear State of Mind. Photos by Ironside Photograpy.

As the students entered the Bear State campground in Starr Theater, they couldn’t contain their excitement! “Wow!” “It’s so dark!” “Oo!” They turned to their friends and giggled in excitement as they followed their teachers inside.

The children sat on their sleeping bags and tarps around the campfire, full of energy, excitement and wonder. Their heads whipped around each time a new sound came through the speakers, crickets and cicadas chirping, a bird’s song, frogs croaking.

Bear State performers Jason Suel, (top right) Shannon Wurst and Julie Gabel. Photos by Ironside Photography.

Performances like Bear State and DUA allow us to bring these benefits to the classroom, and reach students who may not otherwise have access to these opportunities! A recent study showed that field trips to WAC provide students with long term benefits, like higher tolerance and empathy and a desire to participate in cultural activities. For a synopsis of the recent WAC study, visit EducationNext

Check out these comments from teachers who brought their classes to see Bear State:

  • “One of the best performances I have ever attended with students!” Anne Garrett, Root Elementary, Kindergarten
  • “This was a fantastic performance! Students were actively engaged the entire time.  I can’t wait to get back and discuss the content with them.”  Root Elementary Teacher, Grade 1
  • “I have always enjoyed Walton Arts Center performances, and this was the best – aligned with expectations for student learning.”  Delia Gorder, Root Elementary, Grade 1
  • “Fantastic and engaging show.  Relevant to our kids’ lives and super interesting.  Lots of details & hidden surprises.  Our kids loved it!”  Ms. Ogle, Washington Elementary, Grade 1
  • “Probably the best show we have seen!  Very entertaining and age appropriate!”  Washington Elementary Teacher – Grade 1

Bear State performers Shannon Wurst, Jason Suel and Julie Gabel. Photos by Ironside Photography.

 

Thursday
Sep262013

10x10 Arts Series Kick-off with AnDa Union!

We’re excited to kick-off our 10x10 Arts Series next Friday, Oct. 4 with AnDa Union! This amazing musicians and vocalists are unlike anything hosted on the WAC stage before. Coming from nearly 7,000 miles away, the young musicians in AnDa Union take you on a hauntingly beautiful musical journey, uniting the diverse traditions and styles of both Inner and Outter Mongolia through all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.

AnDa Union

We had the chance to ask the performers a few questions! Check out band members Saikhannakhaa and Chinggel's answers below, and then watch a video of them performing.

  • What are you most looking forward to on this US Tour?

We love playing concerts!

  • What is your favorite Mongolian tradition? 

Mongolian music

  • What size of audiences and whom do you typically perform for in Inner Mongolia? 

Over 1,000 people – especially younger people. 

  • How did you learn how to play your instrument? When?

We trained at music school from the age of 13. 

  • What makes you unique from other performers?

The way we combine Mongolian music and singing style.

  • What are 3 goals of your performances?

That the audience have a good time, that they learn about Mongolian culture and that they leave feeling the world is a better place.

  • What do you want audiences to walk away with?

Happy memories of our music, culture and grasslands.

  • Was there some great advice you received as you began your artistic journey? 

Be true to your music and your heart.  

  • Is there something you enjoy collecting?  

Instruments! And music. 

  • What profession other than yours would you most like to attempt? 

A teacher, or maybe start a Mongolian restaurant.  

 

  

Tickets are still available, so help us welcome these amazing musicians to NWA! Join the Facebook Event to stay up to date with all the information on our pre-show Creative Conversation with a member of the AnDa Union team, and the post-show party where you can mingle with the performers and enjoy a signature 10x10 cocktail!

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