Community Ed.

AboutSenior Site PerformersSchool Site Performers

The Community Education Committee through its programs and activities, helps Wheatland Music meet its mission to serve as a resource center and preserve and present traditional music and arts. The Community Education committee helps select and coordinate the artists who present workshops, assemblies, or residencies in the School and Senior Program and plans the annual Traditional Arts Weekend held every year on the Wheatland grounds during Memorial Day weekend. In addition, it schedules art classes, dance lessons, coordinates the area Library Project, and provides subsidized instrument lessons for all ages. Wheatland also has loaner instruments available for lessons to help people get started playing an instrument. We have also offered Saturday fiddle workshops for all skill levels and two clogging classes.

Through these efforts over 14,000 children and adults are served each year. Community Education welcomes your participation as a committee member or as a representative of a non-profit organization if you would like to collaborate on a project. We are also looking for contact/coordinating people in area schools. If you are willing to act in that capacity please let us know. The committee selects the artists, usually in the spring, summer, and early fall, for their expertise and ability to present a high quality, developmentally appropriate arts experience. Past performance evaluations and availability of printed educational curriculum is also taken into account. Artists are offered to children and adult sites in the nine primary counties of Mecosta, Isabella, Gratiot, Midland, Clare, Osceola, Newaygo, Lake, and Montcalm served by WMO’s Community Education Outreach Program.

Wheatland Music Organization, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and provides programs and services without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or handicap. If your site is outside of our primary service area, as a resource center, we are glad to share with you information about how to contact any of our artists for a residence or workshop.

Ted Bailey (209x250)TED BAILEY                    Sticks and Strings

Presenting: Small Group Performances
Ages: Older Adults
Dates: Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost: $75-$125 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation: $25 a performance

Ted Bailey, of Mt. Pleasant, MI began playing guitar when he was just nine years old and has been playing for sixty years.  Ted will perform for you a wide variety of old hymns and old-timey fiddle tunes which allow for musical expression and bring back fond memories for the listener.  He also performs with the band Sticks & Stringsa two to four person group including ukulele, hammered dulcimer, D whistle and upright bass.
*Sticks & Strings is available for special occasions.

 

MARK BAUMANN                                        Traditional Folk Songs and Ballads

Mark and Mark
Presenting:  Small Group Performances
Ages:  Older Adults
Dates:  Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost:  $75-$125 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation:  $25 a performance

Mark Baumann, from Mecosta, MI, is joined by Mark Ray, also from Mecosta.  Mark and Mark play and sing folk songs, ballads, classic country, and popular songs from earlier times.  Their instruments include guitar, dobro, and now and then the banjo.  They do the songs that you will remember from years ago!

 

KATHY HAGEN                                                              Hammered Dulcimer

Kathy Hagen (491x435) (250x221)
Presenting: Small Group Performances
Ages: Older Adults
Dates: May – November; Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost: $75-$100 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation: $25 a performance

Kathy Hagen, from Alma, MI, has been playing hammered dulcimer since 1985 and teaching others to play since 1986.  While any type of music can be played on the dulcimer, Kathy plays traditional, bluegrass, folk, and classical.  Among other locations she has played at various Senior Centers and Nursing Homes in the Central Michigan area, along with her sister and brother-in-law Sue and Glynn Russell and The Broken Glass String Band.  Some oldies you will hear Kathy play are Five Foot Two, Tick Tock Polka, Red Wing, You Are My Sunshine and I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad.  People are welcome to sing along.

 

THE FABULOUS HEFTONES                      Early 1900’s Popular Music
heftonesgardenPresenting:  Small Group Performances
Ages:  Older Adults
Dates:  Available on Fridays with two weeks prior notice
Our Cost:  $150 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation:  $25 a performance

Lynn Hershberger-Hefferan and Brian Hefferan are The Fabulous Heftones.  Based in Lansing, Michigan, they have been performing love songs and novelty numbers in the genre called “Tin Pan Alley” since 2006.  Using a heftone, kazoo and ukulele they play the tunes and ditties of the 1920’s and more.  Add to that whistling and vocals and you have a performance that goes beyond mere entertainment.

 

WANDA DEGEN                                              Contemporary & Traditional Acoustic Music

Wanda

Only available in Mt. Pleasant / Alma / St. Louis Area
Presents: Small Group Performances / Christmas Program
Ages:  Older Adults
Dates:  Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost:  $250 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation:  $25 a performance

Wanda Degen is a mainstay of the Lansing area’s vibrant music community and has performed extensively all around Michigan and well beyond.  She presents an entertaining program featuring songs of our northern Michigan heritage using various instruments such as autoharp, hammered dulcimer or mountain dulcimer, Wanda combines logging songs and sailing songs with descriptions and brief histories of her unique instruments.  Active audience participation is encouraged through easy sing-alongs, clap-alongs and a volunteer old time rhythm band that concludes the performance.

ANDREW KAPANOWSKI                                                     1920’s – 1950’s Sing-Alongs

andrew kapanowski (431x500) (216x250)

Presenting: Small Group Performances
Ages: Older Adults
Dates: Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost: $75-$125 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation: $25 a performance

Andrew Kapanowski, from Dexter, MI, is an optometry student at Ferris State University.  He plays music from the 1920s-1950s, the music many seniors grew up listening to.  He sings some of the songs and enjoys getting residents to sing along with him.  Some songs he will play without singing, and then will ask the residents what the name of the song was – a “Name That Tune” game. The residents always love it, and it really helps to get people involved in the music.  Andrew plays swings, polkas, rhumbas, cha-chas, waltzes, and frequently gets residents who will dance along to the music.  He always ends his programs with a medley of the armed forces songs, and a short version of God Bless America. To this day, he still plays in the first facility to ever book him when he was sixteen years old.  He is honored to be able to spend time with people of this generation, and to brighten their days with music.

 

DAVE LEONARD                                                        Old Time/Celtic/Folk Tunes
Dave L (204x250)Presenting: Small Group Performances
Ages: Older Adults
Dates: Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost: $75-$100 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation: $25 a performance

Dave Leonard, from Shepherd, MI, sings and plays the fiddle, hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki and claw-hammer banjo.  He plays a wide variety of old ballads, folk tunes and instrumentals of Irish, Scottish, English and American Appalachian roots.  Dave is also a member of Tinkers Folly, a trio that performs a variety of vocal and instrumental tunes from the Celtic, Old Time and Maritime genre.
*Tinkers Folly is available for special occasions.

 

DAVID MARASUS                                            Piano Entertainment
Dave M
Presenting: Small Group Performances
Ages: Older Adults
Dates: April – December, Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost: $75-$100 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation: $25 a performance

David Marasus, from Canadian Lakes, MI, has been performing for the past 56 years.  He offers a wide variety of musical tunes including gospel, classical and old standards from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  Each show provides a pleasant blend of both instrumental tunes and sing-a-longs.  David does have a small piano that he can bring with him to your facility if you do not have an available piano.

 

NATHAN MYERS                                                    Blues & Jazz Guitar
005 (250x185)
Presenting:  Small Group Performances
Ages:  Older Adults
Dates:  Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost:  $75-$125 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation:  $25 a performance

Nathan Myers, from Stanwood, MI, performs easy listening instrumental guitar solos with a jazz and blues feel.  He is accompanied by accomplished saxophonist, Gene Harris.  They will play upbeat swing tunes, well known standards and ballads.    Nathan is a long time participant in the Central Michigan music scene.  He is also an accomplished music instructor in private lessons and through the Wheatland Music Organization’s Community Education lesson program.  Nathan will be glad to talk with the audience about what he is playing.

WILLOW ROBINSON                                           American Folk Music
hp photosmart 720
Presenting:  Small Group Performances
Ages:  Older Adults
Dates:  Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost:  $75-$125 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation:  $25 a performance

Willow Robinson, from Hersey, MI, performs American Traditional music including Bluegrass, Old Time Folk and Great Lakes-based songs as well as her own original music.  In addition to performing the music, Willow will tell stories about the music and give some background about the autoharps and fiddles she uses.  The audience is often urged to participate.

 

STEVE TROYER                                                            “One Man Band”
Steve Troyer (169x250)
*Only available from Big Rapids to the West
Presenting: Small Group Performances
Ages: Older Adults
Dates: Two weeks prior notice
Our Cost: $75-$100 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation: $25 a performance

Steve Troyer, from Muskegon, MI, plays a wide variety of your old time favorites from Blueberry Hill and Chantilly Lace to Love Me Tender and Moon River; Steve’s got something for everyone.  Steve has been playing guitar since 1964 and specializes in old campfire cowboy songs like that of Roy Rogers.  The “One Man Band” includes Steve’s vocals, guitar skills, bass pedals and a harmonizer.

 

ANN & ELDON WHITFORD                       Vintage Country and Western Music
EldonAnn-12 (250x227)
Presenting:   Small Group Performances
Ages:  Older Adults
Dates:  May-October; Two weeks prior notice                  
Our Cost:  $75-$125 a performance
Your Cost/Share Donation:  $25 a performance

     The Whitfords, from Reed City, MI, perform vintage western and country music, doing it the traditional way.  They will take you back to a time when the music we listened to came from our kitchens and living rooms, churches and dance halls, as well as from our radios.   Most of our music was self-made, when life was simpler and more genuine. 
     Their songs come from Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Gene Autry, and many other artists from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  With Eldon on his Gibson flattop guitar, and Ann on upright bass, singing those great old songs, they present a program that especially appeals to and will be remembered by senior audiences.
     With their top-drawer instrumental work and tight vocal harmonies, you will find your feet tapping, your emotions flowing and you may just find yourself singing or dancing along!  For more information about The Whitfords and their musical performances, go to www.thewhitfordsmusic.com.

From February 17-18 Elementary Schools in Barryton & Mecosta were given workshops and performances by Matt Watoba and Robert Jones in celebration of Black History Month.  Together they present a tremendous program entitled “Celebrating Cultural Diversity” which is rich in African American history and the Roots of American Music.  The 45-60 minute program introduces key American historical music figures and points out where their music has intersected with African American, Native American and Latino musical influences.

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