The yearly tradition of the Pittsburg Festival of the Arts has come once again, featuring a variety of performances and artistic presentations ranging from the traditional classical music concert to screenings of classic films in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall.
Starting on Sunday, Jun. 13 and ending on Saturday, Jun. 19, the Pittsburg State University department of music hosted the ninth annual Pittsburg Festival of the Arts. The festival featured many different kinds of concerts branching out from musical offerings in previous years. The festival began with the Jazz at Dusk concert on Sunday, Jun. 13 featuring the Summer Kicks Jazz Band. The festival unfolded with several night concerts and afternoon concerts.
“We invite people to bring a beverage from one of the nearby coffee houses or bring a lunch from home or a nearby restaurant, to enjoy the live music,” said Raul Munguia, professor of music and organizer of the festival. “This region has a reputation for talent in the arts. It’s one of the things that attracted our family to this community, and one of the reasons we’ve stayed. We’re looking forward to being able to showcase that for local audiences as well as visitors who come here seeking opportunities like these.”
On Monday, Jun. 14, the festival continued with a performance by the Ortolani Family Band at the Evergy Courtyard at noon at Block22. The concert was performed by local musician James Ortolani of the J3 band and his sons Andrew, a senior in biology education, and Josh, an incoming freshman in plastics engineering. In the evening, the Paul Bergant Lobby of the Bicknell Family Center of the Arts hosted a concert entitled “Latin Flair” and featured Munguia and professor of music at Fort Scott Community College Denissa Rivas under the name “Duo Capriccioso.”
On Tuesday, Jun. 15, Munguia and collaborative pianist Robert Endsor gave a concert entitled “Clara and the Mighty B’s.” The concert featured music by Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms (the titular “Mighty B’s” according to musicologists) as well as Romantic era composer Clara Schumann.
On Wednesday, Jun. 16, the noon concert featured the Pittsburg Brass Quintet made up of senior in music education Tyler Fries and professor of music Todd Hastings on trumpet, director of bands at Pittsburg High School Cooper Neil on French horn, professors of music Robert Kehle and Doug Whitten on trombone and tuba, respectively. The evening concert was entitled “Kaleidoscope of Styles” and featured performances by local musicians from the Pittsburg area.
On Thursday, Jun. 17, there was no evening concert, but the noon slot was filled by acoustic musician Tim Nowell in the Evergy Courtyard at Block22.
On Friday, Jun. 18, the noon concert was the Harmony Hill String Band, a country/bluegrass band and the evening slot was filled by screenings of two movies in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall of “Road to Bali” and “A Royal Wedding.”
The festival concluded with a grand finale concert on Saturday, Jun. 19 featuring a variety of performers in the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to once again give local musicians, singers, and audiences opportunities for live experiences,” Munguia said.