17 entertainment acts to perform at 2-day Nescatunga Arts Festival

Seventeen diverse acts are scheduled to entertain inside the Alva Recreation Complex, 1887 Goldbug Blvd., while shoppers visit the fine artists and crafters booths for the 53rd Nescatunga Arts Festival May 31-June 1.

A special opening ceremony will be June 1 at 8:30 a.m. in the Pete and Ruth Leslie Fieldhouse with the Alva Boy Scouts, who will present the colors and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Joplin Bradt, the 12-year-old daughter of Cara and Nick Bradt of Alva, will be singing the National Anthem. In the fall, she will be in the seventh grade at Alva Middle School.

A prayer will be led by Sheryl White, pastor of the Alva Church of God.

Alva Chamber of Commerce Board president JoDe Bradt will welcome everyone to the full day of festival fun on behalf of the City of Alva.

Jerad Bradt and the crew with Boss Music will be providing the sound for the entertainment.

A full listing of the entertainment schedule for the two days of the festival is below along with brief bios of each act set to perform.

Nescatunga Entertainment Schedule

Friday, May 31

4 p.m. / Carly Tate

Singer/songwriter and live musician Carly Tate plays electric and acoustic guitar. Her genre typically falls within pop-soul and the blues. She currently is attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she is earning her degree in music production.

5 p.m. / Fred Riggins

Fred Riggins is a graduate of both Alva High School and Northwestern Oklahoma State University. When he is not singing on the praise team at the Alva Church of God, he can be found entertaining residents at The Homestead, and Beadles and Share nursing homes.

Riggins enjoys playing the guitar and singing the tunes of John Denver and Willie Nelson, along with many other country gospel songs. This year marks 53 years of marriage to his wife, Sherry. The couple loves spending time with their kids, 10 grandkids and great grandson.

6 p.m. / Jenna Swenson

Jenna Swenson is a 21-year-old musician, who has been singing since she could talk. She teaches first through fourth grade general elementary music at Horace Mann Elementary School in Woodward and offers private music lessons.

7 p.m. / Max Ridgway, David Engle and Robert Ford

Max Ridgway studied guitar with Jon Damian at Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1990, summa cum laude. He holds a master’s degree in music education from NWOSU where he currently teaches as an adjunct instructor. He has recorded numerous albums of jazz and ambient music and is the author of several books on a variety of subjects. He performs frequently at a variety of venues as a jazz guitar soloist, with his band, the Max Ridgway Trio, and as a guest guitarist with David Engle and Robert Ford. See maxridgway.com for more information about his music and books.

David Engle plays guitar and was a music minor at NWOSU. He has recorded a few self-released albums with local musicians. Some of the noteworthy bands that David has been in or is a member of are Destiny, The Imposters, Mother Nature’s Eyeball and David Engle & Jeff McAlpin. These acts have opened for Dr. Hook, Lariat (Ricochet), Great Divide, Highway 101, Navel Felts & Michael Hearne. His main influences are The Beatles, Eric Clapton and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Currently, Engle performs acoustically with help from Max Ridgway, Robert Ford and Jeff McAlpin. Through a twist of fate David, Robert and Max are the unofficial house band at Cafe Bahnhof in Waynoka. Find him at facebook.com/davidenglemusic.

Robert Ford is a self-taught drummer from Gage. He began seriously playing the drums at the age of 12. During high school he was in the Tri-State Honor Chorus for four years. He then studied at NWOSU in Alva for two years as a music major and finished there with a 3.95 GPA. He has been in many bands over the years in Oklahoma and Colorado as a drummer and backup harmony vocalist. He currently plays in the Country Justice Band as well as with David Engle, Max Ridgway and Jeff McAlpin.

8 p.m. / Shades of Beige (Madison Hofen, Isi Ofiu, Kalynn Samples)

Shades of Beige is a trio made up of Madison Hofen and Kaylnn Samples both of Alva and Isi Ofiu of Burlington. They specialize in cover songs by a variety of different artists and genres. The trio has performed at numerous events including the Nescatunga Arts Festival, Citizen’s Choice Awards Gala in Alva, and Liberal’s Food Truck Saturday Festival in Liberal, Kansas.

8:30 p.m. / Jessica Goucher

Jessica Goucher is an Alva native who graduated from Waynoka High School in 2023. She grew up being heavily involved in athletics and music. Goucher is currently a sophomore pre-nursing major at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. After receiving her degree, she wants to go overseas and work as a missionary travel nurse helping others.

Saturday, June 1

9 a.m. / Standing Ovations Dance Troupe

Standing Ovations Dance Studio is run by Kim Foster and her daughter, Natasha Foster. The studio offers a variety of classes including tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, pointe and clogging. At Nescatunga, audience members will be able to watch dancers ages 2 through high school.

9:30 a.m. / Victoria Moreira

Hailing from the Chicago area, Victoria Moreira earned her bachelor’s degree in music performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She obtained her master’s degree in music performance from the University of Oregon. A renowned flutist, Moreira is a highly regarded teacher. She currently teaches as an adjunct instructor of music at NWOSU. She is also the co-founding member and personnel manager of Achelois Collective—a women-led artist ensemble dedicated to promoting the music of women of color. She serves as the Executive Director of the Enid Symphony Orchestra.

10 a.m. / Lane Haas and the Heelers

The Lane Haas Band was formed in March 2017 while Lane Haas was still in high school at South Central High School-USD 300 in Coldwater, Kansas. The band has gone through numerous lineup changes and music styles. What started as a honky-tonk country band has now blossomed into a four-piece blistering, red dirt, rock n’ roll band featuring brothers Koy Thomas and Karak Thompson in the rhythm section while Wyatt Wilson and Haas handle guitar and vocal duties.

Haas released one solo album in the fall of 2017, and the band released its debut, self-titled album in the summer of 2021 that shows its true sound. The band was rebranded Lane Haas and The Heelers following Wyatt Wilson’s departure from the band and has continued as a trio playing at bars, dance halls, and festivals.

11 a.m. / Seedy Company (Jordan Ross & Robert Gaskill)

Seedy Company consists of the brother/sister, singer/songwriter duo of Robert Gaskill and Jordan Ross, who are originally from Waynoka. Their musical influences come from traditional and outlaw country artists like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harris, and they have a love for storytelling ballads.

Robert has been writing songs for a couple of years and has performed at songwriter showcases in Tulsa. He and Jordan, who works locally as a physical therapist, recently teamed up to sing covers of their musical influences. A third musician, Sage Cook, also from Waynoka, joins the pair occasionally for shows.

Noon / Madison Hofen

Alva native Madison Hofen is a singer who earned a Bachelor of Music degree, with an emphasis in vocal performance, from NWOSU. She has performed at numerous events including church conferences, arts festivals, weddings, and more. Hofen is the Director of Worship Music at Hopeton Church. In August, Hofen will start teaching at South Barber Public Schools as the K-12 elementary music teacher, band director, and choir director. Hofen has a 4-year-old son named Ira.

12:30 p.m. / Nick and Cara Bradt

Nick and Cara Bradt began their relationship 20 years ago, playing tuba in the NWOSU Ranger Band. Presently, the couple works together at Alva High School where Nick teaches speech, theatre, and debate, and Cara is the librarian. When they are not at school they can be found with their two awesome kiddos, serving in their church, and making music for their enjoyment. Creating alternative arrangements of jazz, pop and country, the Bradt's music is best described as eclectic acoustic.

1 p.m. / The Alva FUMC 3 (Joplin Bradt, Kaylee Eckhardt, Merritt Mantz)

The Alva FUMC 3 is a girl’s vocal group that began in the fall of 2023 at the Alva First United Methodist Church. With a lovely blend, the ladies bring joy and beautiful harmony to the music they perform. The group includes Joplin Bradt (7th grade) daughter of Nick and Cara Bradt of Alva; Kaylee Eckhardt (8th grade) daughter of Kyle and Amy Eckhardt of Cherokee; and Merritt Mantz (9th grade) daughter of Tyler and Alex Mantz of Alva.

1:30 p.m. / Aaron and Katelyn Pierce

Aaron Pierce is the middle school and high school vocal teacher for Woodward Public Schools. He is also the traditional worship leader at the First Methodist Church of Woodward. Aaron is a certified vocal music educator with a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from NWOSU. Aaron is currently the vice president of the Western Oklahoma Choral Director’s Association, and in his free time has taught piano lessons.

Katelyn is an elementary music teacher at Cedar Heights Elementary in Woodward, and a part-time contemporary music leader at the First Methodist Church in Woodward. She is certified with a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from NWOSU. Katelyn is also a board member of the nonprofit organization OnStage Woodward, a group that puts on theatre performances in northwest Oklahoma. In her free time, Katelyn also has a private voice studio. Katelyn and Aaron love spending time with their two children.

2 p.m. / Cairde na Gael

Cairde na Gael performs Irish traditional dance tunes, ballads and pub songs, combined with a bit of original music as well. With Kelly Lamb and Michael Roohan on vocals, Eric Ryan-Johnson on fiddle and bouzouki, and Gene Curtis on guitar and banjo, Cairde na Gael has been performing in Oklahoma for more than 20 years. Their music is available on all streaming platforms.

3 p.m. / Brooks Hofen

Brooks Hofen is an Alva native with a passion for music. He is currently a pastoral ministry major at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He has performed with various teams and groups over the years such as Electric Gold, Hopeton Church, First Wesleyan Church, OKWU Chapel and many others.

3:30 p.m. / Eric Ryan-Johnson

Eric Ryan-Johnson, originally from Madison, Wisconsin, plays the fiddle and bouzouki with Cairde na Gael and performs as a solo artist. The singer-songwriter performs mostly original songs with acoustic guitar, violin and vocals - a blend of acoustic alt-rock. He has 10 albums available on all streaming platforms. He also teaches Suzuki violin and Irish Fiddle in Tulsa and has taught at workshops, schools, and festivals. Many of his fiddle students play for local dances and have participated in workshops and masterclasses with well-known fiddlers such as Kevin Burke, Brendan Mulvihill, and Liz Carroll.

More information about the Nescatunga Arts Festival may be found at http://www.nescatunga.org or on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook/NescatungaArts.

The Nescatunga Arts Festival is sponsored by the Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Council, Inc., in cooperation with the Alva Chamber of Commerce, the City of Alva Tourism Committee, the City of Alva and the Alva Recreation Complex.

 

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