Hillcrest Ensemble to perform at Full Moon Concert Sept. 13

Ponca City Now - September 3, 2019 9:04 am

TONKAWA — “Hillcrest Ensemble” will perform “The Great American Songbook” at the upcoming Full Moon Concert Friday, Sept. 13 in Tonkawa Centennial Park, 301 East Grand in Tonkawa.

Eight area musicians will present American Standards – including classics such as Blue Moon, Heart and Soul, Sentimental Journey, Georgia on My Mind, All of Me, In the Mood, On the Sunny Side of the Street and more popular favorites. Come enjoy Tonkawa’s Full Moon Concert and hum along to tunes that have lasted the test of time!

Members of the Hillcrest Ensemble are Denise Jones, clarinet; Paul Parma, bass; Kevin Roe, tenor saxophone; Larry Lenhart, guitar; Suzi Lenhart, vocals; Mary Jane Barraclough, soprano; Mike Seals, jazz piano and Don Long, drums.

Denise Jones received her BFA degree in music education from Wichita State University and taught band for two years in Wichita and 26 years in Ponca City. She played bassoon with the Mariah Trio and with various local groups, and serves on the Arts Adventure Foundation board of directors. Denise and her husband Stan reside in Ponca City.

Paul Parma received his Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Tulsa and his Master’s degree in music from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Paul teaches guitar at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa.

Kevin Roe grew up in Muskogee and earned a Bachelor’s degree in music from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Along with performing the tenor saxophone and bass, Kevin is a retired firefighter, and works as a 911 dispatcher in Ponca City. He married his high school sweetheart 44 years ago and lives in Newkirk.

Larry Lenhart, a Ponca City native, earned his Master of Science in education from Arizona State University and retired from teaching math at Ponca City High School.  Larry took guitar lessons and taught at Bill Pruitt’s Music Studio in Ponca City in the 1960s, and has played early rock & roll and country music in various bands over the years.

Suzi Lenhart is a vocal, recorder and piano instructor and has been teaching in her Ponca City studio for 37 years. Prior to that, she taught public school music in Arizona and Wisconsin.  She holds both Bachelor and Master degrees in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Suzi and Larry Lenhart have been married 44 years.

Mary Jane Barraclough is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s Conservatory of Music in Kansas City. She is well known for her musical and theatrical talents and has performed on the stage of Ponca Playhouse, with the Choral Arts Society of Northern Oklahoma and the Baptist Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma. Mary Jane is especially proud of a nearly 40-year career as vocal music instructor in the Ponca City School system. She and her husband Stanley live in Ponca City.

Mike Seals earned a BA degree in jazz piano performance from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, and a Master’s degree in jazz studies from Rowan University, Glassboro, NF. For 10 years, he played piano as a member of the U.S. Army Band program, and worked overseas for nearly 30 years, with 26 years in Kuwait. There he had two bands, “The Kuwait Jazz Trio,” and a rock cover band called “Bar None.” Mike and his wife, Kym (Long) returned to Ponca City in 2018 after Mike taught music for a year at Rowan University.

Don Long played drums at Ponca City Jr. High and High School Bands under directors Wayne Hartman and A.H. “Pete” Long.  As a student at Oklahoma A & M College, (now OSU), he was a drummer for the R.O.T.C Band and the Ashley H. Alexander Jr. Dance Band before returning to Ponca and organizing his own band. Don joined Les Gilliam’s western swing “Silver Lake Band” in 1992, performing for 22 years in a multi-state region. In 2014, Don and each member of the Silver Lake Band were inducted into the Cowtown Society of Western Music in Mineral Wells, Texas.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free to all. In case of inclement weather, the performance will take place in the Santa Fe Depot across the street from the park. Since permanent seating in the park is limited, the public is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and snacks. Pets on leashes are welcome. Restroom facilities are located in the Santa Fe Depot.

During the evening, time will be scheduled for all to walk the world’s only heart-shaped labyrinth under the light of the full moon. The walk concludes with the traditional howl at the moon from the labyrinth goal.

The North Central Oklahoma Arts Council and Heart in the Park Committee sponsor the free concerts held May through October at 7:30 p.m. on the night of the full moon.

Audrey Schmitz, Chair of the Full Moon Concert Series, said “We are happy to support diversity in live musical performance in north central Oklahoma and to provide outstanding experiences for both the musicians and concert attendees.”

The final concert in the series is set for Sunday, Oct. 13, with a performance by “Morgan,” a band returning by popular demand after their 2018 Full Moon Concert debut.




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