Jerry & Friends to appear at Full Moon Concert Aug. 15

Ponca City Now - August 5, 2019 5:45 pm

TONKAWA — “Jerry & Friends” will perform “Best of Broadway” at the upcoming Full Moon Concert Thursday, Aug. 15, in Tonkawa Centennial Park, 301 East Grand in Tonkawa.

Six of Oklahoma’s most talented musicians will present Broadway through the years – a trip to the Great White Way!  From Irving Berlin’s charming “It’s a Lovely Day Today” to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s soaring “Phantom of the Opera” to Pasek & Paul’s “Dear Evan Hansen” and everything in between, everyone is invited to enjoy Tonkawa’s Full Moon Concert: New York City style. It will include the music of George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jason Robert Brown, Jonathan Larson and more!

Joining Jerry Steichen on the piano are Dineo Heilmann, clarinet; Shannon Varner, soprano; Hailey Hatfield, mezzo; Chad Anderson, tenor; and Gonzalo de la Fuente, baritone.

Steichen, director of the concert, remarks, “We are so fortunate to be part of a thriving arts community here in north central Oklahoma.”

Jerry Steichen is proud of his Tonkawa heritage.  He has lived in New York City for the past 30 years – conducting Broadway shows, operas and symphonies around the world – but still finds time to return “home” to Tonkawa to share his passion and his love of music and theater with his hometown. He most recently accepted the position of Music Director of Longview Symphony in Longview, Texas.

Dineo Heilmann has performed with the NOC Gala Orchestra since 1996, and was recent guest soloist with the NWOSU Wind Ensemble and the Ponca City High School Wind Ensemble.  His favorite performance was with Maestro Jerry Steichen, and Violist Dorian Rence in the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial benefit performance for Heart in the Park. Heilmann retired from NOC in 2019 with a distinguished career in teaching, and as Roustabouts director and Fine Arts Division chair.

Shannon Varner instructs voice and conducts the College Choir and Madrigal Singers at NOC. Musicals she has directed include Footloose, 110 in the Shade and Beauty and the Beast, and she has worked with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra in the Civic Center Pops Chorale. Varner performs alongside her colleagues and students for the Ponca City Arts Council in its Concert in the Park series to share musical theatre works with the community.

Chad Anderson is NOC’s Director of Music Theatre and has performed, taught and directed in the Oklahoma City area since 2000. He is a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Pops Chorale and a frequent performer with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, performing roles in shows such as Footloose,  Jekyll & HydeBye Bye Birdie, Disney’s Tarzan Mary PoppinsBig FishBilly ElliotLes MisérablesThe Drowsy Chaperone and this summer’s Titanic.

Hailey Hatfield is a junior musical theatre major at the University of Central Oklahoma. Favorite roles include Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. She received a nomination for Best Supporting actress at the DSM theatre awards for her performances as Marmee in Little Women.

Gonzalo Aburto de la Fuente was born in Mexico City, and is currently a student at Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at the University of Oklahoma. Some credits include Fector in Dogfight, Witt/Scullery Worker in Grand Hotel, Prince Topher in R & H Cinderella, and Kit Kat Club Performer in the upcoming production of Cabaret. He cannot wait to share his passion with the lovely people of Tonkawa, Oklahoma. Boomer!

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free to all. In case of inclement weather, the concert 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 across the street 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.

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


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