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John McCutcheon to give HBPA benefit concert

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HESSTON, KAN. – John McCutcheon will take the stage Friday, April 24, at Hesston Mennonite Church for an evening of music and stories. The 7:30 p.m. concert will benefit the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts (HBPA) endowment.

“John McCutcheon is a long time favorite of local audiences,” commented Matt Schloneger, HBPA chair. “He is folk music’s renaissance man – a master instrumentalist, powerful singer-songwriter, storyteller, activist and author.”

As an instrumentalist, McCutcheon has mastered a dozen traditional instruments, most notably the hammer dulcimer. His songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe. His 30 recordings have garnered numerous honors including seven Grammy® nominations.

McCutcheon has produced more than 20 albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works. His books and instructional materials have introduced budding players to the joys of their own musicality. And his commitment to grassroots political organizations has put him on the front lines of many of the issues important to communities and worker.

The April 24 concert will be McCutcheon’s fifth HBPA appearance, stretching back more than 20 years to a 1987 performance for what was then the Hesston Performing Arts series.

HBPA committee members planned the concert to leverage an opportunity to start an endowment with the assistance of the Central Kansas Community Foundation (CKCF). The foundation has a program to assist local arts organizations in the creation of an endowment. CKCF will provide matching funds to HBPA with an initial minimum contribution of $10,000.

“Now is the time,” Schloneger said. “This CKCF program ends after 2009, so this is our opportunity. Besides, what better time to start an endowment than when the market has nowhere to go but up?”

HBPA patrons have underwritten concert expenses so all ticket revenues will benefit the endowment. Tickets range from $25 to $30. A special premium ticket ($100) offers best reserved seating and a post-concert reception with McCutcheon.

For tickets or more information, call 620-327-8158 or 316-284-2505 or e-mail

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