The Barton County Arts Council invites romantics to spend an evening with a loved one, enjoying wine, hors d’oeuvres, fine art and a concert featuring Gary Gackstatter on Saturday. Reservations are $30 per person and will benefit the Arts Council and its support of the arts in central Kansas.
The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Barton County Arts Center, 1401 Main Street, Great Bend, with a silent auction of original artworks by local, regional and nationally recognized artists. Donations of artworks and other items are still being accepted, said Karen Neuforth, executive director of the Arts Center.
Following the silent auction, a set of Stan Herd’s Kansas Scenic Byways Blue Ribbon Signed Prints will be sold at a "live" auction. This set of prints has been donated by the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway committee, and funds raised from them will be designated for development of art along the Byway.
The concert featuring Gackstatter will cap off the evening. He’ll be playing mandolin and flugelhorn, and joined by Chris Mayer, who plays hand drums and percussion instruments from all over the world.
An active artist, composer, conductor, clinician, performer and teacher, Gackstatter has appeared at The Back Room many times. He has been teaching at St. Louis Community College Meramec as coordinator of music and conductor of the Symphonic Band and Meramec Orchestra since 2007. He has served as conductor at Cowley College, Southwestern College and Wichita State University, and has 12 years of public school teaching experience.
Gackstatter has composed five symphonies combining music with other arts, and has arranged symphony debuts for Trio Globo, Three Dog Night, Kansas, John Gorka, Barbara Higbie, John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin and the Paul Winter Consort. He has conducted premiere performances of Elmer Bernstein film scores To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Escape, and two symphonies by cellist Eugene Friesen: Grasslands and "Carl Sandburg’s Prairie," which combine symphony, dancers, masked actors, choir and artworks.
His latest venture, Pen and Ink, is a collection of his artwork and writings.
Tickets are available weekday afternoon at the Arts Center. For more information call (620) 792-4221.