Saturday's Missouri River Festival of the Arts Bike Tour began its 20th annual ride early Saturday morning. Though the event was not considered a race, 108 riders participated in the 42-mile trek. It preceded an overall 37th Festival of the Arts, with musical performances scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Each Thespian Hall performance begins at 7:30 p.m.
Richard Dutton, a visual artist, will have artwork on display at Boonville's Hain House prior to each concert. Dutton, a life-long artist, taught art at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa for more than 30 years and served as Chair of the Performing and Visual Arts. After retiring from the role of an educator in 1999, he has continued to paint – primarily in watercolor, but also in oil and acrylic. Dutton's work can be viewed in multiple Midwest art collections. His paintings adorn the walls of banks, businesses and various private collectors.
"David Halen and Friends," performing on August 23, will feature a rendition of Dvorak's Piano Quintet and Carmen'ts Fantasy. Grace Fong will be performing alongside Helen Kim, Golden Boyer, Grace Park, Heidi Harris, Erik Harris and Jacob Braun. Halen is currently the concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Having played the violin since age six and earning a bachelor's degree at age 19, he won the Music Teachers National Association Competition and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship Für Musik the same year he graduated. Halen was the youngest ever recipient of the award.
He also holds a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. This is Halen's seventh year as Artistic Director for the Missouri River Festival of the Arts. His long listing of music and directing-related accomplishments are too numerous to print.
August 24's "Bach to the Beatles" performance will see Halen performing with the Beatle's tribute band, Flaming Pie. Though Friday's concert is a series of Beatle's arrangements, Flaming Pie is not exclusive to Beatle's music only. The group also covers The Rolling Stones, The Who, Zombies, The Hollies and other British invasion-termed bands of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Additionally, Led Zeppelin, Badfinger, Elton John, The Cure and David Bowie are covered.
Members include Mark Boatman, who plays guitar, harmonica and vocals, Paul Puricelli, playing guitars, keyboards and vocals, Tim Halls, playing keyboards, vocals and bass, Branko Marusic, playing both drums and vocals and Don Hall, who in addition to being the group's sound engineer, also plays guitar and vocals.
During Saturday's closing performance, pianist Grace Fong will be again be onstage, performing with the Missouri River Festival Chamber Orchestra. The Thespian Hall crowd will hear Mozart's Symphony #29, Mozart's Piano Concerto and Vivaldi. The internationally-known Fong has built a career as a concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and teacher.
Seeing acclaim in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, the pianist has appeared Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, among many others. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and completed undergraduate work at the University of Southern California. Fong has earned both a double major and minor. Currently, she is the Director of Keyboard Studies at Chapman University Conservatory of Music, where she was awarded the Valerie Scudder faculty excellence award. She also serves on the faculty at Claremont Graduate University.