Eleven different and very diverse acts are scheduled to entertain the Nescatunga Arts Festival audience, artists and crafters on Saturday, June 4, on the Woods County Courthouse lawn and bandstand area.
Naicee Gugelmeyer Sutter, a Northwestern Oklahoma State University alumna who teaches Pre-K through second-grade music at the Alva Public Schools and also serves as the music director at the Alva First United Methodist Church, is serving in her first year as the entertainment chairman for the festival. She is married to Matthew Sutter, and the couple has a daughter named Bonnie.
Sutter is no stranger to the area of entertainment as she has performed in both the Northwestern choirs and the Methodist Church choir as a student, and performs at various functions in the area.
She finished her fifth year of teaching in May.
“I enjoy being able to share a variety of music styles and standards with my students, while hopefully instilling a lifetime appreciation of music in each of them,” she said. “Plus, lucky me, I live in Alva, Oklahoma, where there is excellent support for music and the arts.”
She noted that being the entertainment chair this year has been exciting. Her goal has been to highlight some of the local artists while bringing in some artists who haven’t been here for a while or are completely new to Nescatunga and northwest Oklahoma.
“I would like to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy a wonderful day full of art, entertainment and fun right here in beautiful Alva, Oklahoma, including the slate of performers scheduled for the Salt Fork June Jam that will take over when the arts festival ends.”
Nescatunga Entertainment Schedule
Kicking off the arts festival’s morning festivities at 8:30 a.m. on the downtown bandstand stage will be the Alva Boy Scouts, who will present the colors and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The National Anthem will be sung by Alva second-grader Sequin Graves, the daughter of Northwestern rodeo coach Stockton Graves and his wife, Crissi. A prayer will be led by Alva First Christian Church minister Drew Kirtley.
Todd Holder will then welcome everyone to Alva and to the festival and will introduce the morning entertainment emcee, Arden Chaffee of Alva, who will announce the various entertainment acts and announcements from 9-11:45 a.m.
Eugene Blackbear with the Cheyenne Tribal Dancers will emcee from noon to 12:30 p.m. while his group is performing.
Waynoka native Austin Rankin, who just completed his sophomore year at Northwestern as a political science major, will close out the emceeing duties from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Jerad Bradt and crew with Boss Music will be providing the sound all day for the entertainment including the acts scheduled during the Salt Fork June Jam that will take over the stage at the end of the arts festival until 9 p.m.
A list of the entertainment for the day along with the time they will be performing and a little information about each follows:
9 a.m. -- Nick and Cara Bradt
Nick and Cara Bradt are two of the kindest and funniest people. The two met through a mutual friend in college, and both played in the band at Northwestern.
Combining jazz with pop and alternative arrangements, the Bradt’s music can be described as eclectic acoustic.
Nick is the speech and debate teacher at Alva High School, and Cara is the library/media specialist. The couple enjoys spending time with their two young children.
9:30 a.m. - Fred Riggins
Fred Riggins is a graduate of both Alva High School and Northwestern. When he is not singing on the praise team at the Alva Church of God, he can be found entertaining residents at The Homestead, and Beadles and Share nursing homes.
Riggins enjoys playing the guitar and singing the tunes of John Denver and Willie Nelson, along with many other country gospel songs.
This year marks 51 years of marriage to his wife, Sherry. The couple loves spending time with their kids and 10 grandkids.
10 a.m. – Standing Ovations Dance Studio
Standing Ovations Dance Studio is run by Kim Foster and her daughter, Natasha Foster. The pair believes every child should be a star. The studio offers a variety of classes including tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, pointe and clogging. At Nescatunga, audience members will be able to watch dancers ages 2 through high school.
10:30 Rachel Spellman-Hughes
Rachel Spellman-Hughes is no stranger to the Nescatunga Arts Festival audience as she has served the group as its past entertainment, food booth and publicity chair for many years. She said she looks forward to singing at the event this year.
The Alva High School graduate married Darren Hughes on April 9, 2022. She attended Northwestern as a music major. She currently is the deputy in the Woods County Treasurer’s office and also has been a real estate agent for 12-plus years with Kohlrus Real Estate.
She said she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, which includes children Carter, Stephanie and Nicole. She also likes to play cornhole, go to NASCAR races, ride motorcycles with her husband, and singing.
11-11:45 The Vintage Wildflowers
The Vintage Wildflowers from Tulsa is a musical group that combines Celtic, bluegrass and folk music into their performances.
Abby Casper is on fiddle, guitar, accordion and harmony vocals; Audrey McSperitt Schmidt has lead vocals, guitar, bodhran, and Irish flute/whistle; and Dana Fitzgerald Maher is on the Celtic harp, piano, harmony vocals, and Irish whistle.
The trio has released four albums: The Upstairs Sessions (2010), Lovely Madness (2011), In Full Bloom (2014), and Tangled Roots (2020).
Earning national and global acclaim, The Vintage Wildflowers’ music can be heard on radio stations from Alaska to the British Isles. They have performed everywhere from the Claremore Bluegrass and Chili Festival, to the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas, to the iconic Route 66 landmark Coleman Theatre (Miami, Oklahoma), and the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, the OKMozart House Concert Series, the Summerstage Festival, the American Heritage Music Festival, the Champagne Urbana Folk and Roots Festival, Americana Unplugged, and The Midwest Harp Festival.
More information at www.vintagewildflowers.com.
Noon -- Cheyenne Tribal Dancers
The Cheyenne Tribal Dancers are from the Watonga/El Reno area. The group is led by Eugene Blackbear, Cheyenne elder, who will serve as the emcee during the group’s performance. This group of men and women dancers will showcase their talents through traditional tribal dancing. Some of their dances include the Fancy Shawl Dance, Cheyenne War Dance, Jingle Dress Dance and Cloth Dress Dance.
12:30 p.m. -- Drew Faulkner
Raised in the Oklahoma panhandle, Drew Faulkner, a Northwestern alumnus, learned how to play guitar from his father. His music interests evolved from rock, to fingerstyle, and then to jazz. While at Northwestern, Faulkner studied under Max Ridgway.
Currently, Faulkner teaches guitar at Enid High School and Waller Middle School in Enid. He also has been a choir director and enjoys composing original songs on his guitar.
1 p.m. -- Emma Cline
Emma Cline is an Alva native who can be found at many different Alva functions, as she truly is community-minded. She can be found teaching programs to youth at the Graceful Arts Center or working in communications at the Alva Chamber of Commerce.
Cline will be offering her gentle, mellow acoustic music on the downtown courthouse stage.
In addition, she will be offering her face painting services from CAKE FACE Face Painting. Her information may be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cakeface.facepainting.
1:30 p.m. -- Max Ridgway and David Engle
Max Ridgway and David Engle will team up to provide musical entertainment for the Nescatunga Arts Festival crowd.
Ridgway is a 1990 graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Summa Cum Laude, and holds a master's degree from Northwestern where he currently teaches as an adjunct instructor specializing in music theory, world music, humanities, and music of the 20th century.
In addition, Ridgway curates a YouTube page with nearly 17,000 subscribers called NewMusicXX, which promotes modern music and contemporary composers. He is also a musician with wide-ranging experience, from avant-garde free improvisation and ambient music to blues-infused jazz.
Ridgway has been featured on a national podcast and discussed improvised electric guitar music for Right Brain Music, has recorded numerous albums of jazz and ambient music and is the author of several books on a variety of subjects.
He performs frequently at a variety of venues as a jazz guitar soloist, performs in the Max Ridgway Trio that formed in 1993 with himself on guitar, Richard Martin playing bass, and Tony Swafford on drums, and as a guest guitarist with David Engle and Robert Ford.
See maxridgway.com for more information about Max’s music and books.
Engle was a music minor at Northwestern. He has recorded a few self-released albums with local musicians.
Some of the noteworthy bands that Engle has been or is a member of include Destiny, The Imposters, Mother Nature’s Eyeball and a collaboration between himself and Jeff McAlpin. These artists have been the opening acts for Dr. Hook, Lariat (Ricochet), Great Divide, Highway 101, Navel Felts and Michael Hearne.
Engle’s main influences include the Beatles, Eric Clapton and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Currently, Engle mainly performs acoustically with help from Ridgway, Ford and McAlpin and will be performing during the 4-5 p.m. set of the Salt Fork June Jam after the arts festival ends.
More about Engle can be found on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/davidenglemusic.
2 p.m. -- Borderline Connection
Borderline Connection, a bluegrass/country/gospel band, is led by John and LeCena McDowell of Aline-Cleo. The quartet also includes Dusty and Trish Brewer. Dusty plays the electric bass, Trish plays guitar and mandolin, John is on fiddle and guitar, and LeCena is on the autoharp. Founded in 2019, the group enjoys playing at various locations across the state including many churches.
2:30 p.m. -- Isi and Savelina Ofiu
Father-daughter duo Isi and Savelina Ofiu will be performing together on the Nescatunga downtown stage. Isi, originally from Anchorage, Alaska, graduated from Northwestern and was an active member in all university choirs.
Savelina, 11, is going into the sixth grade. She actually is taught music by her father at Burlington Public Schools where Isi is the music and band teacher.
Isi and his wife, Rickie, live in Burlington with their three children Becky, Savelina and Lisiate.
Rickie also will have her food truck, “Rickie’s Sweets and Eats,” at Nescatunga located in the courthouse parking lot area.
Salt Fork June Jam
Once the arts festival ends, even more entertainment will take over the downtown bandstand stage.
4-5 p.m. – Dave Engle Band
5-6:30 p.m. – Ronnie Jay and the Hawkes
7-8:55 p.m. – Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road