The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014


Music in Van Wert

By: Paul Hoverman


With Thanksgiving Day quickly approaching and the first significant snow fall, we turn our attention to the Christmas season.  Christmastime is always extra special at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center and this year will be no exception.  We have five different concerts during the Holiday Season and six actual performances when you figure in two Nutcracker productions.

Kids and Christmas are made for each other and we are about to create some special memories for some local kids and their parents and grandparents.  The Ballet Theatre of Toledo will be moving into Van Wert in the near future for two performances of the beloved Nutcracker ballet on December 6.  We like working with this outstanding organization because they give us the opportunity to involve local children in the performance. Auditions were held awhile back and there will be numerous local dancers filling the stage. You may not recognize them under their mice costumes, etc., but it will be a neat experience for these youngsters.  Some will even get to show off their dancing skills.  Additionally, our Van Wert Area Boychoir will be part of the performance, as well as sing for you in the lobbies before the performances.

As I said, we have scheduled two performances; one at 2 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m.  We already have 1,300 seats filled, so in essence we are starting to fill our second show.  Tickets can be purchased at the box office at 419.238.NPAC (6722) or online at  This is a holiday tradition you won’t want to miss!

Then on December 12, Country, TV, movie and Pop Music star Kenny Rogers brings his “Christmas & Hits through the Years” to our stage. Five local children were selected to perform with Kenny and his guest, Linda Davis. They were selected from 26 who auditioned, including many who were worthy; however, only five could be selected. You will recognize the kids even though they will be dressed in their finest Christmas outfits. What an experience for these kids to perform on stage with a legend like Kenny Rogers!

Other Christmas concerts coming to the Niswonger this season are “A Peter White Christmas” with Rick Braun and Mindi Abair on December 9. If you like a jazzy Christmas, this one is for you!  One that has a lot of people talking is the “Holiday Ice Spectacular” coming to our stage on December 15.  It’s almost sold out, so don’t delay your ticket buying if you want to see how we turn the Central Insurance Stage into an ice rink with world-class skaters, entertainment, comedy and music.  We close the Christmas season on December 19 with what I am told is an absolutely beautiful Christmas concert featuring Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.  This married couple has made its mark on the music world on its own, as well as part of the famous Fifth Dimension. They even had their own TV show at one time.

As I said, Christmas is always special at the Niswonger. We will have the halls decked with beautiful new decorations and you can expect some pre-concert lobby music to help put you in the Christmas spirit.  You just never know what you might experience at a Niswonger performance, especially at the Holiday Season!  Some might even find their very own kid on stage!


POSTED: 11/19/14 at 7:45 am. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

Before this past week, I spoke about the Dallas Brass and how I thought so many would enjoy their performance.  Well, this past Friday, they came to Van Wert and not only surpassed my expectations in performance, but also exceeded my wishes for inspiration.

Over 800 people made their way to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, many not knowing what to expect. I know this from the comments people made to me following the performance. Regardless of what I say, most are just like Stephen, they need to see it for themselves. I understand. Now, they are believers!

How could five brass instrumentalists, a drummer and a vocalist give such an entertaining performance for the most common of persons to enjoy? Well, I could talk about repertoire, skill, talent and so forth, but I think the real story is found in the love they have to share music with others. And share they did!

During the day, members of Dallas Brass spent time with students from Van Wert and Lincolnview schools. Founder, leader and trombonist Michael Levine has such a passion for sharing his love of music with young people in particular. As the band directors can attest, there just isn’t enough time in the day for him to share his love and passion of music with students. If every teacher had such a passion, it’s hard to say how far a young person might be able to go.

One particular student’s mother was so moved by the work and attention given that she sent a message to Dallas Brass thanking them for accomplishing what she had been attempting to accomplish for two years with her daughter. The daughter wanted to give up on music, but is now motivated to continue and excel. Levine is working on a program to reach young students across America through a program he calls “Harmony Bridge.” It involves students, teachers, community, retirement communities, and service organizations. I am very excited about it. I have a feeling you’re going to hear more about it in the near future.

This is what motivates me to do what I do. This is also what motivates those of us associated with the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. Our mission is to entertain, educate and inspire.  With Dallas Brass, we hit a home run with all three!

A sold-out house will welcome Country Music Superstar Josh Turner this Saturday at the NPAC.  We have been sold out for nearly three months for this one. For those fortunate enough to attend, you will be in for quite a production.  I’m sure you will enjoy it.

More inspiration will be spread when five talented children from our area between the ages of 6 and 10 will appear on the Kenny Rogers Christmas Show on December 12. Auditions were just held and there were 26 beautiful and talented boys and girls who showed up. What an opportunity for five exceptionally talented children from our area. You will see and hear them perform on the show. How many cities of 11,000 people can hold auditions to appear on stage with a multi-Grammy Award nominee and winner, movie star, and Country Music Hall of Fame singer such as Kenny Rogers?

We add to that the many local dancers and singers who will participate in the Ballet Theatre of Toledo’s production of The Nutcracker this Christmas season on December 6.  We also had our first chorus rehearsal for the December 14 Messiah performance. You are still welcome to join us this Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at First United Methodist Church for our next rehearsal.

It’s no wonder we say, “Inspiration is Alive!” at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.


POSTED: 11/11/14 at 9:32 pm. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

It is time to start thinking and acting on booking artists for a whole new season of 2015-16.  As I do this, I start getting bombarded with emails, messages, and suggestions of all kinds.  While recently looking at a message and doing some research on You Tube, I came across a performance of “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables by Alfie Boe and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I remember watching this performance when it originally aired on TV. It was mesmerizing! I then wondered how it compared with J. Mark McVey, whom we just had in concert at the Niswonger.  I came across a performance he did at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.  Both were different from each other, but very inspiring.  I also found Mark singing in Crystal Cathedral in California and it was very inspiring.

Inspiration is one of the attributes I value the most in music.  Music can inspire when words often fail.  I believe this is why God gave humankind the gift of music.

This Friday, we have another concert that I guarantee will inspire on many fronts, but also offers education and entertainment.  The famous Dallas Brass will be giving a concert at 7:30 p.m., will be educating high school musicians in a master class during the day and then rehearse with them later in the afternoon in preparation for the evening concert.  High school band students from Lincolnview, Parkway and Van Wert will be participating and featured on the concert. I can guarantee inspiration and I hope there will be some good education to go with the day. If you are able to come to the evening concert, I can also guarantee you will be entertained.

We then return to the concert stage on Saturday, November 15, with Country Superstar Josh Turner.  For those who love country music, this is a season highlight.  The concert has been sold out for months and a full house is expected. Entertainment will abound, as I understand it is a huge production with creative staging, video and props.

Following the Josh Turner concert, we enter into our Christmas season of concerts and they are always inspiring and entertaining. First on the docket is the cherished Nutcracker ballet with the Ballet Theatre of Toledo. Once again, we have offered the opportunity to our young people in the area to be a part of this production. Behind all the make-up and costumes, you may recognize a few young dancers from our area, as well as hearing our very own Van Wert Area Boychoir as part of the performance. Once again, musical memories for these young people!  Come early to the Nutcracker performances (2 and 7:30 p.m.) on December 6 and you can also enjoy beautiful Christmas music sung in the Grand Lobby by the boychoir.

Want more inspiration? Messiah rehearsals begin this Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert.  If you enjoy singing and want to make your Christmas extra special by joining in voice with other singers, instrumentalists and soloists, consider joining us in the chorus.  We have music and a seat in the chorus waiting for you.  The Messiah performance will be Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m. at First U.M.  This is a Van Wert County Foundation sponsored event biennially and always highly anticipated by many.

I look forward to seeing you Friday night for this special evening with the Dallas Brass, local band students and many, many surprises!  Truly an evening of inspiration, education and entertainment.


POSTED: 11/05/14 at 6:51 am. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

It was September 22, 2007. We were preparing to open our first complete season at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.  To help us open the season, we invited the famed Dallas Brass to Van Wert to give a concert, teach a master class, and share the stage with over 150 high school musicians.

I still remember the night. No one really knew quite what to expect, but hundreds of concert-goers flocked to the Niswonger for an evening of nice music. What ensued was a magical night where students were making statements like, “I have never had so much fun in my life!”  “I never thought I would enjoy this concert that much.” And “This was really cool tonight!”  After the concert, I remember stopping by our local Dairy Queen to find kids there being treated to ice cream by members of the Dallas Brass.

Adults at the concert were standing on their feet applauding not only the kids’ performance, but also the exciting music of Dallas Brass, complete with horns and a drummer who took a solo where most of us have never been before. The night was filled with magic and pageantry. It touched one gentleman so much that we now will be honoring him seven years later.

The Dallas Brass

The Dallas Brass

Dallas Brass is coming back to the Central Insurance Stage of the Niswonger on November 7 to help us honor a special person, as well as create more memories for high school students and concert attendees.  Don’t miss this special evening.  Get your tickets now.  If you want a little sneak preview of some of the music of Dallas Brass, go to our brand new website: NPACVW.ORG and click on the picture of Dallas Brass and play their video.

Many people have asked what kind of concert to expect. The best answer I can give is “enjoyable!” This time around, Dallas Brass has added a superb vocalist, Bryan Anthony.  Bryan is one of the most sought-after jazz singers in our country today. Much in the style of Frank Sinatra, Anthony has sung with all the Big Bands like Glenn Miller and, most recently, is on tour with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He also sings nightclubs and has recorded with Grammy Award-winning jazz artists. Add to Anthony’s vocals the superb artistry of Dallas Brass and a drummer and you have an exceptional evening of musical entertainment.

One of Dallas Brass’ biggest motivators is music education and inspiring young musicians to enjoy music. They will be working with high school musicians from Lincolnview, Van Wert and Parkway during the day in a workshop. They have also provided music to these musicians for their bands to join them in a huge patriotic salute on stage with over a hundred musicians.  It will once again be magical. Michael Levine, founder and trombonist with Dallas Brass, guarantees it!  He and his fellow musicians of Dallas Brass so much believe in what they do that he personally has called and talked with the local band directors to get them excited about the performance.

Michael and Dallas Brass are true ambassadors for music in people’s lives. He knows about our special people we wish to recognize and so much appreciates the influence their 2007 concert had on their lives. They want to personally help us recognize someone who will help perpetuate live music in the lives of people for years to come in Van Wert and the surrounding area.

I could go on and on about this special evening, but I don’t want to give away too much.  I will just encourage you to be there on Friday night, November 7, at 7:30 p.m.  There will be electricity in the air, although the music you hear will be acoustic. Tickets are available on line at NPACVW.ORG or at the Niswonger box office Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.  I look forward to seeing you there!


POSTED: 10/29/14 at 5:48 am. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

Although I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, it just won’t leave my mind. One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is to meet artists and performers who are sometimes world-renown and yet you find out are just like you and me.  Case in point: J. Mark McVey.

This past Saturday night, the Niswonger hosted “Inspiration of Broadway.”  It featured Ernie Haase & Signature Sound as well as Mr. McVey. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound is one of the most dynamic and well known of the contemporary Southern Gospel Music quartets. Mark McVey, on the other hand, has made his mark in the entertainment world through Broadway.  Although he has performed many roles in Broadway shows, the one he is most known for is Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.  He performed 3,268 times as the lead in this blockbuster show.

Until I heard Mark with Signature Sound this past Saturday, I felt this was an awkward marriage of two artists and artistic styles: Southern Gospel and Broadway.  For those fortunate enough to hear the concert this past Saturday, I think we all became believers. And this leads me into J. Mark McVey.  Mark is a believer on many fronts.

After so much success on “The Great White Way,” one might think McVey would be caught up in himself and his gifted abilities. To the contrary, I found Mark to be very personable and very approachable.  His father and a family friend traveled from Charleston, West Virginia, Mark’s hometown, to see his son perform at the Niswonger. After visiting with them for a while, we ended up sharing a post-concert meal at our local Bob Evans Restaurant, which by the way is now staying open late for our concert nights.

Here we were, eating and talking about music, entertainment, and life with Jean Valjean and his father in Bob Evans Restaurant.  After sharing stories, one thing led to another and this guy who has shared the stage and TV with some of the biggest stars of today, agreed to come to church the next morning and even sing for our congregation.  The Inspiration of Broadway was coming to First United Methodist to share in music and message.

Mark explained to my wife and me that he had found Christ through his experience of performing the lead role in Les Miserables 3,268 times.  I can only imagine that one would become that person after so many performances. He explained that the message of Les Miserables is one of love and redemption, and one that spoke deeply to his spirit.  He now loves to sing and share his testimony in churches whenever he can. It was obvious that he also just loves to worship, as he was an active worshipper in our service.  What an inspiration he was to those attending First United Methodist Church!  What an inspiration he was for those attending the Niswonger on Saturday night! His signature song, “Bring Him Home” was absolutely entrancing and emotional, especially for those familiar with the story of Les Miserables.

It is always a pleasure to get to meet performers who are nice people. It was a pleasure and an honor to get to know the real person behind Jean Valjean. Nice people do finish first!  And in my book, J. Mark McVey is first-rate in many ways.


POSTED: 10/21/14 at 11:13 pm. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

The biennial performance of Handel’s Messiah will be Sunday, December 14, at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Van Wert. This is a Christmas tradition that dates well into the 1900s.  Sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation, in cooperation with First United Methodist Church, this is a Van Wert tradition that continues to pack the sanctuary each year it is performed.

A volunteer community chorus is being recruited, which will start rehearsals November 9 and continue Sunday afternoons from 3-5 p.m. right up to the December 14 performance.  In the past, we have had choruses of 75-80 singers, which is about the maximum number we can accommodate. The performance is with a professional chamber orchestra and soloists. The soloists are already committed and are looking forward to their performance in Van Wert. I will be excited to announce them as we draw closer to the performance date.

If you have ever considered singing in our Messiah chorus, I encourage you to join us this year.  We are filled with accomplished singers, as well as those who thought they could never do it, but have since proven they could. Many singers have their own copy of the music (Schirmer edition), but we also have copies available for those needing them.  So, please don’t let that be a deterrent.  We welcome you if you like to sing and can sing in tune and on pitch.  It’s truly amazing what one can accomplish when singing with friends.  And what better way to make friends then to sing with them!  As the old adage says, “Talk with me and I’m your friend; sing with me and I’m your brother (or sister).”

As director and organizer, I look forward to welcoming back many of our previous singers and hope they invite new singers to join us this year.  We will have just five rehearsals this year, but I am confident we can accomplish our musical goal in providing an inspiring chorus to, in the words of Handel, himself, “not only entertain them, but to make them better!”

Consider joining us this year.  I am confident that most anyone who has participated in the past would concur, it is a real uplifting and inspiring way to make your Christmas season extra special and meaningful.  There truly is no other feeling than the power and inspiration one feels when singing the “Amen” chorus as it rises to a tumultuous and powerful ending; and then topped only by the victorious “Hallelujah!” chorus.

Remember, the the first rehearsal is Sunday, November 9, from 3-5 p.m. in the First U.M. sanctuary. Tell a friend, bring a friend.

The beginning of the Niswonger Grand Series kicks off this Saturday with “Inspiration of Broadway” featuring Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, along with special guest star J. Mark McVey. McVey has starred in many Broadway productions as well as playing the role of Jean Valjean in London’s performance of Les Miserables.  His incredible voice, along with Signature Sound, will provide for the perfect opening to a blockbuster season at the Niswonger.

A few tickets remain if you would like to get a piece of the PAC action at the Niswonger.  We look forward to seeing you for this inspirational concert that will have you wanting to sing along all night long.  But I have the feeling once you hear these incredible voices, you’ll just want to listen.  It begins at 7:30 p.m., with lobby doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and performance hall doors opening at 7 that evening.

Just a note to let you know that the Olate Dogs performance on November 1 is nearly sold out. About 50 seats remain to see these loveable and talented dogs who won “America’s Got Talent” in 2012. Kids will love it and adults will be amazed!  Get your ticket now for this Saturday afternoon matinee.  Remember, this one starts at 3 p.m.


POSTED: 10/15/14 at 5:38 am. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

After last Saturday’s season opener with the Annie Moses Band, I can indeed say, “Inspiration is Alive!”  This is the hashtag we have been putting out there when we talk about our new season at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.  As a matter of fact, when you plug into a search engine on a computer “Inspiration is Alive!” it will take you to our website.

Certainly the Niswonger was full of inspiration Saturday night with the Annie Moses Band.  From beginning to end, this family of musicians and entertainers nearly mesmerized the audience.  The thing I enjoyed the most was the quality of the show. With Julliard trained brothers and sisters, one would expect the music to be of immense quality, which it was. What I think many did not expect was the entertainment value of the concert. You know it’s a good concert when you are left wanting more.

We saw young and old alike really enjoying the concert.  This really makes me feel good when we can offer concerts that reach across generations for all to enjoy.  And although this was not a sacred concert, one really left feeling uplifted … or dare I say inspired!

Looking ahead, we have another concert on October 13, a Monday night, with a group coming all the way from Cuba.  An interesting side bar to this will be a Q & A session held in the First Federal Lecture Hall prior to the concert.  We have invited students studying Spanish to attend and ask questions in their language.  It should provide a very educational opportunity for these students and an entertaining opportunity for others.

Cuba is an interesting country.  One we don’t know much about.  Thankfully, the Habaneros have been given the opportunity to come to America to perform and share about their culture with music and pictures of their homeland.  It should be an interesting concert, but also very entertaining … and dare I say inspirational!  I’ve seen their program and it is filled with Cuban music, which is highly rhythmic and very lively.  Tickets start at just $10.  You may get them at the door Monday night for this 7:30 p.m. concert.

Since we are talking about inspiration, I can’t think of a better concert to offer than “The Inspiration of Broadway.”  You don’t know the show, but you know its players and its music.  Ernie Haase and Signature Sound is one of the most prolific Southern Gospel quartets in the world.  As a matter of fact, we had them in concert a couple years ago.  Now, in their new show, “The Inspiration of Broadway,” they have joined forces with J. Mark McVey, one of Broadway’s most powerful voices.  McVey sang the lead role of Jean Valjean in London’s production of Les Miserables.  Together, Signature Sound and McVey will … dare I say again, inspire us with some of the most inspirational and beloved songs of Broadway.

The Inspiration of Broadway will be Saturday, October 18, starting at 7:30 p.m.  Get your tickets now for this mega concert.  I have heard wonderful things about this production. I don’t think you want to miss this one at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, “Where Inspiration is Alive!”


POSTED: 10/07/14 at 10:47 pm. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

I was recently cleaning out (okay, more like reshuffling) a desk drawer and saw a card someone had sent me nearly seven years ago.  In the card, she made mention of how she has enjoyed buying her parents a Community Concert Series each year as an anniversary gift.  She called it the “perfect gift.”  This got me thinking of just how wonderful this would be for someone.

It seems most people rely on what has become the traditional gift card anymore for birthdays, anniversaries and such gift-giving events. Although we all enjoy receiving something for nothing in the form of a gift card, it is quite often a one-time experience that is here and gone in one day. A Community Concert Series this year offers six concerts for someone to enjoy throughout the year. Not only do they get to enjoy a wonderful concert or show, but they get to enjoy it with many other friendly people.

This Saturday, we not only kick off our new season at the Niswonger, but we also kick off our Community Concert Series with the Annie Moses Band. And what a wonderful family attraction concert event to start our season with!  World-class music and entertainment in a wholesome environment makes this a perfect gift for anyone.

The series continues with folk music legend Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary on October 9 and then travels to Cuba with The Habaneros in a lively concert and video presentation right at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert on October 13.

We then wait until March 8 when two TV legends, Barbara Eden and Hal Linden, come to our stage in an engaging and memorable stage production of Love Letters.  Phenomenal concert pianist Leon Bates will perform on March 22 and then we round out the series with a lively show called StepCrew, filled with music and dance on April 14.

Six outstanding concerts to enjoy with hundreds of other wonderful concert attenders for as low as $60 for the entire series, indeed, makes this the perfect gift for someone to enjoy throughout the year.   I guarantee your loved one will thank you for many memorable concert experiences.  Perhaps they will invite a friend and enjoy a meal out with someone who got a gift card?

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center box office is now open Monday through Friday from 12-4 PM to help serve your needs.  You can also order the series on-line by visiting our website: NPACVW.ORG and clicking on “Events.”  If you are from out of town and you want to surprise a loved one, you may wish to order on-line and we will be happy to deliver your good wishes in a package of musical and show time experiences.

At any rate, I look forward to seeing you this Saturday night as we open the curtain on a brand new season at the Niswonger.  We can’t wait to show you all the new things we have planned for the evening as well as the entire season.  Remember! at the Niswonger, a concert and show offer so much more than you expect.  We are still adding elements to the concerts at the Niswonger because we believe you deserve more when you come to the Niswonger.  Come this Saturday and see what surprises we have in store.  We look forward to seeing you at the Niswonger, “Where inspiration is Alive!”


POSTED: 09/30/14 at 6:43 am. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

With just under two weeks to go before our opening concert at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, I am getting more and more excited about the Annie Moses Band.  The more I read and discover about them, the more I look forward to hearing them.

When one reads “A Tribute to Grandma Moses,” one might think of old-time music.  The Annie Moses Band is far from your grandma’s music, although it certainly pays tribute to Grandma Annie.

Former Van Wert County Commissioner Harold Merkle shared an article with me recently about the Annie Moses Band. It was published in Guideposts magazine in September 2013.  It talks about how the band actually got its name. Great-grandma Moses grew up working hard labor in the cotton fields of Texas.  While toiling in the fields, she would sing songs to help take her mind off the hard work. Many of the songs she learned came from the influence of the Chocktaw Indians and a little country church in the hills of Oklahoma.

Annie Moses Band

Annie Moses Band

She gave birth to two boys and one little girl who acquired her love for music.  She became who the band now calls “Grandma Moses,” the mother of Robin Moses, who is the founder and mother of the Annie Moses Band. Although Grandma Moses had only eight piano lessons in her life, she made sure that her children learned piano and had proper training.  She made sure daddy bought a piano, paying $12 a month for a little spinet, complete with a doily on top with wax build up from the candles and mice and termites living in the bottom.

Grandma Moses, however, did everything in her power to make sure her little girl acquired her love of music, for as she put it, “Music helps us give voice to our prayers.  Through music we can express our deepest longings.”  This little girl, Robin, would sing and play in her liddle biddy church every chance she could get.  Her father, a circuit preacher and missionary would take the family with him and they would play and sing while he preached.  It is there that Robin learned to love the stage and gain confidence of performing before crowds.  She eventually would go off to college and study voice and it is there that she met and fell in love with her husband, a piano major.  These were the humble beginnings to the Annie Moses Band.

While at Oklahoma City University, Robin heard a young Asian 5-year-old girl playing “Go Tell Aunt Rodie” on a little miniature violin. She was so taken by it that she made a pact with her husband that her children would learn to play the violin, or fiddle as they called it back home!  The pact became reality so much that her kids actually became Julliard-trained violinists. That is quite an accomplishment for someone with such a menial background as Robin’s.

After all the training and broad musical accomplishments, this family started their own family band.  When it became time to think of a name for the band, mother Robin said, “Let’s call it the Annie Moses Band in honor of my mama and her mama who had a dream that music would get them out of the cotton fields of Texas and on the stage of Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole’ Opry and on October 4, the Central Insurance Stage at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert, Ohio!

I hope you don’t miss this opportunity to see the fruits of Grandma and great-grandma Moses when the Annie Moses Band lights up the stage with a night of inspiration and music. We would love to have a full house to show them our gratitude for coming to Van Wert.  Call the box office (419.238.6722) or go online (NPACVW.ORG) and reserve your seat now!


POSTED: 09/24/14 at 5:34 am. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert

As you know, we always look for ways to make your Niswonger experience just a little more special than the normal.  We are once again enhancing some of our performances with an extra touch to make them even more appealing and enjoyable.

Starting with the Annie Moses Band on opening night, October 4, we are pleased to announce guest singer Joshua Carswell has been added to the show.  He is a Michael Bublé style singer.  If you haven’t heard of Michael Bublé, he is a modern day crooner of original and classic songs, popular among young and old audiences alike. I think you will really enjoy Josh. Even without Joshua, the Annie Moses Band will certainly delight with its vast array of musical talent and styles. It is a production, as well as a concert, and one worthy of opening our season in a grand style!

Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary comes to the Niswonger October 9 and will entertain that evening with songs and stories that will certainly take you back to those enigmatic days of the 1960s, with all the folk songs everyone knows and loves. We have added a band that works quite regularly with Peter, called Mustard’s Retreat, that is from the Ann Arbor, Michigan, area.

In addition to the 7:30 evening performance, Yarrow will also be speaking and singing to school kids in the early elementary grades.  We have nearly 1,200 students from Van Wert, Crestview, Lincolnview, Parkway and Coldwater to hear Yarrow’s message on anti-bullying. He has become a national spokesperson on the topic, traveling around the country to speak at schools and conventions. Several organizations, businesses, and individuals have come forward to help provide this learning experience for the kids to attend. We thank them and will acknowledge them that day.

“Inspiration of Broadway” is a show that comes extremely highly recommended because the very popular Southern Gospel quartet, “Signature Sound,” has joined forces in a rather unlikely partnership. J. Mark McVey, who starred in London’s smash hit production of Les Miserables as Jean Valjean, will join forces with this dynamic quartet of voices to present one memorable night of inspirational Broadway tunes.

The Olate Dogs were a late season addition and will bring their amazing dogs from their “America’s Got Talent”-winning appearance to our Central Insurance Stage on Saturday afternoon, November 1. Tickets are already scarce; so don’t waste any time reserving your seat for this incredible show. Check with the box office now.

Friday night, November 7, will be a very special night at the Niswonger as the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation thanks and recognizes an important individual in the life of performing arts at the Niswonger. In addition, student musicians from some local high schools will be joining the very talented and entertaining Dallas Brass on stage for a huge gala celebration. As a bonus, we have added vocalist Bryan Anthony, an outstanding singer with Big Bands, such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. You won’t want to miss it!

Finally, we have added a female vocalist, Logan Brill, to Josh Turner’s November 15 sold-out performance at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. She is one of the up and coming stars from Nashville, personally selected by Turner to open for his Van Wert concert.  Catch her now, because before long, she will be a star!

That brings us to Christmas, and you can always expect wonderful surprises at the Niswonger during our Holiday Season. So, stay tuned and I will let you know at a later date of some of the wonderful things we have in store for you, our valued patron of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.


POSTED: 09/16/14 at 9:06 pm. FILED UNDER: Music in Van Wert