Features

Cory Richards

In the 1980’s, Laramie native and National Geographic adventure writer Mark Jenkins came upon an old book called Burma’s Icy Mountains. It was written in the 50’s by an eccentric British explorer, Frank Kingdon Ward. Jenkins was hooked, especially when he learned that no one knew for sure which mountain was the highest peak in Burma: Gamlang Razi was officially measured at 19,259 feet in 2013, but as for neighboring Hkakabo Razi, no one had ever stood on top and gotten a GPS reading. Some said it was higher, some lower.

Aaron Schrank

Director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, “The Hateful Eight,” is set in a Wyoming blizzard, sometime after the Civil War. But the movie wasn’t shot here.

Tarantino’s production team did consider filming in Wyoming, though. Rick Young is the director of the Fort Caspar Museum, which includes an 1860’s era fort.

Art collector Jordan Schnitzer bought his first painting as a teenager. Since then, he’s amassed one of the largest private collections in the country: 9000 prints by contemporary artists.

Some of Wyoming’s best artists will be recognized this week at the 2016 Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition and Sale. Four works receiving the Purchase Awards join a growing collection of art in the state’s public buildings. This year’s Purchase Awards go to Jackson artists Martin Hagen and Valerie Seaberg and Laramie artists Dan Hayward and Joy Keown. A painting by Cheyenne’s Rachel Ondrak received the Governor’s Choice Award.

Olly Moss / Campo Santo

Several recent movies have been set in Wyoming. Now, the state stars in a video game, too.

StoryCorps

Wyoming basketball legend Kenny Sailors died last week at the age of 95. He was widely credited with creating and developing the modern day jump shot and was the first to use it as a pro basketball player. But what should not be missed is that he was one of the great players of his time. Sailors led the Wyoming Cowboys to the national title in 1943, he was a national player of the year, a three time All-American, and one of the pioneers of the NBA. But most of his life was outside of basketball.

tarapappasart.com

Laramie artist Tara Pappas is well known for colorful, whimsical art that looks like it’s lifted from the pages of a story book or fairy tale. The public has an opportunity to learn her style and techniques at a painting workshop in Laramie on February 19. Pappas is also an elementary school art teacher, and as she tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, it was her students who inspired her to get back to work as a studio artist.

Watch Wyoming's Entries For NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest

Feb 5, 2016
NPR Music

As you may know, NPR put out another call for undiscovered bands to enter a contest to play a Tiny Desk Concert in Washington, D.C. A number of Wyoming musicians filmed themselves behind—and in front of—their own ‘desks’. Check out all of the entries here

The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue takes place this week at the University of Wyoming. The week-long event features a march, a movie panel, and numerous presentations and discussions.

Organizer Ryan McGarry says this year, there has been a change in who is driving the conversations. "One of the things I am most proud of is the extent to which student voices being showcased but also given space to drive the conversation, and I think it’s a fantastic week of programming because of the level of student involvement," she says.

An award-winning Broadway play makes its Wyoming premiere this weekend. Laramie-based Relative Theatrics is staging David Ives’ 2010 play "Venus in Fur" at the Gryphon Theatre in Laramie. The show is directed by Anne Mason and features local actors Dan Keegan and Aili McLellan.

Studio Sessions: Sweetwater String Band

Jan 25, 2016
Sweetwater String Band

Sweetwater String Band is almost a classic bluegrass outfit: guitar, mandolin, upright bass. But in place of the typical fiddle, the quartet goes low to create its signature sound: Cello Driven High Sierra Soulgrass.

A Million Miles 

Flood

Studio WYO

  

The Wyoming Arts Council is launching several new programs to grow the state’s independent music scene.

uwyo.edu

University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor Michael Griffith has been awarded third place in a nationwide competition for his excellence in orchestral programming. The American Prize, which is awarded annually in multiple categories, was founded in 2009 and seeks to “recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States.”

 

Poll Results: Listeners Pick The Best Music Of 2015

Dec 31, 2015
Courtesy of the artists

The Best Music Of 2015

We asked listeners to vote from three lists: AAA, Americana, and Wyoming/Regional. We received an abundance of votes this year! Thanks to everyone who voted and thank you for listening to Morning Music. Here are listeners picks for the best music of 2015:

Top 20 AAA 

1. Alabama Shakes - Sound and Color

2. Brandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter

3. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

4. James Taylor - Before This World

5. James McMurtry - Complicated Game

Miles Bryan

  

  

Bret Colvin says founded the “Stop Islam in Gillette” Facebook group for one reason.

 

“I don’t want Jihadis in my neighborhood.”

 

Colvin is a Catholic, and an ex-Marine. His wife passed away last year, and last month he lost his job as an oil field mechanic. Now he runs a home electronics repair business out of the small Gillette house he shares with a roommate, and a few pet turtles.

 

HumaNature Broadcast Special

Dec 18, 2015
Meg Thompson

This special broadcast edition of the HumaNature podcast tells three stories of human experiences in nature.

Story 1: When a Search and Rescue Becomes a Search for Something Else

Greg Ley was deep in the Rocky Mountains, training as an outdoor guide, when his group encountered tragedy. What happened next forever changed his beliefs about the importance of humans to the wilderness.

Story 2: Finding the Way Home in a Purple Canoe

Wyoming Musicians Peter Queal And Friends On Morning Music

Dec 18, 2015
Anna Rader

 

Peter Queal and Friends live recorded live on 12/18/15 during Wyoming Public Radio's Morning Music show.

Studio Sessions: Ben Markley Trio

Dec 14, 2015
Ben Markley

Happy Holidays from Wyoming Public Radio! Here’s the Ben Markley Trio performing live at our 2014 holiday open house. Composer and pianist Ben Markley teaches jazz piano at the University of Wyoming.

eraprorodeo.com

Next fall, Sheridan will be one of eight cities to host the first-ever Elite Rodeo Athletes nationwide tour, which will televised as part of a multi-million dollar deal with Fox Sports. Sheridan is the only Wyoming city on the schedule.

“This event, especially once it develops a following on television, will draw in an audience way larger than just the Sheridan community,” says Sheridan WYO Rodeo board president Nick Siddle.

He says this kind of exposure not only means a wider audience for rodeo, but a boost to the Sheridan economy as well.

Craig Johnson is the author of eight novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim. Johnson, whose main character is Sheriff Walt Longmire, said he does base his characters on family, neighbors and his friends on the Cheyenne reservation.

Connor Ortman / SpeakLikeAGirl.com

Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood make up the feminist, spoken-word duo Speak Like A Girl. They perform their poems around the country to call attention to issues like body image, rape culture, street harassment, and the patriarchy, and their next stop is Laramie, Wyoming. They’ll be performing at the University of Wyoming in the Education building’s auditorium at 8pm Wednesday night. Gatwood and Falley joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk about using poetry to address misogyny.

You can find out more at www.speaklikeagirl.com

jacksonhole.com/50

As the snow piles up and people across the west begin to break out their skis and snowboards, Wyoming’s biggest ski resort is getting ready to celebrate its 50th winter season. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort now has 116 ski trails, 13 lifts, an aerial tram, and 2500 acres of terrain, but back in 1965, it saw just a handful of skiers going up on 2 chair lifts.

The resort’s Business Development Director Bill Lewkowitz joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about the resort’s past, present, and future. 

uwyo.edu

 

When the chair of University of Wyoming’s music department, Theresa Bogard, interviewed for a position at the university 24 years ago, she was told the department would be getting a new building “soon”. Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, the newly renovated performing arts center is finally here. But before the renovations, conditions were bleak.

South Dakota Historical Society Press

  

One of the most controversial figures in the history of the American West is Ogalala chief Red Cloud. To some a brilliant warrior and politician, to others, to blame for the Ogalala’s loss of the Black Hills. Now, there’s a new biography called Red Cloud: Ogalala Legend.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards talked with research historian John McDermott about how the Ogalala ended up in Wyoming, and why giving up these lands meant the end of their way of life.

Roger & Renate Rössing, credit Deutsche Fotothek via Wikimedia Commons

 

There’s a dramatic backstory to the next University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra concert.

“If you think about it, what a composer is feeling, what a composer is thinking, can often have a profound influence on what the music sounds like,” says symphony director Michael Griffith.

In 1937, that was very much the case for Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, as Griffith explains to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

Wyoming Arts Council

A national arts education organization has selected Wyoming to be part of a three-year program to strengthen the arts in schools. Americans for the Arts has awarded grants to ten states for pilot programs to improve arts education policies.

The Wyoming Arts Council’s Michael Shay says the first step is a survey to evaluate what resources art educators have and need.

nwc.edu

The second annual Northwest Guitar Summit takes place this weekend in Powell. The event includes a public concert and workshops for guitar players in the community. This year, the summit is open to any guitar player of junior high age or above. Organizer Jeff Troxel will be joined by jazz guitarist Corey Christiansen and classical guitarist Michael Videon.

Kentucky Country Musician Jeremy Pinnell On Morning Music

Nov 9, 2015
Anna Rader

Jeremy David Pinnell recorded live on 11/09/15 during Wyoming Public Radio's Morning Music show. 

Wikimedia Commons

In recent years, the meat packing industry has been adopting more humane treatment of livestock. And that’s thanks-- in no small part-- to one woman: Temple Grandin. In her many book, she talks about applying her own experiences as a person with autism to how animals view the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture even uses a checklist developed by Grandin to enforce better treatment.

Wyoming PBS

Next Friday Wyoming PBS will air its long-awaited documentary called Dick Cheney: A Heartbeat Away. Producer Geoff O’Gara joins us and says the two-year effort putting the 90-minute program together was interesting. He admitted that it’s tough to do a documentary on someone that most people have a strong opinion about.

Dick Cheney: A Heartbeat Away will be broadcast by Wyoming PBS on Friday, November 13 at 8 p.m. and be re-broadcast at 9:30 p.m. You can learn more here.   

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