Features

Micah Schweizer

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Buddy MacDonald is a fixture in the Cape Breton music scene and is no stranger to Wyoming, either. Here’s a song that fits both places.

Anna Rader

Even though he doesn’t like the term, Laramie’s Jeff Duloz is a formidable one-man band, with crunchy guitar and primal kick drum underpinning his simmering vocals.

The University of Wyoming is hosting its first annual jazz festival Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28. Both days are filled with concerts by high school and middle school jazz groups from around Wyoming. Guest artists from around the country will provide feedback to the performers and conduct clinics with the groups. UW professor and festival organizer Scott Turpen says first and foremost, the festival is about education.

The Tronstad Ranch

Wyoming has a long tradition of sheep ranching.  The first flocks arrived with Mormon pioneers in the eighteen-eighties. By the early nineteen-hundreds there were six million sheep and Wyoming led the nation in wool production.  Now, there are fewer than 400-thousand sheep in the state and competition in the global market is stiff.  But Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards visited one family that believes that—against all odds--the life of the flockmaster is worth keeping alive. 

Governor Matt Mead has appointed three new board members to the Wyoming Arts Council.

One of them is writer and University of Wyoming instructor Nina McConigley. McConigley published her first short story collection, “Cowboys and East Indians” late last year. She won a major Arts Council grant in 2010, an experience McConigley says gave her the confidence to finish her book.

Paintings of Chief Washakie that have spent more than 40 years in storage are now on display in the Capitol Rotunda in Cheyenne. The 24 pieces by western artist J.K. Ralston were originally commissioned for the dining room of the Noble Hotel in Lander in 1945.

They depict scenes from the life of the Eastern Shoshone chief, including battles, encounters with white settlers, and treaty signings that are part of Chief Washakie’s legacy of diplomacy and peace.

Wyoming State Museum Education Curator Nathan Doerr says the collection tells a sweeping story of the American West.

David Blehert

Alison Teal grew up traveling the world with her adventure-photographer parents. She’s following in their footsteps by globetrotting with a camera and a pink surfboard to create the online TV show Alison’s Adventures. Teal shares her cross-cultural experiences at the University of Wyoming on Wednesday, March 12. She stopped by the WPM studios to speak with Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer.

Anna Rader

An example of Cheyenne-based Sleeping Cranes’ fragile, poetic music.

Courtesy PBS

The Lincoln Highway is 100 years old this year, and Wyoming PBS will be screening a new documentary about it this weekend. Much of what was the Lincoln Highway in Wyoming is now Interstate 80, but parts of the original route are still separate. The film tells the story of the highway in Wyoming. Producer Tom Manning joins us now. He says the Lincoln Highway holds an important place in Wyoming’s history and in the history of the U.S. as a whole.

StoryCorps

Wyoming writer CJ Box and his daughter, Molly Donnell, talk about one of their favorite pastimes: fly fishing. Box is a self-taught, avid fly-fisherman and from the time his daughters were very young he was intent on teaching them about the sport, too. He remembers the first time he handed his daughters fishing rods.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts

Eminent Artist in Residence Bently Spang is spending the spring semester at the University of Wyoming. His exhibition 'Bently Spang: On Fire' is on display through March 22 at the UW Art Museum, and he'll host the multi-media Tekcno Pow Wow III April 2 at the Wyoming Union Ballroom.

The University of Wyoming won the national college basketball championship in 1943. Shortly after their triumph, several Cowboys started training for a bigger fight: World War II.

A new movie about the Cowboys’ epic championship game victory over St. John’s University in fabled Madison Square Garden premieres tonight, March 6, in Laramie at The Wyo Theater at 7pm.

Rachael L. Shaw

A new video-dance premiers at the University of Wyoming this week. To make the five-minute video, three dancers improvised in front of the camera at Curt Gowdy State Park and Lake Hattie, near Laramie. The video-dance explores what it means for the dancers to be fully present in and influenced by nature—hence the title, ‘by and in.’ Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with the film’s director, Rachael Shaw.

On Thursday, March 6, the University of Wyoming Symphony is collaborating with two guest artists: jazz harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret and visiting conductor Tonu Kalam. Kalam has directed professional orchestras around the world, and for more than two decades, he’s directed the University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer asked Kalam what he most enjoys about conducting student orchestras.

Micah Schweizer

Here’s a new song from Mississippi-raised, Laramie-based singer-songwriter Jason Burge.

Worlds of Music brings international musical styles to rural Wyoming. That includes a Balkan-style brass band this weekend in Buffalo. The Seattle-based 15-piece Orkestar Zirkonium will work with local schools and put on a series of free shows and workshops for the public. Worlds of Music organizer David Romtvedt says the group even plans a friendly takeover of downtown Buffalo.

Author Ben Kilham has studied black bears for decades and has also raised orphan bear cubs. His new book is called “Out on a Limb: What Black Bears Have Taught Me about Intelligence and Intuition.” He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck, and said his interest in bears came by accident.

AP Photo/Casper Star-Tribune, Dan Cepeda

12-year-old Laramie pianist James Wilson was one of only two Americans to compete in the prestigious Lagny-sur-Marne piano competition in Paris last month.

Anna Rader

Wyoming singer-songwriter Doug Balmain blends  genres from Americana, rock, blues, to red dirt country. With a personal fusion of styles and honest lyrics, Doug performs his tune "Home" at the Wyoming Public Media studios.

Grammy-award winning jazz group, the Yellowjackets, will perform with the University of Wyoming Jazz Ensemble Thursday night. The Yellowjackets will also conduct workshops with UW musicians.  UW Jazz Ensemble director Scott Turpen says the Yellowjackets’ visit is part of the music department’s Eminent Artist-in-Residence program.

Micah Schweizer

The University of Wyoming Art Museum’s spring exhibitions are now open to the public. Current displays feature everything from visiting artist Bently Spang’s burnt tree rubbings to student and faculty work to American Gothic landscapes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a look at what goes into putting all that art on the wall.

www.magnussonracing.com/blog/

Sixteen sled dog teams are racing more than 300 miles this week across western Wyoming and neighboring states. This is the nineteenth year for the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. This weekend is the end of the 8-day race that started in Jackson and finished in Evanston. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington caught up with one of the racers, Bruce Magnusson.

CROWD: Go dogs, go!

The common story behind the murder of Matthew Shepard is that he was targeted in Laramie’s fireside bar because he was gay and was the victim of a robbery.  Law enforcement authorities say that Shepard was driven to the edge of Laramie and tied to a fence by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. 

He was then pistol whipped and left for dead.  But for years some say there was more to the crime then that and author Steve Jimenez has explored those rumors.  His book called “The Book of Matt.  Hidden Truths about the murder of Matthew Shepard” paints a different narrative.

Courtesy of PBS

On Tuesday the latest PBS American Experience will explore the lives of the famous western Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Writer and Director John Maggio looks closely into their lives.

Willow Belden

If you’ve been out snow shoeing or cross country skiing this winter, you may have noticed bicycle tire marks on the trails. That’s because of a new sport called snow biking. It’s gaining popularity fast, and cyclists and bike shops are thrilled. But some skiers feel the bikes present safety risks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Debra Fine

On Thursday acclaimed author and speaker Debra Fine will appear at the University of Wyoming Ballroom at 4:30  discussing the art of a conversation.  Fine is a former engineer and the founder of the company called The Fine Art of Small Talk.

StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.

Today, we hear from two members of one of Wyoming’s most famous families.  Milward Simpson, the grandson of former Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson, interviews his father Pete Simpson, a noted historian, educator, Republican nominee for Governor, and former legislator.  They begin their conversation talking about Pete’s parents.  

VanHouten Photography

Maestro Gerard Schwarz raises his baton at the University of Wyoming. The former Seattle Symphony Orchestra director has 13 Grammy nominations and two Emmy wins to his credit, among numerous other awards. Tonight (Feb. 6), he’ll conduct three university ensembles in a public performance at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 PM. UW music department chair Theresa Bogard says Schwarz is honing the student groups’ sound.

Paul Montoya

LA-based singer-songwriter Melanie Devaney’s heart-felt music draws inspiration from her travels.

Anna Rader

We were saddened to hear that BeatGrass banjo-picker Pete Mergard passed away last week. Here’s a song from the Cheyenne-based band’s December 2013 visit to the WPM studios.

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