Special note: As of September 2017, we are having technical difficulties in updating our home page and other pages. Please be patient while we try to fix these problems. In the meantime, we would like to announce:

Astra is proud to endorse and support The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Celebration Tour concert at Historic Memorial Hall in Independence, Kansas on November 19, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.! The box office at 123 N, 8th St. opens at 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 14 through Nov. 18. Phone sales to (620) 330-3795 also open at this time. The box office at Memorial Hall will open at 2:00 p.m. the day of the concert. For infor and tickets, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/4LeafMarketing/

Also....Astra Arts Festival to again host their Haunted Tour on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017!

Just in time for the spookiest time of the year, “Astra Arts Festival—2018” will sponsor a special encore of its popular “Haunted Indy Tour” of eerie sites in Independence—or, at least stories about places reputedly haunted!  The tour—which also takes a tongue-in-cheek touch--takes place at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 13 and advanced confirmed reservations are required.

Cost is $20 each for the approximate 90-minute tour, which includes van transportation and knowledgeable guides. Participants must be age 18 or older. The trip will abound with “mostly” true scary stories and visits to sites where legend holds of supernatural activity throughout the history of Independence.

Tour-goers should call Astra at (620) 266-1974 and leave a call-back message.  Reservations are not confirmed until Astra staff call back patrons and verify that there is room on the tour. Seating is very limited. Departure and return is at Riverside Park in front of the Riverside Aquatics Center.

Special Events--2016 Astra Arts Festival in Review

 

We have some workshops being offered, and they are fairly special.

Workshops

Fiddling Around with Jana!!!

JANA JAE FIDDLE WORKSHOPS

Register HERE

Required for all classes:

  • A desire to improve your fiddling skills with one of the great performers / instructors of country and bluegrass styles.
  • A violin and bow in tunable, playable condition.

All classes will be held at Independence High School. Prior knowledge of fiddle styles is helpful, but not required. Classes are limited to 20 per group. Charge is $10.00. Jana will have two instructional books with cd’s, and two instructional videos available for purchase. Audio recordings will be permitted. Contact Judy Jones at jj4650@terraworld.net or (913) 961-2393 for more information.

General class descriptions:

Beginning classes:  A knowledge of basic violin / fiddle skill, and be able to play a simple fiddle tune. 
Intermediate classes:  At least two to three years of violin / fiddle experience.
Advanced classes:  Assumes a comfort level with more advanced violin / fiddle skills.

Schedule:

10:00 – 11:00Middle School / High School, Beginner and Intermediate

11:15 – 12:15Middle School / High School, Intermediate and Advanced

1:30 – 2:30Adult Beginner and Intermediate

2:45 – 3:45Adult Advanced

Like most entertainers who have reached stardom, Jana Jae’s success is the result of hard work perfecting raw talent.

Musical talent runs through the family. Her parents studied at the famed Juilliard School of Music, New York City, and Jana was introduced to the classical study of the violin, on a 1/8 sized instrument, at the age of two. Then, thanks to the direction and inspiration of her grandfather, an accomplished champion fiddler in his own right, Jana also learned to love playing by ear. She virtually grew up jamming with and learning from some of the best in the business while living in western Idaho, not far from Weiser, the site of the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest. Soon she had honed her skill of fiddling into a fine art and won the Ladies National Championship several times.

She also continued her classical training, winning scholarships to Interlochen and the International String Congress. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in music and studied abroad at the Vienna Academy of Music.

She taught music for several years until she felt inspired to take her unique blend of music on the road. Jana and her trademark blue fiddle soon took the world of country music by storm. She got her big break at a Buck Owens concert in Redding, California, when she was invited to take the stage and play "Orange Blossom Special." Buck was one of the first "big names" to recognize her talents and offered her a job as the first female member of his "Buckaroos" band. She later became part of the regular team of performers on the "Hee Haw" show and has appeared with such country music greats as Chet Atkins, Roy Clark, Ray Stevens, The Oakridge Boys, Mel Tillis, Ricky Skaggs and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Jana has built a solid solo career, drawing upon her diverse musical background. Her one-of-a-kind style blends country fiddling, western swing, bluegrass, pop and the classics, producing thrilling performances and critical acclaim.

But her enthusiastic following isn’t limited only to this country. She has consistently proved her ability to cross over into other genres and has earned a reputation and large international following performing at such renowned events as the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Wembley Festival in England as well as the New Orleans Jazz Festival. She has toured Japan, the Philippines, Australia, Africa, Brazil and continues to perform abroad.

Jana is a consummate performer and despite her petite 5’ 3 1/2" size, is a powerful whirlwind on stage. Her pure, clear voice, showmanship, down-home friendly sense of humor and natural communication with any audience combine for a dynamite concert. Her special talents have enriched us all in the world of music.

 

Big Shed and the Mystic Funk Machine

funktionjunction

A hometown product, Michael Mothershed returns to Independence with the Mystic Funk Machine to play a special performance on Saturday night.  More than a cover band, Mystic Funk Machine is a musical experience.  Playing for more than 10 years, the band offers a fantastic mix of professionalism and talent.  Trading vocals and styles, they move from one genre to another, recreating Motown and R & B classics flawlessly.  When it comes to blending music, fun and performing, this band has the right elements to make sure everyone has a great time and music mix is perfect.   

 Community Dance, Saturday, July 2nd, 9:00p.m.; Civic Center at Memorial Hall.  $15.00 admission.  Buy tickets online or at the door.