Pittsburg Festival of the Arts planned for June in unique venues 

The annual tradition of a weeklong series of free concerts continues this summer with the Pittsburg Festival of the Arts, planned for June 13-18 in unique Pittsburg venues that lend themselves to the groups and styles of music being played.  

In collaboration with the PSU Department of Music and local businesses, the week will be diverse, from a barbershop quartet to an Andean quartet.  

All events are open to the public. 

“This region has earned a reputation for musical talent,” said Festival Director Raul Munguía, an associate professor of music at PSU. “We’re looking forward to shining a spotlight on that for a week, to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. There will be a little something for everyone.”  

Festival logo

June 13 | 7 p.m. | Summer Kicks Jazz Concert 
Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer 

The Summer Kicks Jazz Band, which traditionally sets up on the lawn, will perform in the lobby of the Bicknell Center this year under the direction of Professor Robert Kehle. The band is comprised of some of the most talented musicians in the area, including faculty, students, alumni, and community members, who will perform jazz standards and a few contemporary numbers. 

Built in 2015, the Bicknell Center is one of the region’s premier entertainment destinations. The expansive lobby is a frequent site for gatherings and features a wall of floor to ceiling glass windows from which summer sunsets can be seen. 

June 14 | 2 p.m. | Pittsburg Brass Quintet 
Pittsburg Public Library, 308 N. Walnut 

A quintet of faculty and community members will perform a fun and relaxing concert of mostly light classics and pop music with the goal of making music accessible and interesting. The concert will be great for children! 

Completed in 1912 as one of few Carnegie libraries exemplifying Prairie Style architecture, this historic building continues to thrive with innovative programming and services for children, teens, and adults. 

June 14 | 7 p.m. | Clarinet & Sax Ensembles 
McCray Hall at PSU 

This concert, directed by Professor Joanne Britz, will feature an extensive repertoire for clarinet and saxophone, and will be structured as a “pyramid” of works, featuring a soloist, a duo, a trio, a quartet and then, a larger clarinet ensemble playing a variety of classical and contemporary music. Performing musicians include former, current, and prospective PSU clarinet and saxophone students of Britz as well as a few guest artists. 

Built in 1929 for the PSU Music Department, historic McCray Hall was named after the second chair of the department. The beautiful Sharon Kay Dean recital hall features a magnificent Fisk Opus 106 pipe organ, an instrument that has been widely praised for its excellence. 

June 15 | 2 p.m. | FOG (“Four Old Guys”) Barbershop Quartet 
Signet Coffee Roasters, 109 N. Broadway 

This acoustic acapella harmony ensemble will perform a variety of songs, from oldies like Tin Pan Alley, to Swing era ballads, to '50s doo-wop, to 21st Century favorites, in a unique harmonic fashion known as Barbershop — a uniquely American creation. 

Located in a renovated, historic building in downtown Pittsburg, Signet is a locally owned coffee roasting business that also sells freshly roasted coffee, as well as teas, smoothies, and other drinks, and pastries. 

June 15 | 7 p.m. | Ensemble Iberica 
Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer  

This Andean quartet is comprised of Amado Espinoza (Andean flutes, charango), Pedro Calderon (quena, guitar), Robert Castillo (bass, drums), and Brendan Culp (percussion). Using traditional Andean instruments like palo de lluvia (a rain stick) and bombo leguero (an Argentinian drum), it will showcase the musical traditions of the Andes mountains, which stretches from Northern Chile and Argentina to Southern Colombia, including the countries of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru.  

A few songs will represent Venezuela and Paraguay. A few songs have origins in indigenous rituals for the Pachamama, or Mother Earth, while others are more modern compositions about nature, love, and death. Music will highlight the cultures that live in the region’s diverse landscapes – from the high plain to the humid jungles to the sandy coasts. 

June 16 | 2 p.m. | Soprano Lydia Bechtel & Pianist Isaac Hernandez 
ArtForms Gallery, 620 N. Broadway 

Bechtel, an instructional professor of music at PSU, and Hernandez, a graduate student in piano performance from Mexico, will present an hour of Spanish art, song, and piano works by Hispanic composers from Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, and Argentina. 

ArtForms Gallery is an artists’ cooperative gallery established in 2016. It features high-quality handmade arts and fine crafts from some of the region’s most talented artists. Original works in painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, glass, wood, fiber, and mixed media are for sale, and monthly workshops are offered led by member artists. 

June 16 | 7 p.m. | Solo & Chamber Music 
First United Methodist Church, 415 N. Pine 

This concert will feature performances by the Low Brass Ensemble and Reena Natenberg, piano. 

Pittsburg’s First United Methodist Church is in a historic downtown building constructed in 1914. The centerpiece of its recently renovated sanctuary is Fisk Opus 152, a mechanical action organ built by C.B. Fisk, Inc., of Gloucester, Mass., in 2018. 

June 17 | 2 p.m. | Duo Capriccioso 
Books & Burrow Bookstore, 212 S. Broadway 

This dynamic violin and flute ensemble features Raul and Denissa Munguia, who will explore music inspired by the written word as well as books inspired by music. Audience members will enjoy an intimate time of live music, personal stories, curious musical/personal facts, and will be invited to participate in the concert by submitting written questions that will be selected randomly and answered on stage by the performers. 

Books & Burrow is a small, independent and Indigenous-owned bookstore and gift shop that opened in 2020 in downtown Pittsburg. It offers frequent community events including book discussions, children’s storytime, film screenings, and workshops. 

June 17 | 7 p.m. | Summer Wind Band 
Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer 

Directed by Assistant Professor Andrew Chybowski, this group is comprised of faculty, students, alumni, and community members, who will perform a variety of great wind music, from band classics to movie music, to solo features. This concert will have something for everyone. 

June 18 | 11 a.m. | Fleeting Notions Band 
Root Coffeehouse & Creperie, 402 N. Broadway, Suite A 

This band of former PSU music students Brian Amor, Kiel O’Neal, Fayne Speer, and Evan Harries will play a variety of pop and jazz-inspired songs. 

Root, a locally owned coffeehouse in one of Pittsburg's oldest historic buildings, sells made-to-order crepes, as well as pastries and non-coffee drinks, and features a Little Free Library and local crafts for sale. 

June 18 | 2 p.m. | Movie Screening 
Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer 

The classic movie “Charade” will be shown on the big screen in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall in the Bicknell Center. This 1963 American romantic comedy mystery film stars Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, and others. While on holiday in the French Alps, an expat American tells a friend she is divorcing her husband. On her return to Paris, she finds her apartment stripped bare. A police inspector says her husband sold off their belongings, then was murdered while leaving the city. Their money is also missing. 

June 18 | 7 p.m. | Bill & Monica’s Excellent Adventure 
Miners + Monroe, 214 S. Broadway  

Bill & Monica’s Excellent Adventure at 7 p.m. in the outdoor performance space at Miners + Monroe, 214 S. Broadway. Formed in 2010, BAM has been hitting crowds right in the nostalgia bone ever since. A 5-piece group with the skills to play everything from Soundgarden to Destiny's Child, their performances cover all variety of ‘90s music. 

Miners + Monroe, a men’s mercantile in a renovated downtown Pittsburg storefront, sells a carefully curated assortment of men’s apparel and lifestyle goods, and last year built a small outdoor concert venue behind the shop on the alley. 

Additional details: Facebook.com/PittsburgArtsFest