The Mule Barn Theatre Guild will present a special performance of Patsy Cline tunes at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 7, at the Tarkio Rotary Theatre on the Tarkio Tech campus. The program is part of the guild’s year-long artist series.
Lauren Johnson from St. Joseph, Missouri, will portray Patsy Cline, singing her well-known hits. Lauren is a vocalist and musician. A true native to the stage, Lauren began her singing career at just 6 years old, picked up the violin for the first time at age 9, and has had the pleasure of performing for a wide variety of audiences throughout the Midwest since. In 2016, she graduated from Missouri Western State University’s School of Fine Arts, earning a B.A. in Vocal Music Performance, and won the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award for her division that year. While at MWSU, Lauren enjoyed numerous opportunities to perform in university musicals, operas, and was often invited to sing for exclusive alumni gatherings at home and across the states, including Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Ludlow Memorial in Colorado. Lauren’s top favorite roles over the years are Patsy in Always… Patsy Cline, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Ulla in The Producers. Alongside her husband, Ben, Lauren currently performs tributes to legendary women in music of decades gone by, such as Judy Garland, Doris Day, and of course, Patsy Cline.
Donovan Jones, Tarkio, Missouri, will provide the accompaniment on piano. Donovan was born and raised in Tarkio and commenced his musical training at the age of 12 with the piano. He continued his studies in piano/organ, oboe, and voice at MWSU beginning in the Fall of 2011 and later decided that he enjoyed church music as well as singing opera and art song. In August of 2012, Donovan officially declared his major as Vocal Performance with a minor in French, under the tutelage of Dr. Susan Carter, DMA. Donovan also studied piano with Jerry Anderson, Dr. Nathanael May, and Dr. T. Mathew Edwards and pipe organ with Bill McMurray. Donovan has competed both regionally and nationally as a Lyric Tenor, winning 1st place at the National Opera Association’s opera scenes competition in 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee; 1st place in his division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in 2012; 2nd Place in 2013; and 1st place in 2014. In 2013, Donovan was selected as a finalist in the Classical Singer competition in Chicago, Illinois. In 2012, Donovan sang for the inauguration of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. Shortly thereafter in May of 2013 and 2014, Donovan toured Southern Colorado performing an original musical by Dr. Laurel Vartabedian. Jones began working as music intern at First Presbyterian beginning in August of 2011 under the mentorship and guidance of Jerry L. Anderson, and later was hired as the Worship Team director at First Lutheran Church and the Music Director at St. Francis Xavier. In the Summer of 2013, Donovan sang both leading and chorus roles in performances of Madama Butterly, L’elisir d’amore, Pirates of Penzance, and Cinderella at “Opera in the Ozarks” in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. He has also performed the roles of Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen. Donovan also accompanies many of the productions at the Missouri Theater in St. Joseph as a rehearsal and performance pianist. Currently, he serves as the organist and musical director at Francis Street First United Methodist Church in St. Joseph.
Free-will donations will be accepted. A reception catered by Tarkio Hy-Vee will be held afterwards. Call Sid Cooper for tickets (816-261-4587). If you had already purchased tickets for the previously scheduled Patsy Cline performance, contact Sid to be added to the list for this production.