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WPAA to Host 'Drums of the World'

January’s Western Plains Arts Association program has been moved to an alternate community and venue.

The public performance for Drums of the World by Michael Fitzsimmons has been moved to Hoxie High School Auditorium on Sunday, Jan. 24.  It will still be at 3 p.m. that day as stated in the WPAA season program. Admission is $10 adults or $5 students at the door or by WPAA season pass.

This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Additional funding support is from the Dane Hansen Foundation, Logan, Kansas. There will also be two school workshop/programs held on Monday, Jan. 25, at the Hoxie High School Auditorium, one for older students and one for elementary students. These school sessions are also made possible by the public and private funding sources mentioned above.

International touring artist Michael Fitzsimmons, Omaha, Nebraska, presents his Drums of the World concert featuring rare instruments from Switzerland called Hang. All compositions and arrangements are original. Incorporating the Hang with over 30 years experience as a composer and performer, Fitzsimmons has audiences spellbound by the beautiful, other worldly sounds of these unique and intriguing instruments. These multicultural concerts also showcase an exciting variety of drums from Cuba, West Africa, Central and South America, flutes from Brazil, China and Native America, pan pipes from Bolivia, and Kalimbas from South Africa. Michael weaves variety into his performances as multi-layered songs unfold before your ears.

A self-taught percussionist, Michael mastered the art of musical composition. ‘Sunshower’ his first recording released in 1987 was composed while living in Arkansas in a small rural community.  The influence of nature and a spiritual awakening helped to bring this first musical masterpiece to life. To date he has produced five original CD’s over his career.  His newest is “Islands in Paradise” from 2016.

Drums of the World delivers the following music educational elements: rhythm, timbre, dynamics, texture, form, structure, expression, personal empowerment, cultural awareness/appreciation, bio-diversity.

Educators said this about his student workshops and performances: 

I have taught for over 30 years and yours was the best performance I've seen in my time here. The kids were mesmerized, as was I. Thank you so much for a very enjoyable afternoon.

- Karen, teacher, Rock Springs, Wyoming

Very impressive, unbelievable performance! To hold the attention of 750 students for an hour takes a remarkable talent!

- Kris Vodehnal, teacher, Human Elementary, Lincoln, Nebraska

See YouTube or visit for more information.