Meet Don Brown!
Don Brown was raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he helped his father make and paint decoys to hunt with at an early age. Don began to make his own style of wood decoys in the mid-1950‘s. His first sale of mantle quality decoys, a pair of mallards, was to a collector in 1957. Making, showing, and selling decoys became a serious hobby in 1973.
He has participated in many Missouri art shows in Springfield, the Kansas City area, and the St. Louis area.
His decoys have been presented as awards and gifts to many individuals, including President George W. Bush when visiting the Springfield area. He has received national and state awards for his donations of decoys to fundraisers for Ducks Unlimited.
Now retired from his pharmacist career, Don is devoting his time to designing new products such as the decorative boxes and baskets with wildflowers and wildlife, while still keeping up with his decoy making, traveling, hunting, fishing, and family, not necessarily in that order.
Brown’s creations will be available at the Sunflower Festival—prices ranging from $49 to $129.
Meet The Shandies!
The Shandies are Shannon Stine (vocals/guitar) and Natalie Wlodarczyk (vocals/guitar). They started playing together in April 2016 and their blend of unique musical backgrounds makes for a distinctive and entertaining listening experience. The Shandies play an eclectic mix of original and cover tunes that incorporate folk, country, rock, and pop marked by tight vocal harmonies and creative guitar blends. Their debut album of original songs titled “Begin Again” was released in June 2017 and is available on CD at their live shows as well as online at iTunes and cdbaby.com.
Shannon Stine is an award-winning Merle Travis style thumbpicking guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Shannon wrote her first song at the age of three, started playing piano and ukulele at the age of six, and guitar at the age of ten. She previously played in the local bands Violet and The Swivel Sisters, and currently plays in Nadia, The Flame Lilies, and with The Shandies, as well as performing solo shows in and around the Springfield area. Her debut self-titled CD featuring her original music is available on iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon.
Natalie Wlodarczyk is a board-certified music therapist and music therapy professor at Drury University who has been playing guitar since age seven. Natalie was raised on the singer-songwriters of the 1970s and her musical upbringing has had a strong influence on her still today. She previously played in the Tallahassee, FL group Sassafrass and in the Springfield rock band A.K.A. as well as in an acoustic duo with Russell Weatherly. She currently plays solo as well as with The Shandies.
Watch The Shandies perform at the Sunflower Festival opening night July 15 6 pm – 8 pm!
Photo by Andrew Edwards Photography
Meet David Dove!
David is a Springfield based musician as well as an electric bass and upright bass instructor at the Hoover Music Company.
“I’ve been a bass player for 7 years. I have played with several different bands ranging in several different genres. One band I have played with for 5 years now has been a local jazz band called Little Hoovers Big Band. I was All-District Jazz Bass Player 2012 my Senior year at Hillcrest High School. I have studied under several instructors and attended Drury Jazz Camp. I am currently in college furthering my music education and still playing around town.” -David Dove
Come see David Dove and Friends perform at the Sunflower Festival on Tuesday July 25 6 pm – 8 pm!
Meet The Smith Duo!
Jonathan started playing bass in the fifth grade. He has participated in the top jazz band and combo at Drury University which is where he met his wife, Lisa Luu. Lisa learned how to play the guitar in pursuit of being a music therapist at Drury University. She has been involved in music since she was 7. They both enjoy musical jam sessions and sharing their love of music with other!
Come enjoy The Smith Duo at the Sunflower Festival Monday July 24 6 pm – 8 pm!
Meet Emma Bennett!
Emma has been playing and singing since she was 14 years old. She has performed in front of thousands of people at the Missouri State FFA Talent Show as well as competing in several other smaller talent shows around the South West Missouri area. Emma also enjoys playing during the breaks of her grandfather’s band “Sober as a Judge” and is excited to sing at the Sunflower Festival.
Join us for Emma’s performance with Amy Marrone at our Sunflower Festival on Friday July 21 6 pm – 8 pm.
Meet Rick & Karen Maxson!
Rick & Karen will be sharing their passion for the ukulele with us at Golden Grove Farms! Rick grew up in Ventura, Calif. playing the guitar, performing at events, gatherings, camps and weddings. On a trip to Hawaii in 2005, he took advantage of a free ukulele lesson at Waikiki Beach, and he was hooked! He bought a ukulele when he returned home and discovered it was a natural fit for his experience and talent with the guitar. Rick is the faculty advisor to DUkes, Drury University’s Ukulele Club. A longtime musician, Karen added ukulele to her instrument repertoire in 2010, playing it as a reward for practicing her cello. She began as many do – strumming and singing in the privacy of her home – and it didn’t take long for her to realize she’d rather be playing the ukulele than the cello (apologies to the cello teacher). Three years later, she moved from California to Springfield, Missouri and began facilitating Springfield’s Queen City Ukulele Club at its twice-monthly uke jams.
Join us at Golden Grove Farms to enjoy Rick & Karen Wednesday July 19 6 pm – 8 pm!
Meet Alexa Kilgore!
Alexa is part of the group called the Kilgore Sisters, that is folk-rock artists Alea and Alexa Kilgore from Springfield, MO, who are sisters who share a love for music. Their blood relation is evident through their angelic harmonies and sisterly chemistry. The girls perform their own compositions as well as covers by artists ranging from Norah Jones to Bob Dylan.
Alexa is an undergraduate student at Drury University working towards her degree in Music Therapy. Alea received her Bachelors of Science in Human Resources at Missouri State University, and she’s currently working towards her Masters in Business Administration. The girls’ positive energy and soothing voices are sure to grab your attention and put a smile on your face.