Max Haverfield might live in Kansas City now, but the former Hays resident will return to the area this week with his friends and a show of Americana music.
“Everybody always says ‘Does anybody come to your shows in western Kansas?’ when I’m in Kansas City. I say attendance is great, because they’re yearning for something like this,” he said Friday.
Haverfield organized a tour of musical shows in five cities at Christmas last year, and will return with “Sound of Glory” starting Thursday at the Smoky Hill Country Club, 3303 Hall.
Haverfield will be joined by Catherine Dowling, also originally from Hays and a graduate of Thomas More Prep-Marian High School.
She is also now in Kansas City and has sung opera at the Kansas City Lyric Opera and Lawrence Opera Theater, which is where Haverfield said he met her.
“We didn’t ever meet in Hays and then we ended up meeting down on this end of the state,” he said.
The show also features Kansas City singer Madeline Clem and Michael Cervantes on trumpet, Haverfield’s mother, Joy Haverfield, Colby, on piano and keyboard, and his aunt Geree Giest, Scott City, on piano.
“Garee has a group that she leads in Scott City named the 6 Pac of Pop, and they are joining us as well” for some extra power on big numbers, Haverfield said.
The dinner shows will feature patriotic and other songs of America, such as “God Bless America,” and Broadway tunes from the 1940s and ’50s that became popular music such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
“At the end, we’re actually doing ‘How Great Thou Art,’ which isn’t patriotic or musical theater, really, but I do think it’s sort of an American hymn that a lot of people relate to,” Haverfield said.
And that’s just the first act. In the second act, Haverfield and company will perform a salute to the troops, including music from the Vietnam War era arranged by Guest.
Haverfield said he has three reasons why he puts together this musical endeavor.
“The first ‘why’ … is so I can put together these groups of musicians I know to get out in front of people because I think their talent needs to be seen,” he said.
“And the second ‘why’ is that I found these people are open to it, want it,” he said of the rural audiences.
“And the third ‘why’ is finding the music that speaks to people in the communities we go to,” he said.
Haverfield splits his time between Kansas City and his family’s ranch in Logan County and worked on his grandfather’s farm when he was in high school in Hays.
He recalled there was a meadow across the road from his grandparents’ house that at dawn, reminded him of the opening line of “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from the musical “Oklahoma” — “There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow.”
“That song, but others too, I probably have a propensity to liking songs that reflect the Midwest, the Kansas way of life,” he said.