Hays native’s musical tour returns home

C. Jayden Smith
Hays Daily News
The Max Haverfield & Friends group will perform on Wednesday night at Smoky Hill County Club.

A Hays native and classical-crossover musician will play the second of his five-show tour Wednesday night at the Smoky Hill Country Club, with his family and other Hays natives beside him.

The Max Haverfield & Friends group, founded in 2017 by impresario Max Haverfield, opened their show, called the Sound of Glory, An American Spectacular, Sunday afternoon in Olathe.

Haverfield is joined by sopranos and Hays natives Catherine Dowling and Raeanna Peacock, associate producer, pianist and his mother Joy Hillery Haverfield, his aunt and principal pianist Garee Geist-Smith, Lawrence Jackson on the trumpet and music director Robert Lamar Sims.

"Sound of Glory, An American Spectacular," is a patriotic and Americana-type show, according to Haverfield, featuring popular classics including Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” a musical theater set, and pop songs from what the group calls the “Vietnam Era,” in which music served as an escape from war and hardship.

Haverfield holds a personal connection to several songs within the performance. One of the first pieces he sang as a child in church was “God Bless America,” and he found that “My Way” tends to encourage people to reflect in a positive manner.

“There’s No Business Like Show Business,” included in the musical theater portion, provides a powerful indication that the country is gradually moving forward from the pandemic that gripped the nation fro months.

“I’ve been telling all my sponsors and patrons that we’re back in show business,” Haverfield said. “I feel like that little medley really makes you feel like, ‘Okay, theater’s back,’ and we’re rolling again.”

The group rehearsed for two weeks in Kansas City before the tour started, and prior to that, Haverfield spent several months sending the music to the everyone in the group, fundraising, selling tickets, and organizing the show.

Haverfield added that Geist-Smith, a composer in her own right, and himself arrange the music in a manner that caters to his voice and those of the other singers. They also tell stories about their family to further incorporate a personal element into the show.

“We prefer (the show) to be an inclusive sort of storytelling as much as it is music,” Haverfield said.

The tour was previously scheduled to occur in 2020 before Haverfield informed everyone in April that they would have to hold off, which forced each of them to recalibrate. While taking limited time to explore new arrangements and find new talent, Haverfield had to focus on his advertising job and push through the pandemic.

He said that his feelings about returning to performances were mixed, knowing that those in the older demographic who make up a significant part of his audience faced serious issues throughout the past year.

“On the musical side, I think we were all so glad to get back to it and get to that first rehearsal and see where things are at,” Haverfield said.

He reflected on a question he had been asked before, in that he would likely be able to move on from singing if he could never do so again. With that answer, he made sure to include that he had severely missed music and the rehearsal process as much as any other aspect.

The special part about rehearsing, according to Haverfield, was the opportunity to blend everyone’s different styles together into one ensemble.

“That’s been a real joy to me at this level, where I’ve went from being a singer to being a producer,” he said. “I’m really glad to be at it again.”

After Wednesday’s performance, the group will play in Scott City, Oakley, and Colby.

Doors open for dinner and drinks at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Tickets can be purchased through the group’s Facebook page, at www.maxhaverfield.com or by calling the box office at 785-953-0264.