Barrage music troupe to present 'Vagabond Tales' for WSU

2:06:42 PM CDT - Thursday, November 04, 2004

By Shannon Littlejohn

Barrage, an internationally known musical troupe often described as "Stomp" meets "Riverdance," will be treating Wichita audiences to its dazzling mix of musical genres with dance and song in "Vagabond Tales" this November.

It's a high-energy evening of fiddle-playing and foot-stomping brought to the region by the College of Fine Arts and Barney Byard Promotions of Wichita. Proceeds from the concert will benefit fine arts scholarships.

"We're excited about the possibility of increasing our scholarship base for students," said Steve Peters, chair of WSU's School of Performing Arts. "The event itself is another opportunity for us to reach out to the communities and schools in and surrounding Wichita. It helps to connect with them through performance and engage them with what we're doing here, and possibility recruit students to Wichita State."

"I am very pleased to be able to help WSU's School of Fine Arts with this performance," said Byard. "It's a high-energy show that appeals to such a wide variety of people. It's a truly breathtaking performance."

Barrage is a troupe of young musicians whose newest show, "Vagabond Tales," features a multitalented cast of seven violinists/vocalists, one drummer, one bass player, a guitarist and a percussionist. The group performs music of different cultures in an eclectic mix of music, song and dance an "arts fusion," said Peters, which allows more people to connect with various aspects of the performing arts.

"Vagabond Tales" is framed around the recollections of an old man remembering his time in a roving troupe of Gypsy musicians. It's an intoxicating journey transcending time and culture with invigorating energy, virtuosity, creative choreography, colorful staging and stunning musical arrangements.

The United States is Barrage's third stop within the 2004 tour of "Vagabond Tales." The troupe recently completed a six-week tour of Europe, including stops in England, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Poland, as well as a tour of China.

During its visit to Wichita, Barrage will also participate in WSU's 3rd Annual Global Learning Conference Nov. 12, when it will hook up for a long-distance performance with violinist John Harrison, who is studying at MIT while on leave from WSU's School of Music, and with students participating in WSU's String Improvisation Day in Miller Concert Hall.

Barrage in "Vagabond Tales" is at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in Century II Convention Hall, downtown Wichita. Call 755-7328 (Select-A-Seat) for tickets, which are $20, $15 and $10. General admission tickets are available to WSU students for $10 at the College of Fine Arts Box Office, 978-3233.

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