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Ken Burns and I travel all over the United States. After hearing your performance, we turned to each other and agreed that we had witnessed something amazing.



What an awesome learning experience for our kids! It's something they will always remember. I was so proud of them tonight. This is exactly the kind of opportunity REF loves to support. Thanks to both of you for all your hard work in putting this together.

BRANDON FORD - Raytown Schools

Playing with Purpose 2018 Promo Video
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Want more information about Playing with Purpose?

Playing with Purpose

Playing With Purpose will inspire, encourage and heal students, teachers, and audiences alike. Today’s youth seem increasingly interested in “why” we do something, and Playing with Purpose begins to answer the question, “Why do we learn music?” The program focuses on the personal character development of each student and teacher with the idea that the instruments and music are just some of our tools - very powerful tools - for having a positive impact in this world one concert at a time.

In addition to learning pops-style charts to accompany the band, students will also engage in communicating their language through basic, comfortable improvisation, as well as experience the band’s “Broken Beyond Repair” concept. Discovering new sounds on broken instruments whose replacement value is greater than the cost of the instrument (some of which may come from the school’s inventory), students will be poignantly reminded that all we come into contact with has special value and meaning, a unique gift to share.

Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road has a long history of inspiring music students and their teachers while helping string programs grow and reach high levels of achievement. Playing With Purpose serves as the basis for their educational engagement throughout the USA and indeed around the world. Students and teachers alike will have their music world flipped upside-down when they witness Kyle Dillingham blaze a trail on his fiddle. The youngest recipient ever of the prestigious Oklahoma Governor's Arts Award, Dillingham’s music has taken him around the world, performing in over 30 countries as “Oklahoma’s Musical Ambassador.” Playing guitar in the band is the 2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Peter Markes, who has over fifteen years of experience in the string orchestra classroom and has taken student groups to perform at Carnegie Hall and the prestigious Midwest Clinic. Playing upright bass is veteran performer, Brent Saulsbury, who has over 30 years experience performing and teaching private studio lessons on bass, guitar, and saxophone. Drummer Steve Short has recorded and played with countless big names in the music industry, including three years with Reba McEntire.

As a band, Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road have received numerous awards, including the International Acoustic Music Award and the Oklahoma City Gazette’s Best Band recognition. They have opened for the Oakridge Boys and the Charlie Daniels Band and have performed throughout the world from audiences of just a few royalty to crowds of over 15,000. On behalf of the U.S. State Department, they performed a tour of Liberia on a Cultural Crossroads grant and a five-week American Music Abroad tour of Korea, Taiwan, Burma and Russia. Horseshoe Road has been presented on many concert series in PACs and on college campuses throughout the Midwest, and they have performed their school program with the Norman, Edmond, Mid-Del, and Bethany (Oklahoma) Public School Orchestras.

Dillingham is also fluent in French and is able to present music-infused French immersion workshops in school language classrooms. Other offerings can include: master classes; standard repertoire rehearsal clinics; Christmas, Patriotic, or other themed shows; or teacher professional development or community group lectures on leadership and/or music in our schools. Through their high energy and positive enthusiasm, Horseshoe Road has generated countless free press stories for community events, and they look forward to doing the same for your program.

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