A Musical Life

KMUW's Jedd Beaudoin interviews Wichitans who live a musical life... as a full-time vocation or a part-time passion.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Josué is a trumpet player and percussionist based in Wichita. He plays with a variety of acts including Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy, Lewelheds, Odisea, and Soul R. System with Rudy Love, Jr.

“My oldest brother was a guitar player. He played in band. I had never touched an instrument in my life before. He was playing piano one day and said, ‘Hey! Sing C.’ [Sings.] He goes to the piano and hits the key and [it was the same]. I found out I had perfect pitch when I was seven.

Kyle Solomon

Kyle Solomon is a singer-songwriter and guitarist-for-hire living in Wichita.

“Guitar was always a very glamorous instrument, in the sense that you could be just as cool as the lead singer. You could hold your own against any lead singer. Didn’t matter if you were Axl Rose, Steven Tyler, Michael Jackson. I could literally go on all day long. But I think what really attracted me was the guys who could do both—both play and command a band. For me, that was Prince, that was James Hetfield of Metallica.

Ronnie Glenn Williams is a singer-songwriter based in Wichita, Kansas. His latest release is an album named after his hometown.

“The night life’s interesting. It really is almost a controlled loneliness. You get a couple drinks in people and they either get extremely happy about their situation or they’re lonely. That’s always kind of inspired writing.

courtesy photo

Kimberly Bowie (pronounced boo-ey) has been singing since she was four years old. She is assistant manager and lead vocal coach at School of Rock, Wichita.

Jedd Beaudoin

Robin Roberts has been playing in a variety of music settings for several decades. He and musical partner Billie Preston are prominent members of the Wichita music scene and can be seen and heard around town on a regular basis.

I started playing the banjo in 2007. It changed my life and it’s been my passion since then.

In 2007, when I was getting ready to leave down there … I see this golf cart going by me and I see this kid sitting on the back of the golf cart and he’s playing a banjo. For some reason, the sound of that banjo stayed in my head. I couldn’t shake it.

Sebastian Boswell

This week's A Musical Life features Gina Gouchenour, a music teacher at College Hill Elementary School and member of the Wichita Chamber Chorale and the Ad Astra Singers.

"My name is Gina Gouchenour and I am the music teacher at College Hill elementary school, and I teach K through 5 music. I also am a singer in various choirs around town including the Wichita Chamber Chorale, the Ad Astra singers. 

Alyson Assaf

Les Easterby has recorded and performed with And Academy, The Royal Palestine and The World Palestine. With the last band he has released albums such as Everything Is Subliminal and Let’s See Star B.

Derek Hildebrandt

Heather Wooldridge is a Wichita-based musician. She plays keyboards with Vehicles and a variety of other instruments in her downtime. She favors soul music and the drums.

Torin Andersen

Georgia Andersen is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in bands such as You’ll Be A Torso and This Great October. Her current project is Notes.Scraps.

Lisa Hittle is Assistant Professor of Music and directs the jazz program at Friends University. She is a frequent performer with various jazz ensembles in and around Wichita.

“The Maynard Ferguson Orchestra came to Winfield, Kansas to Southwestern College and played a concert. It was the famous Live at Jimmy’s band, it was that lineup that recorded that album with Bruce Johnstone on baritone saxophone.

It was that night that everything really changed for me and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.