Wess Cooke – Vocals/Guitar
You could say that classic country songs are my favorite because many of them paint beautiful pictures that take you to wonderful places. I remember as a child falling asleep with my transistor radio on my pillow, listening to Wheeling, WV’s WWVA, and dreaming that one day I could share the stage with those wonderful voices that filled the night sky. I guess it just goes to show that if you try hard enough and you never let go of your dreams anything is possible.
Julie Keough – Vocals
Julie’s first favorite country album was the Dixie Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces,” but over the years, she’s grown to love the music of many country stars. Since performing in AMT’s Nashville City Limits, Julie has been working on learning the uke, mandolin, banjo and upright bass in the hope of one day forming a one-woman country band! Julie spent some time in Pigeon Forge, TN in the heart of the Smoky Mountains; that “mountain music” has had a special place in her heart ever since! Visit Julie’s MySpace page or check out her YouTube channel to hear more of her music.
Jared A. Mashak – Vocals
Jared is thrilled to make his AMT debut! Being a Wisconsin native, Jared listened to country music from the day he was born. Listening to Reba McEntire and George Strait, he grew an appreciation for the emotion brought out in the music. Now, with the popularity of pop country artists, Jared has been able to branch out of strictly singing musical theatre, pop, and rock, and add country to the mix! Regional credits: Grease (Danny,) High School Musical (Troy,) and The Wizard of Oz (Lion).
Michelle Rajotte – Vocals
Michelle is excited to return to AMT. To begin the year with one of her favorite genres is the perfect way to get the ball rolling. The classics always bring Michelle back to her younger days, when her Mom would put on a Patsy Cline or Randy Travis album to inspire her to clean the house! The smell of furniture polish and seeing her Mom dance around is one of her favorite memories. Her Mom has been gone now for 12 years, and she misses her dearly. Michelle thanks her family for the love and hopes you enjoy the show! God Bless!
Honey Ribar – Vocals
Honey is thrilled to be making her AMT debut! Growing up in Minnesota, Honey began listening to country music at a young age. One of her earliest country music memories was when she would dance on her Mom’s and Dad’s feet to John Denver music playing on the turn table. Some of Honey’s favorite roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Ado Annie in Oklahoma, and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. After graduating a year early from NYU, Honey continues to pursue her dream of performing around the US. Visit HoneyRibar.com for more info, or visit her on YouTube, read her blog, become a fan on Facebook, or check out her twitter: @honeyribar.
Sheldon Rogers – Vocals
Sheldon is a southern boy from North Carolina and a Catawba College graduate. He is excited to be taking the AMT stage for the first time in Country Classics. As a child, Sheldon grew up listening to country artists like Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, and Garth Brooks. He is looking forward to singing songs from his childhood here at AMT this summer. Much love to family and friends for all their unending support! Twitter: @SheldonLRogers
Dean Clemmer – Steel Guitar/Dobro
Dean grew up listening to traditional country music on the Grand Ole Opry and was captured by the sound of the steel guitar. Bands he has played in have shared the stage with the likes of country greats Bill Anderson and Lee Greenwood. Dean played in productions of Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story, Honky Tonk Angels, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Always…..Patsy Cline, Country Jukebox, and A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.
Stu Huggens – Guitar/Banjo/Vocals
Stu has toured the US and Canada as an opening act for Charlie Daniels, The Allman Brothers, Reba McEntire, Mel McDaniel and many others. He has played the Grand Ole Opry and had a top ten song with “They’re Still Heroes Today” written for Viet Nam veterans. Stu appeared in the AMT production Country Jukebox and his song “When Elvis Gives Another Cadillac Away” was used in the show.
Michael Lambertson – Violin
Michael is very excited to be back at AMT for Country Classics. He remembers being on this very stage almost nine years ago at the age of 14 playing “Orange Blossom Special” in AMT’s The 2003 Revue, and having a fantastic time! Michael is excited to be able to play that song once again and hopes you enjoy it as much as he does.
Andy Mowatt – Guitars
Andy is very happy to play with the AMT Band for his third season – this time with some extra twang! In addition to performing at the Palace Theater in New Hampshire this past winter, Andy spent many long nights in the “woodshed” preparing his country “chops” in order to capture the essence of classic country with y’all. It’s sure to go down like a burnin’ “Ring of Fire!” Visit AndyMowatt.com for more info.
Andy Roberts – Arranger/Music Director/Piano
Andy grew up in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. His teenage years were spent practicing by day and playing in country bands at VFWs and biker bars by night. Much time was spent in the family basement jamming to Lynyrd Skynyrd tunes in his brother’s band, while at the same time discovering Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. Andy graduated from Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, in 1989.
Gabriel Staznik – Drums
Ever since AMT’s production of Nashville City Limits, Gabriel has been looking forward to performing in another country show! An active performer, educator, and arranger, Gabriel holds a Music Education degree from West Chester University, is on the music faculty at Lancaster Bible College, and arranges music for numerous ensembles from the drumming groups at Hershey Park to competitive marching bands. Visit GabrielStaznik.com for more info.
Mike Wittrien – Bass
Since the musicianship coming out of Nashville and most of the country music scene is world class, Mike was really nervous getting ready for Country Classics! The bass is the heartbeat of many of these songs, so even though there only may be two notes per bar, you have give them breadth and make them count. Taking inspiration from Nashville’s A-Team of session greats, Mike hopes Bob Moore doesn’t mind him stealing a line or two!