St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival revisits fan faves

Wylie & The Wild West, Phil Aaberg and more highlight high-altitude concert series

On Stage

Fan-favorite country western band from 2019, Wylie & The Wild West, opens this year’s St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival on Sunday, June 26. Every two weeks, from June through August, the five-concert series draws music lovers from across southwestern Montana and beyond to St. Timothy’s Memorial Chapel, perched high above Georgetown Lake. This year’s festival brings back previous years’ fan favorites for a series that spans multiple genres.

Wylie Gustafson declares "“We are a good-time cowboy band that hates to be boring!”
Wylie Gustafson declares ““We are a good-time cowboy band that hates to be boring!”Photo © Mark LaRowe

“After these past couple of years we felt our loyal fans needed to be treated to some of their favorite musicians. We are thrilled we could fill the season with such an eclectic group of artists – and that they were available and excited to return to the St. Timothy’s stage,” said Connie Fitzpatrick, vice-chair of the St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival Board.

“If you’ve ever been to a Wylie and The Wild West concert, you know why we wanted to launch the summer series with them,” she added.

Wylie Gustafson is a native Montanan and a rancher, as well as an accomplished singer/songwriter with 20 albums and four decades of performing, writing and recording under his belt.

Over the last 30 years, Wylie and his band, The Wild West, have performed their refreshing blend of cowboy, western swing, old school country, and yodeling music worldwide. It’s not just Wylie who fans come to see. Guitarist Clayton Parsons, drummer Tim Lashley, and violinist John Sporman are all virtuoso players with winning personalities.

When asked to define his music, Wylie says, “We are a good-time cowboy band that hates to be boring!”

The music continues on July 10 with perennial favorites, the Montana Chamber Music Society. This year’s performance will draw on a select few from their roster of 12 highly accomplished musicians, comprised of world-class performers with a long list of accolades and awards including Grammys, Grand Prix du Disques and Gramophone awards.

Helena’s Queen City Swing Band performs July 24. Formerly known as the Speakeasy Dance Band, the nine-piece group has been performing across Montana for more than 25 years. Beginning with the Big Band sound of Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, the Dorsey Brothers, and Duke Ellington the Queen City Swing Band has expanded its repertoire to include music up to present day.

Fitzpatrick recalls, “When Queen City played the festival in 2018 we had people dancing in the aisles because they just couldn’t sit still. Given the popularity of the festival this year, that may not be possible but we will accommodate what we can!”

Kendrick & Mondie wrap up this year's St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival.
Kendrick & Mondie wrap up this year’s St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival.

The 2016 fan-favorite and one of Montana’s best-known musicians, pianist Philip Aaberg, returns to St. Timothy’s stage Aug. 7 with his compositions that evoke the spaciousness and beauty of the Western landscape. Throughout his career, Aaberg has produced music that consistently translates Montana’s farms, ranches, and native cultures into musical concepts, and has forged a unique keyboard style that paints an audible portrait of his home state.

His wide range of abilities have garnered him guest appearances on over 200 albums and concert tours with artists as varied as Peter Gabriel, John Hiatt, Kenny Rogers, and the Doobie Brothers, and earned him Grammy and Emmy nominations.

To finish up the 2022 season Aug. 21, the festival features two of Helena’s up-and-coming musicians, Marci Kendrick and Brett Mondie. The duo, Kendrick & Mondie, offer a distinctive and engaging style of country/folk music that highlights their ability to effortlessly harmonize.

“While these two are first-time performers on St. Timothy’s stage, we wanted to end the concert series with a reminder to our patrons that our mission is to introduce them to the best musicians we can find from across the state and region,” Fitzpatrick said.

With a background in opera, musical theater, and church music, Kendrick lends her voice and expertise on multiple instruments to Mondie, a gifted lyricist and guitarist who leans on his life experiences to write music that is relatable and enjoyable. Mondie’s accomplishments include a recorded album and 2 EPs with the band Fortune In The Sun, an album (and live version) recorded in Los Angeles with his band Brett Mondie & The Barbaros, a solo EP with Grammy-winning producer Jimmy Hoyson, and most recently, a new single, “Damn Good Woman,” released in 2021.

All performances start at 4 p.m. at St. Timothy’s Memorial Chapel, 2285 Southern Cross Road, Anaconda. More information on the venue and performances—including ticket purchase—can be found on the festival website.