11th & Grant With Eric Funk

11th & Grant with Eric Funk is the premiere outlet for music performance in Montana, seeking out the state's most acclaimed, accomplished, and pioneering talent. The Emmy winning performance series also devotes significant time to each artist's personal story, insights into their music and their approach to life, ultimately providing a deeper experience than a seat at a concert. Accomplished composer and musician Eric Funk serves as host and artistic director, hand selecting each performer from communities around the state to form a diverse series featuring genres from jazz to classical, country to zydeco, and rock to fusion.

The New Big Sky Singers (No. 1104)

The legendary vocalists of the New Big Sky Singers showcase their witty, unyielding excitement and precise harmonies as they perform a mix of folk, americana, and original works.

One of Montana’s most iconic bands, The New Big Sky Singers, takes the stage on 11th & Grant with Eric Funk.  Legendary singers & musicians Rob Quist, Don Collins, Don MacDonald, Gary Funk, and Pete Hand showcase their precise, eclectic harmonies as they perform a mix of folk, americana, and original works. Friends and bandmates for over 5 decades, this group  brings witty, unyielding excitement and a swinging sound from various guitars, four symmetrical voices and a warm acoustic bass.

Don MacDonald is the driving force behind the New Big Sky Singers. His 12-string guitar adds a signature depth and tone to this group. His love of music and passion for the guitar has kept the group playing together for more than 50 years. A graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Law, MacDonald has had a distinguished law career in both Missoula, Montana and Anchorage, Alaska.

Lead singer and songwriter of such seminal groups as the Mission Mountain Wood Band, The Montana Band and Rob Quist and Great Northern, Rob Quist is a well known Montana native, who plays various guitars, banjo, and sings. His ode to rural living “Close to the Land,” recorded by Michael Martin Murphey was awarded Song of the Year at the Texas Music Awards and is the theme song of the American Public TV show America’s Heartland, and appears on the Grammy nominated bluegrass CD by Murphey. Rob has released 16 CDs of mostly original music about the lives and history of the people of Montana and the West, placing his songs on Billboard and indie charts.

Don Collins, former lead baritone for the Seattle Opera Company, was inducted into the University of Montana’s “Hall of Honors” for his distinctive career as an opera singer, actor and as co-founder of the Missoula Children’s Theatre. Collins professionally sang opera for 10 years, regularly performs in theatre and is passionate about music and children’s theatre.

Gary Funk, former associate professor of Music at the University of Montana and musical director for the University of Montana Choir, brings the strong tenor component of the New Big Sky Singers’ tight harmonies. During his tenure at the UM, Funk directed The Vienna Experience, a semester abroad program that brought US university students to reside in Vienna. While in Europe, they traveled to Budapest, Krakow, Florence, Venice, Prague, and Salzburg to study music, human values, literature, art/architecture, Eastern European history, German, history of opera, and voice.

Pete Hand provides the warm acoustic bass adding depth and tone to the balanced harmonies. Pete has played with such top-notch performers as Buddy DeFranco, Tommy Newsome, Marian McPartland, Buddy Collette, Herb Ellis and Bud Shank.

 

11th & Grant with Eric Funk is proudly supported by these Individuals and Montana Businesses:

Funders for this season of 11th & Grant

To find out how you can support the show that supports Montana artists, contact: aaron_pruitt@montanapbs.org

Directed by:
Scott Sterling

Produced by:
Paul "Gomez" Routhier

Audio Director:
Jeremiah Slovarp - Jereco Studios, Inc.

Executive Producer
Aaron Pruitt

- 11th & Grant is a production of KUSM-TV/MontanaPBS, MSU-Bozeman -