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MAC to open with 'Showcase'
The Wisconsin Music Arts Festival Showcase performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Monroe Arts Center, 1315 11th St., Monroe. Featured singers and songwriters include Beth Kille, Anna Vogelzang, Eric Hester, Stephanie Elkins and Emily Hurd. General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 18 and under, and MAC members are free. Tickets are available through the MAC box office, 1315 11th St., Monroe or by calling 608-325-5700 or 888-596-1249. More information is available at Pictured, from left, is Beth Kille, Anna Vogelzang, Eric Hester, Stephanie Elkins and Emily Hurd. (Photo supplied)
MONROE - Monroe Arts Center opens the 2013-14 entertainment season with the Wisconsin Music Arts Festival "Showcase" performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

Back from their workshops at the Wisconsin Music Arts Festival on June 22, five workshop session leaders will take the MAC stage in an extraordinary display of musical talent. This special performance will showcase both leaders and participants in what promises to be an exciting evening of words and music worth remembering. Performing in concert for one night only are singers and songwriters Beth Kille, Anna Vogelzang, Eric Hester, Stephanie Elkins and Emily Hurd.

Kille, of Madison, is a 15-time Madison Area Music Association award-winning artist who has been cranking out her unique blend of rock, country, folk and blues since 2000. She fronted the Wisconsin Area Music Industry award-winning band Clear Blue Betty from 2002 to 2008 before launching her solo career. Kille has penned hundreds of tunes and was recognized on a national level for her writing when she won the Nashville Songwriters Association International Song Showdown in 2009.

Vogelzang, of Madison, is a singer and songwriter who composes songs infused with poetic lyrics and emotion. She has received multiple Madison Area Music Awards, taught at Madison's Girls Rock Camp, and has performed at such events as Rocky Mountain Folks, Falcon Ridge, Austin's South by Southwest Festival, and National Women's Music Festivals' Emerging Stages. She also performed as a vocalist with The Dresden Dolls all around the country, notably at Lollapalooza 2006, and on NPR's World Cafe.

Hester is a multi-award-winning composer, producer and songwriter whose music and warm stage presence creates instant community. From Madison, Hester signed to his first record contract at age 15 and he has spent 30 years working in the music business. He founded the popular Madison Songwriters Group, started a monthly musicians' showcase, and has taught songwriting at the University of Wisconsin. Before his days as a solo artist, Eric was a member of the Southwest-based alternative band The Young Professionals, and was later one-half of the acclaimed acoustic duo The Panhandlers. His newest CD is titled "5 Dollar Cover."

As host and producer of the "Simply Folk" program on Wisconsin Public Radio, the voice of Elkins is one that is well-recognized. She also is the Saturday classical announcer, and is the former host of Saturday Afternoon Classics and The Midday with Norman Gilliland. As a vocalist and musician, her love of music also takes her beyond the doors of the radio station - straight to the stage. Elkins lives in Monticello.

Hurd is a prolific Chicago-based songwriter, singer and pianist. She has currently produced 10 full-length studio albums. Her songs have been finalists in three international songwriting competitions: NPR's New Song Music Contest, The John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and The Unisong International Songwriting Competition. Her song "Help Me to Understand" was featured in the 2011 season of CBS's NCIS crime series.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 18 years and under, and MAC members are free. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office, 1315 11th St.; by calling 608-325-5700 or 888-596-1249; or online at

This event has been underwritten by Corporate Underwriter Colony Brands, Inc., and Media Underwriters Monroe Publishing, LLC, and Big Radio. Additional underwriting has been provided by Paul and Sue Barrett; Stephen and Katee Eliasson, and Deb Thompson.