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WMPAC shows will bend boundaries this winter




As any local knows, there is far more to Big Sky than initially meets the eye. To an outsider, Big Sky could be characterized as a quaint ski town, perfect for those looking for world-class terrain and solitude. For those who have committed to live on this landscape and in this community, Big Sky isn’t a place to come when you’ve given up on exploring, but rather a launching point to continually push boundaries.

As part of the cultural fabric of Big Sky, Warren Miller Performing Arts Center is a vehicle for continuing to push those boundaries of exploration.

“Big Sky finds itself on the cutting edge of the arts scene, and not just relative to the rest of Montana,” said John Zirkle, WMPAC executive director. “The caliber of performers coming here would be extraordinary in any number of larger communities, but it’s just what locals have come to expect of Big Sky.”

In WMPAC’s 2019 winter season lineup, perhaps the best example of high-quality, cutting-edge arts is Eighth Blackbird, the contemporary chamber ensemble coming to the stage Jan. 19. The group has won four Grammys for their genre-bending music, which employs classical instruments to perform music by contemporary composers.

“Eighth Blackbird pushes the boundaries of what everyone perceives classical music to be,” Zirkle said. The group performs standing, without sheet music in front of them, enriching the performance with a dynamism and presence not typically associated with chamber music. “Eighth Blackbird is for people who are looking to experience something truly new and want to see for themselves where this artform is going,” Zirkle added.

Locals and many outsiders have discovered the quality of WMPAC shows, and several of the season’s shows are on the verge of selling out, including the Earth Harp Collective, on Dec. 28; Take 6, on Jan. 5; and Ira Glass’ two performances on March 9. And Tig Notaro’s performance on Feb. 2 sold out faster than any WMPAC show in its six-year history.

“The secret’s out,” Zirkle said. “And we couldn’t imagine a better community for us to be in than Big Sky.”

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets for this winter’s events.

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