New officers have been elected to lead the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association, as follows: President – Orin Friesen, Benton; Vice President – Jim Farrell, Andover; Secretary – Sharon Chesmore, Derby; and Treasurer – Roy Pethtel, Haysville. Jeff Davidson of Eureka is the immediate past president.
“I am excited about the opportunity to celebrate and advance our wonderful western heritage in music and poetry,” Friesen said.
The purpose of the Western Music Association is to promote the music and poetry of the American West. Membership is open to performers, fans and supporters.
Friesen has been a long-time radio personality on KFDI F in Wichita. He served as general manager of Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Suppers near Benton and performs with the Prairie Rose Rangers.
Farrell is a recording engineer, former Nashville musician and producer. He owns and operates Jim Farrell Studios in Towanda and performs with the Diamond W Wranglers.
“Sharon Chesmore is western music’s number one fan,” said outgoing president Jeff Davidson. “As a volunteer, she works tirelessly to promote western music and the WMA.”
Pethtel is also a fan who has been active with WMA. He is also prolific at reciting cowboy poetry.
The Kansas WMA chapter sponsors various shows and projects to promote western music. The organization meets quarterly for business discussions and jam sessions. WMA members receive the Western Way magazine which is the only professional magazine dedicated to the promotion of western music.
More information is available at www.wmakansas.com.