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Kyle Dillingham: Musical Connections

A fiddler fueled by enthusiasm and interaction



 



The farm truck radio of Kyle Dillingham’s grandfather was always set to a station that played songs from country greats like Bob Wills. It was an everyday thing as little Kyle rode around his family’s farm near Enid.
 

“Man, that music just got in my soul,” Dillingham says. “I started playing violin when I was in the 4th grade. And I just couldn’t wait. I knew the songs, so it was just a matter of learning to play the violin.” And while learning to play classical violin in school, he was also using that technical training to help him become a better fiddler.

It was both of those influences – and his performance-centered talent – that made it possible to launch a career in music. But his interests have spread far beyond just classical violin or country fiddle, and an extra ingredient beyond skill and expertise has helped fuel his success – performing locally, playing in Nashville on the Grand Ole Opry stage twice and collaborating with various performers abroad in Thailand, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Burma and Russia.

He is a popular performer in constant demand, bringing a uniquely energetic and interactive style to the stage.

As Bob Wills once did, Dillingham often dances and sings as he plays fiddle. Those animated performances have an enthusiasm that causes crowds to stand, clap, dance and sing along.

And that connection to his audience is the key element of Dillingham’s creativity. Yes, he composes in solitude quite often; the piece may be intended for large audiences, or just for his wife and two small children. But no matter the imagined audience, “I can’t wait to perform it for someone as soon as I’m finished.”

That interaction is critical to his creativity. It’s why his performances are never quite the same even if done with the same song titles and the same group of musicians on stage with him. He often performs with his band Horseshoe Road, a 20-year collaboration with Peter Markes, an award-winning music teacher at Edmond North High School.


“I can tell you it is pure joy to have such a fruitful music relationship,” Dillingham says. “It is also just so much fun. Honestly, with a lot of the same songs. Just play ‘em every time.”

So how does that happen? How does he stay creative and fresh while playing many of the same songs with the same band?

“It’s the crowd. It’s the crowd that keeps this fresh.”

He explained that even though it may be many of the same songs, he and the band do something different with them each time because the crowd is different each time. “Peter and I will be playing something so familiar as ‘Orange Blossom Special,’ and there will be new things happen, still.”

He says that it has to do with a deeper philosophy about whether music is primarily for the performer or for the people who are present at the performance. If it were for the performer only, “then you could just do that alone in your living room.”

Instead, Dillingham believes that a performance is something that happens between the performer and the audience, not something the audience simply listens to in a passive way.

“When you are out performing, there’s something really magical and special about the connection that music creates between people,” he says. “And it’s a spiritual thing. And it’s a human thing. It’s an encouraging thing.” Even though “it may be the fifth time that the performer has played the tune,” the people who are hearing it are unique, and may have never heard the tune before.

What’s next? He and Markes are completing a new Horseshoe Road album that should be released in late summer. And he can’t wait to play it for you.

 

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December 2017

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Ted Moore Auto Group has signed up six of its automotive dealership stores to collect food for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma this holiday season. The food drives will be held in the stores at...

Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Ted Moore Auto Group
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Contact Name: Michelle Gray
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
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Cost: Free to view

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
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Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors

Where:
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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More information

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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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More information

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Cost: Free to view

Where:
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
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More information

The spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with a stunning set and sparkling costumes in Lyric's production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Go on a magical journey...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

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Cost: $25

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More information

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Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
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View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This year, we’re proud to present a series of Christmas cult classics and holiday hidden gems designed to combat shopping fatigue, winter blues, and Mannheim Steamroller-induced insanity....

Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
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View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
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View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
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ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. The ~25 artists featured in the exhibit also attend the ArtNow event so that guests can learn about...

Cost: Free to view

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
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View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
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View map »

More information

Oklahoma City native Ginna Dowling will install a visual storytelling called Hieroglyphics 2017: The Spirit of Our People, based on what Dowling calls “contemporary community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The City Cabaret OKC returns this December with their sure-to-sell-out holiday sensation, "Retro Wonderland," at the Paramount Theatre between Main & Sheridan in Oklahoma City's...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

The spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with a stunning set and sparkling costumes in Lyric's production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Go on a magical journey...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

What do you get when you mix the twisted mind of Brian Hamilton, the morally askew producers who brought you “Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum” and the musical stylings of Michael Todd...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This year, we’re proud to present a series of Christmas cult classics and holiday hidden gems designed to combat shopping fatigue, winter blues, and Mannheim Steamroller-induced insanity....

Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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