7:30 PM




3:00 PM


Music In Van Wert

BY Paul Hoverman

Let me assure you that a big phat band is not one that needs a little more time on the treadmill!  In this case, this Big Phat Band belongs to Gordon Goodwin and you can experience their music at the Niswonger on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. 

Gordon Goodwin is the band leader, pianist, sax player, and writer of some of the most incredible music written of this time.  Some of the comments that have been made about him are: 

“Listening to Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, I was immediately taken by Gordon’s contemporary musical viewpoint, the dynamics of his “Big Phat Band,” its bevy of superb soloists, and the exhilaration of its sound.” —Quincy Jones 

He is a man of exquisite musical taste. I am truly blessed to have him in my life.” —Johnny Mathis

“Whenever I hear your music, I get the sudden urge to retire!” —Sammy Nestico

These comments come from some of the most respected musicians of our time!  Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band is a big band, much of the style of Doc Severinsen’s big band that performed for years on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show or the late Buddy Rich Big Band.  Gordon’s band is today’s contemporary big band, filled with an all-star cast of musicians in every section: saxes, trombones, trumpets, and rhythm.

As a keyboardist and woodwind player, Goodwin has built a larger-than-life reputation throughout the music industry for his composing, arranging and playing skills. Ray Charles, Christina Aguilera, Johnny Mathis, Toni Braxton, John Williams, Natalie Cole, David Foster, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torme, Brian McKnight and Quincy Jones are just a few of the artists with whom he has worked. Goodwin has also conducted world-renowned symphony orchestras in Atlanta, Dallas, Utah, Seattle, Toronto and London.

Goodwin’s cinematic scoring and orchestration craft can be heard on such films as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Escape to Witch Mountain, Get Smart, Glory Road, National Treasure, The Incredibles, Remember The Titans, Armageddon, The Majestic, Con Air, Gone In 60 Seconds, Enemy of the State, Star Trek Nemesis and even the classic cult film Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes. Goodwin’s soundtrack to Looney Tunes’ Bah HumDuck! – a wacky Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck riff on the classic A Christmas Carol – also features the Big Phat Band’s patented sound.

We not only want to present this “very hot” band in performance, but we also want to make available a special lecture/clinic where Gordon will talk about how he composes music for all these mega-hit film scores.  It will run from 3:30-4:30 p.m.  Call our box office (419-238-NPAC 6722) or check out our website ( for details on how you can be included in this special offer prior to the 7:30 p.m. concert that night.

Okay- now you know what a Big Phat Band really is.  If you are looking for a definition of phat, I think the dictionary will tell you it’s both “cool” and “hot”! How can that be?  Come and find out for yourself.



Joel Sartore Photo Contest

JOEL SARTORE WILD{about}LIFE Photo Contest

He's been around the world with his camera and he will be at the Niswonger to tell the stories behind the pictures on Sunday, April 21 at 3:00 PM. A WILD about LIFE Photo Contest is announced and offered for all age groups with the winning entries receiving a FREE admission to the Joel Sartore event on April 21. Here's how to take part:

1. CAPTURE A SHOT Using a camera or digital phone, capture an image of nature or animals. The picture submitted can be a past or present work.

2. SUBMIT Images can be submitted in various ways to accommodate all entries. Images will be received beginning Thursday, April 11 and ending Friday, April 17. The entry must be submitted with a name and contact information. The image will be displayed with the photographers name unless indicated otherwise. No-Photo-Left-Behind Submission Options: Option 1: Traditional Method - By mail or personal delivery to NISWONGER Performing Arts Center, c/o Joel Sartore Challenge, 10700 SR 118 S, Van Wert, OH 45891, Box Office hours for submission: Noon - 4:00 PM Monday - Friday.

Option 2: Email Option - Submissions can be emailed to marketing

Option 3: Social Media- Using Facebook, posts can be linked to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio in the post description. To do this one must first LIKE the Niswonger Facebook page. Images can also be messaged through Facebook. Using Twitter, tweets should be tagged with @NISWONGERpac or tagged with #NPACVW. Using Instagram, posts must be tagged #NPACVW. Be certain to share contact information for notification of winning.

3. WIN! Winners will be chosen daily beginning April 15-19. Winners will be chosen subjectively based upon image creativity. The daily winner will receive a FREE ticket to experience Joel Sartore on Sunday, April 21 at 3:00. The winning images will be displayed in the Grand Lobby display case on the day of the Joel Sartore event. All entries will be displayed via slideshow on the Grand Lobby Monitors.Winning recipients tickets will be held in will call. The winning image will be posted to the Niswonger social media pages daily. All entries will be collected and displayed in an album on the NISWONGER Facebook page.

Ready... Set... GO! Be part of the fun. Capture nature's beauty. Before taking shots, be inspired by the amazing works of Joel Sartore

Be Amazed! Tickets available for the Joel Sartore, April 21 event through the Box Office 419-238-6722 or online