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11:00 PM Thu, Sept. 20th

Prescott Opry performers to mix cowboy music, Old West storytelling

Courtesy photos<br>The Ping Brothers, above, and the OK Chorale will headline the Prescott Opry at the Elks Opera House 7 p.m. Thursday. Call 777-1370 or visit elksoperahouse.com.

Courtesy photos<br>The Ping Brothers, above, and the OK Chorale will headline the Prescott Opry at the Elks Opera House 7 p.m. Thursday. Call 777-1370 or visit elksoperahouse.com.

Fans of music with a Western flavor can look forward to a "toe-tappin'" time Thursday night when the Prescott Opry turns the stage of the Elks Opera House into the Old West.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17, with senior, group and student discounts available. Order tickets by calling the Elks Opera House box office at 777-1370 or visiting www.elksoperahouse.com.

"We'll do a real variety - old country, swing, cowboy music and blue grass," Creighton Miller of the Ping Brothers Band said, adding, the performance will be "a very lively, very fun mix of music."

Longtime Prescott residents Doug and Frank Ping formed the band, which now also includes Creighton and John File, all instrumentalists who blend their harmonies with "terrific pickin'."

The second half of the show will feature the OK Chorale Trio, dedicated to preserving the music of the Silver Screen cowboy era, combining it with the history of Old West Arizona, ensemble member Allen Fossenkemper said. The OK Chorale Trio originated with him, and grew out of stories of the West he learned about when he worked for True West Magazine, published by historian Bob Boze Bell.

Originally, the group performed a cappella style, but then started adding instruments, Fossenkember said. Their performance now includes lead guitar, bass guitar and a harmonica. Their set is "about 60 percent music and 40 percent stories that we relate to the songs, tying the music to the historical," he said.

In the spirit of Prescott Frontier Days "World's Oldest Rodeo" and its recent 126th performance, the Opry's special guests will be the Arizona Rangers, who will take time o make a special "surprise" presentation to Sharlot Hall Museum and its youth music program. Historian Melissa Ruffner will also be on hand to share bits of history about the Rangers.