Meet the Western Range Band
Western Range's lead singer is Nicole Johndrow, an outstanding vocalist who loves to perform authentic music from the great era of honky tonk and Texas Swing bands. Nicole is also an accomplished actor whose autobiographical solo show, Mixtape Confessions: The Diary of a Teenage Optimist, has played to sold out audiences in New York City and up and down the east coast. She has performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage and at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
Nicole's theatrical credits include: Chess (Fuse Productions); Fun Home (Fuse Productions); Parade (Fuse Productions); O Beautiful (Penn State Centre Stage); CATS (Nat'l Tour); The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, opposite Sally Struthers (Ogunquit Playhouse); The Full Monty (Westchester Broadway Theatre & Arkansas Rep); and the Off-Broadway revue Back In Pictures.
Her extensive travel as a professional actor and vocalist allowed her to deeply experience the honky-tonk and Texas swing scenes in Nashville, Memphis, and San Antonio, and she brings that sensibility to her vocal stylings with Western Range, where she pays tribute to the unforgettable music of Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, Loretta Lynn, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, and many others.
Susan Chiovarou is the rhythm guitarist/vocalist for Western Range. She is respected by local musicians for her incredible talent at singing beautiful backing vocal harmonies. She also shines with her lead vocals on rockabilly classics from Carl Perkins and Wanda Jackson as well beautiful honky tonk and Texas Swing ballads. Like Nicole, Susan loves the meaningful and authentic lyrics of the songs that Western Range brings to life on the stage.
Susan has been a vocalist and guitarist since her high school days performing many styles of music including folk/rock, jazz and wedding music. In Northern Pennsylvania, she fronted the jazz-focused James Ronan Group. In the Central Pennsylvania region, Susan has performed in the ensemble for many memorable musical theatre productions with FUSE Productions, the State College Community Theatre and the Nittany Theatre at the Barn.
Lead guitarist Mac Himes is considered by many to be the most accomplished professional guitarist in the Centre Region. With Western Range, Mac loves bringing his jazz-influenced guitar style to the music of pioneering electric guitar greats like Chet Atkins, Don Rich (from the Buck Owens band), Eldon Shamblin (from the Texas Playboys band), and Scotty Moore (from Elvis' band).
Mac has been both a performing jazz guitarist and guitar teacher for over 15 years in the central Pennsylvania region. In addition to his gigs with Western Range, Mac performs with the Rick Hirsch 4, the Zeropoint Big Band, as well as his own jazz trio. A doctoral candidate in music education at the Penn State School of Music, Mac received a masters in music composition from Penn State and B.A. in music from Peabody Institute. He is a faculty member at the Penn State School of Music, and you will love his authentic, creative guitar work when you hear him jamming with Western Range!
Western Range drummer Kyle Haust is one of the premier percussionists in the Centre Region of Pennsylvania. As one who really respects and studies honky tonk and Texas swing music, Kyle brings an incredibly authentic sound to his work with Western Range. Few drummers anywhere can match Kyle's versatility and playing abilities and he will get your feet tapping whenever you hear Western Range on the band stand or festival stage.
Kyle plays an amazing array of musical styles ranging from jazz to punk to classical. Just wait until you hear his hard-driving rhythms as well as his work behind the beautiful ballads of Western Range.
Kyle earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Florida and a Professional Performers Certificate in percussion from Penn State. He also earned his master's degree in percussion performance from Penn State and he is principal percussionist and principal timpanist for the Nittany Valley Symphony. He performs as house drummer for FUSE Productions and Singing on Stage musicals.
Bassist and backing vocalist Phil Burlingame has been a fan of all forms of American roots music for decades - but he especially loves the Texas Swing, classic honky tonk and hard-driving rockabilly that define the distinctive Western Range sound.
Phil has played many musical styles. He was the bassist for classic rock bands in Northern and Western Pennsylvania and he has played bass for big bands, Dixieland bands, jazz combos and his own quartet. Locally he was the bassist for the Slide Zone (jazz octet) and has performed with the Keystone Society of Swing and the Les Shaw Band.
Phil has also played bass for musical theatre productions at State College Community Theatre, Nittany Theatre and FUSE Productions.