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The New Big Sky Singers Step Into The 'Musician's Spotlight'

The New Big Sky Singers: Rob Quist, Gary Funk, Don Collins, Don MacDonald and Pete Hand
Aaron Pruitt
The New Big Sky Singers: Rob Quist, Gary Funk, Don Collins, Don MacDonald and Pete Hand

Host John Floridis interviews Rob Quist, Don Collins and Don MacDonald of the New Big Sky Singers.  At the time of this interview, the group was planning a CD release and reunion concert for their new recording, 50 Years Ago Today, right when the COVID-19 pandemic brought live music performances to a halt.

Floridis talks with the band members about that recording and how this band of musically influential Montanans came to be. “Best buds from college," is the way Rob Quist describes the fellow members of the New Big Sky Singers. 

Don Collins is a former lead baritone for the Seattle Opera Company, and was inducted into the University of Montana’s “Hall of Honors” for his distinctive career as an opera singer, actor and co-founder of the Missoula Children’s Theatre. Gary Funk, former associate professor of music at the University of Montana, served as musical director for the University of Montana Choir. Don MacDonald is an active member of the musical community of Anchorage, Alaska.

The four sang in the Jubileers in their college days and toured together, shortly before Quist rocketed fame as an original member of the Mission Mountain Wood Band.

Quist also ran for Montana’s lone congressional seat in 2017.

(Broadcast: Musician's Spotlight,  7/7/20 and 10/27/20. Listen on the radio Tuesdays, 7 p.m., or via podcast.)

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.
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