PIQUA — Fond Kiser, 1979 Piqua High School graduate, will perform a solo acoustical show “Rollin’ It Back. Payin’ It Forward,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 at The Octagon Barn at Orrmont Farm, 150 Fox Drive, Piqua.
Proceeds will benefit Piqua music students.
The opening act Lonnie Starrett (PHS 1982) and Christian Starrett (PHS 2019) will begin at 6 p.m. The doors open at 5:45 p.m.
VIP table seats, including food and two drinks, are available for $35 each, general seats are $25, including two drinks. There have been 100 seats reserved exclusively for Piqua students with an interest in music. The public is asked to purchase and donate one or more student seats at $20 each to be distributed to Piqua music students who want to attend this show. Student tickets include food and two drinks. Food will be available for purchase at the show.
Tickets can be purchased at Readmore’s Hallmark, 430 N. Main St., Piqua, or via Venmo from @PiquaChris.
Kiser is a Piqua native whose early music influencers were his father who played harmonica, guitar, and mandolin, and mother who played piano, accordion, and had a beautiful singing voice. Fond took a few guitar lessons from friend and local legend Scott Ridenour, then taught himself to play. By age 14, Fond played in bands with fellow classmates, and by 15 he was touring with Inner Chamber playing Southwest Ohio locations like The Lost C, The Minder Binder and numerous fairground performances. At Piqua High School, Fond played trombone and sousaphone in marching band, and guitar in stage band and the swing choir’s backup band.
“There’s a big place in my heart for Piqua,” Kiser said, “and this show is my gift to the next generation of musicians, a chance to entertain and inspire them. I want to see 100 students in the front row of my show. But I need Piqua’s help. I’m asking folks to buy and donate a student ticket or two, that we’ll give to Piqua music students who want to attend my show.”
Over the past 40 years, Fond has played hundreds of gigs in dozens of Texas honky tonks, dance halls and roadhouses with folks like B.B. King, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson and Ohio’s McGuffey Lane. Fond’s live performances in the Austin, Texas, market landed him key showcases at Austin’s SXSW Festival for five consecutive years, and opening for Jack White at SXSW in 2013 at the Stage on Sixth’s Showcase Show.
Fond has written, recorded and performed dozens of original songs, and in 2006 released “Portrait Americana,” an album of original music. In 2009, Fond wrote and recorded “Circa 1979” for his 30th high school class reunion, a song about high school nights, and the in-between time after graduation and whatever comes next. “Circa 1979” has become the class of 1979’s anthem.
On Saturday, Aug. 3, the PHS Class of 1979 will host its 40-year class reunion at the Piqua Fish & Game Club. This year’s honored guests are members of the class of 1980, and all 1980 class members are invited to attend, as well as all PHS graduates 21 and over who want to reconnect. Also scheduled for Saturday is “Lunch With Jeff Wilhelm” at Piqua Manor to visit and share a meal with one of 1979’s favorite classmates. Registration for both events is required.
Kiser’s original music has been played on XM radio’s Folk Village (now called Coffee House) and Outlaw Country, United States Armed Forces Radio, and independent radio stations in Texas and the U.S. Fond has written songs, and written, directed and produced TV commercials for Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Dodge, Winn-Dixie, World Golf Village, and PBS.
Lonnie and Christian Starrett, both life-long musicians, are a father-son duo who have been playing blues, rock, pop and country music their entire lives. Their act will include multiple special guest performers, including some of Christian Starrett’s fellow Piqua music students. Lonnie Starrett is a well known guitarist to local audiences as a member of Saber, Funk in the Trunk, Roadhouse Mafia and Cadillac Sam and the Syndicate. At age 13, Christian Starrett joined Cadillac Sam and the Syndicate, playing alto/tenor saxophone, and also is well know locally as a member of PHS Men’s Chorus and concert choir, and a four-year singer/dancer and bass section leader for the show choir. This fall, Christian Starrett will attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., to study Commercial Guitar and Music Business.
Lonnie Starrett’s first guitar lesson instructor was none other than Fond Kiser.
“This show is a great opportunity for us all to see how far both teacher and pupil have come over the past 40 plus years,” Kiser said.