The Steel Wheels to headline homecoming celebration

The Steel Wheels

A widely recognized bluegrass band and Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival favorite, The Steel Wheels, will perform on the Hesston College campus at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, as part of the college and community’s homecoming celebration.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students ages five through high school. All seating is general admission. Doors at the venue, Hesston Mennonite Church, will open at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets at the Hesston College Bookstore in Erb Hall, online or call 620-327-8104. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door, although purchasing tickets ahead of time is strongly encouraged.

“We have hoped to bring The Steel Wheels to Hesston College for a long time, and we’re excited to have them as part of our Home Sweet Hesston homecoming activities,” said Dallas Stutzman, director of Alumni and Church Relations.

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are surrounded by the bluegrass and folk music tradition, and have established themselves among the lauded of the genre.

A review by Country Standard Time said about the group: “What sets The Steel Wheels…apart from many bands is the combination of their stellar instrumentals, accentuated by the one of a kind lead vocal of [Trent] Wagler, and keenly supported by strong harmonies.”

The group’s home base of Harrisonburg, Va., holds many ties with Hesston College and the wider community, giving many locals a familiarity with the group. Lead singer, Trent Wagler, spent part of his adolescence in Hesston, attending Hesston Middle School, and his father is a graduate of Hesston College’s Pastoral Ministries program.

Formed in 2004, the Steel Wheels have been wildly popular at Winfield’s annual Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival since their debut appearance in 2012. National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage said about them: “Few groups have come as far in such a short period of time as The Steel Wheels.”

“They are well-known with a big following in this area,” said Stutzman. “We anticipate a high energy and enjoyable evening of music.”