Featured Artist of the Month: KACEY AND JENNA THUNBORG
Kacey and Jenna Thunborg, a young western music duo from Lemitar, New Mexico, have been performing in front of audiences since they were eight years old. The 12-year-old twins attend seventh grade at Cottonwood Valley Charter School in Socorro, New Mexico. Kacey plays guitar and provides backup vocals, and Jenna provides vocals and percussion accompaniment.
Kacey and Jenna got their start in classic western music through award-winning instrumentalist, Mariam Funke. For the past four years, they have studied guitar, vocals and piano under Mariam’s guidance and mentoring.
The girls performed at the 2017 “Albuquerque Summertime Concert Series: Western Youth Day,” and at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 “Western Music Association Youth Showcase” at the Western Music Association Conference. They have also performed in many venues including local restaurants, churches, musical concerts, private parties, and school functions.
They have been fortunate to perform with “The Cowboy Way,” the 2017 Western Music Association Group of the Year, and Western Music Association awarding-winning songwriter, Doug Figgs. They have been invited to play with “The Cowboy Way” at the Arizona Folk Preserve in March of 2018.
The Western Music Association awarded Kacey and Jenna the 2017 “Youth Harmony Duo of the Year.” Jenna was selected as one of the top four contestants at the 2017 “Soccoro Sings” competition.
To help them further their musical pursuits, both performers have received the Sky Velvet Vassar Music Foundation “Skybird Scholarship” and the “Western Music Association Young Performers Education Scholarship.” The girls live on a working farm helping to tend to the family livestock and farm chores. It is a life-style they embrace - riding horses, taking care of their chickens, herding cattle, and driving their father's pick-up truck. They look forward to developing their musical talents, as well as continuing to provide happiness and enjoyment to their audiences.
Quite simply, Western music is the folk music of the West.
Western music originates from roots in English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh ballads, as well as the many musical influences from the immigrants who "went west." While "Cowboy" music is an important part of Western music, the stories of larger populations of Western culture are equally important. Settlers, farmers, ranchers, horsemen and women, soldiers, miners, gamblers, saloon keepers, school teachers, and other folk who inhabited the great American west are all subjects of modern day Western music.