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Meet The Team Behind OMMA 


Wendy Wright

Executive Director

Wendy has been involved with OMMA since 2011.  Her daughter, Sophia was part of the OMMA music troupe as a child and she is now an instructor for the summer camp.  Her youngest child, Emilia is currently a member of the OMMA music troupe, The Roots.  Wendy and her husband, Eric have been dedicated to immersing their children in the culture of traditional Ozark music and Bluegrass. She is committed to preserving OMMA so that future generations may have the unique experience that playing this style of music can bring as well as helping to preserve old time music of the Ozarks.  She is the Development Director of Gloria Deo Academy in Springfield, MO.  She holds a Master of Science in Communication from Missouri State University.


Kari Garrsion


Kari Garrison was born and raised in Denison, Texas, in a musical family where harmony-filled jam sessions in the kitchen shaped the love and passion that she has for singing. After high school, Kari moved to Virginia, where her sweet voice lent itself perfectly to the Bluegrass scene. Over the next 5 years she shared the stage, as well as the recording studio, with many of the industry’s most promising bluegrass artists.

Then in 2001, following a dare from her little sister, Kari moved to the “Live Show Capital of the World” where she went on to sing with the legendary entertainer Moe Bandy for almost a decade, including appearing on the Grand Ole Opry, which she still considers the highlight of her career.

Kari has shared her sweet smile, powerful vocals and her love of music on many Branson stages over the years. In 2017, she was named Female Vocalist of the Year by both The Branson Show Awards, as well as the Branson Terry Music Awards.

You can currently see Kari celebrating her 20th year performing in Branson, in one of the best productions on the 76 strip, “Clay Cooper’s County Express” show at the Clay Cooper Theatre. 


Danny Talkington

Vice President

Danny has a tremendous love for Ozark Mountain music and has been visiting the Ozark hills for decades, starting in the early 1970s. In 2018, he bought a home in Forsyth, MO, making this his permanent home, so he could enjoy the beauty and music of this area every day, not just occasionally.
Danny loves children and enjoys teaching them about traditional Ozark mountain music to promote their interest in keeping it alive for future generations.

He is a member of the Society of Ozarkian Hillcrofters, which is trying to restore, protect, and preserve the historic buildings, streams, and forests of the Ozarks. He is a retired insurance compliance examiner. He is married to Jonny Talkington, and they have two sons, one daughter, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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Sophia Wright

Secretary & Treasurer

Sophia Wright grew up in the Ozarks, jamming at the Mountain Grove schoolhouse from the
age of 8, where she learned how to play the guitar and fiddle. She formed a band called Southern Strings when she was 15 years old to compete in the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Contest at Silver Dollar City. That band played together for 5 years around the Ozarks and Silver Dollar City. She went on to attend Bethel University in Tennessee on a Bluegrass Scholarship, where she played with the Bethel Bluegrass Band and received a Bachelor of Science in Music Business and a Master’s degree in Business. She is currently the Director of Student Engagement at Bethel University. She is a band coach and instructor at Ozark Mountain Music Bluegrass Camp and a fiddle teacher at Old Time Music & Dance Camp in Mountain View, AR. She also serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the Board of Ozark Mountain Music Association.

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Jeff Michel

Vice President

Jeff is a long time native of the Ozarks.  He serves as President of the Board of the Mountain Grove School House Jam.  His expertise in Old Time fiddle music has been passed down from the previous generation of Ozark fiddle players. His is known to be an expert in Taney County history and also serves on the Board for the Society of Ozarkian Hillcrofters.  He is the owner and operator of Michel Electric. He is married to Heather Michel and they have 3 daughters.  

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Heather Michel 

Board Member

Heather Michel is a native to Branson, MO. She is the owner and operator of Weddings at the
Homestead and mother of 3 grown children. Weddings at the Homestead is the beautiful venue
where Bluegrass Camp is held every year and Heather and her husband Jeff are wonderful
hosts. Heather is a big supporter of traditional Ozarks music and passing it down to the next

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Emily Garoutte

Board Member

Emily Garoutte has been fiddling for eight years. She spent two years training classically before
she discovered the world of old-time and bluegrass music. In 2017, she attended her first Ozark
Mountain Music Association camp where she learned to play by ear for the first time. During
that week, she fell in love with the style and creativity of the music as well as the community
that formed around it. Since then, she helped form the bluegrass group, Missouri 65, and fiddles
for another traditional bluegrass group, the Ozark Mountain Five. She also has a passion for
preserving local old-time tunes. Beginning in 2022, she participated as an apprentice in the
Missouri Folk Arts Program studying Ozarks square dance fiddling. She passionately hopes to
pass the music  on to peers and to the next generation.

Advisory Board

Larry Sifford

David Maravilla

Mary Parker 

John Meyer

Wyatt Harmon

Trustin Baker

Sadie Russell

Samantha Williamson
Katie Greer Hutson (Social Media)

Andrea Arnold (Website)

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