Performers coming to Haigler
HAIGLER, Neb. — It’s happening in Haigler! Word has just been received that top performer Ginger ten Bensel will highlight this year’s Cowboy and Cowgirl Roundup Saturday evening, September 16, 7 p.m. at the Cornerstone Center for Community Service in Haigler. Ginger is proud to be a descendant of homesteaders who went West looking for a better life and built the American Dream. Growing up in rural southwest Nebraska, her world was family, farm and self-reliance. Ginger was a natural at horsemanship, partially due to her work with the family’s cattle operation at the time. Soon her trophies from riding competitions filled her home, and she went on to win Miss Rodeo Nebraska.
The Nebraska native began her singing career as a young girl, even performing with a Grand Ole Opry star in her teens. And after years of being encouraged by her many fans, she moved to Nashville. She performed with many noted artists and recorded with hit writers and producers, and now has a rich catalog of original songs.
The lure to return to her roots was strong, however, and when offered a TV news reporter position at the NBC affiliate in Hastings, NE; she moved home. She covered events from politics to disasters, but never forgot her music. Using her work ethic and many long term relationships from her time in Nashville; she was able to land TV interviews with virtually all of Country Music’s top artists, from Toby Keith to Keith Urban to Charlie Daniels to Rascal Flatts to Luke Bryan and many more. Ginger has also sang the National Anthem at various high profile events across the country, has opened for Chuck Barry and Clint Black, and sang for two US Presidents.
During this time, she wrote and recorded her inspirational and very personal song, “I Love Nebraska.” In no time, a grass roots movement began to adopt this song as the official state song of Nebraska. While the song didn’t become the state song, Ginger says it was just an honor to have it officially considered and her relationships with state and local elected officials grew stronger from the experience.
After leaving KHAS-TV to be closer to her family, she was determined to continue with her music. In demand and performing at numerous political, social, and sporting events, she has kept both her profile and her spirits up as a positive voice for the region. When Ginger sings “I Love Nebraska” at shows across the state—and throughout other states, even grizzled old cowboys or farmers can be seen fighting back a smile and even an occasional tear.
For this performance in Haigler, Ginger has invited two additional performers to join her. Local singer and songwriter Phalen Sanford of Benkelman, Nebraska will sing and play guitar on some songs with her. Phalen is a senior at Dundy County High School and has performed with Aubrey Frederick at many local events. He is a two-time semi-finalist at the Galaxy of Stars at the Nebraska State Fair; Phalen is also a star athlete for the Dundy County Stratton Schools. The 2nd performer Ginger has invited is Gene Malleck from McCook, Nebraska. Gene has been playing the guitar and singing for nearly 70 years. Ginger and Gene started playing music together just 3 years ago. Gene is also the lead guitar player and lead singer for the Saggy Bottom Boys.
This program venue is a great opportunity for everyone in the tri-state area and beyond to come to Haigler for a grand entertainment evening. There will also be food served, a beer garden, stick horse parade, arena olympics (bring your own rope), and prizes for the best-dressed cowboy and cowgirl. The Haigler Community Foundation is hosting this event and hopes to have additional sponsors and free will donations to help defray costs. There will not be any admission charge. Make plans now to come to Haigler on September 16!