Picture of the Marquee Mossman provided by Gary McCutcheon


Winfield, KS—Officials at the Marquee Performing Arts Center have announced that a Mossman guitar will be raffled off this year in order to raise funds for the refurbishment of the old Fox Theater in Winfield.


Mr. Jeff Priest, who at one time worked for Mossman Guitar, has agreed to donate a repaired 12-string Mossman guitar to raise money for the Marquee. The guitar has been assessed at an approximate value of $1500 by Jim Baggett, owner of Mass Street Music in Lawrence, KS. Priest asked that the money raised from the campaign go toward the Stuart Mossman Stage at the Marquee, and so the fundraiser has been dubbed Mossman’s Melody Guitar Raffle.


Marquee will offer raffle tickets for a chance to win the guitar, $10 for one ticket and $20 for three, available online at www.marqueepac.org, or sold at various events over coming months. The organization plans to kick off the campaign with an online concert featuring Western singer Barry Ward. The concert will be included as part of the Winfield Chamber of Commerce’s Virtual Music Crawl, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 8. The campaign will culminate in a giveaway on stage at the 49th Walnut Valley Festival in September.


The Story of Mossman Guitar #73-560

Priest said that he purchased the guitar, advertised as being in good condition, on eBay about 20 years ago. It is a 12-string guitar and in its construction is similar to the Tennessee Flat Top, with mahogany back and sides and a spruce top. It was built prior to the 1975 fire that burned down a portion of Mossman’s shop, and this means it was made before Mossman settled on some of his standard guitar models, making it a relatively rare find. Jeff placed the winning bid, but the guitar arrived with a broken headstock and suffered from a structural failure where the neck joined the body, an affliction sometimes known to guitar players as the “agony of de feet.” It was worth next to nothing and was in unplayable condition, so Jeff stashed it in a closet.


After Priest retired in August 2019, he saw an article about the Marquee Performing Arts Center in Winfield, which was raising funds to refurbish the old Fox Theater downtown. Kendra Mossman had given them the naming rights to the Mossman Stage inside the center. Jeff had worked for Mossman in the mid 70s and now had the time and incentive to repair that old guitar.


Jeff Priest: “It’s a pretty cool story to think here’s a guitar that Stuart Mossman had a hand in making, coming full circle 47 years later to benefit the stage bearing his name.”


Marquee Co-Director Roger Moon: We very much appreciate Jeff’s willingness to donate this rare guitar, and in so doing help raise money for a stage bearing Stuart Mossman’s name. I am sure that Stuart would appreciate the gesture, and I know that members of the Marquee Board were excited to see this new initiative. This is indicative of what we are calling Marquee 2.0, a reboot of the entire enterprise. We are reevaluating our foundational concepts, our development process, and consulting with both long-time supporters and new volunteers to the cause. Keep watching this space for new developments as we roll out a number of initiatives to get the Marquee up and running.