“Heart Strings”: Local band performs ‘oldies’ music at the Bluemont

Spouses Kathy and Joe Hopeck share 'oldies' with their audiences. They have been preforming together for over 10 years. (Justin Wright | Collegian Media Group)

The “oldies” were as young and vibrant as ever during the performance by “Heart Strings” at the Bluemont Hotel.

The performance was part of the Bluemont Hotel’s Rooftop Patio Live Music Series. Bands perform every Wednesday and Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This past Wednesday, Joe and Kathy Hopeck took the audience back to the music of yesteryear. Their band, Heart Strings, performed music dating from the 1940’s to the 1970’s, with hits such as “California Dreamin’” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

Their aim is to perform the classic hits that are full of heart and soul to create an unforgettable music experience.

The Topeka-based husband and wife duo have been performing together for over 10 years, playing four to six times a month. Singer and guitarist Joe Hopeck has a history with music. When he was younger, Joe took guitar lessons and was part of a band based out of Long Island, New York.

But Joe stepped away from the music scene to continue towards a career in the medical field. Both Joe and Kathy worked at Stormont Vail — Kathy, a registered nurse, and Joe acting as the administrative director of Stormont-Vail’s cardiovascular services.

While Joe left music to start a career, he never stopped having a passion for music. This passion for music trickled down to his son, Nathan.

“The band started as a way for my son and I to connect” said Joe Hopeck. “We played for about 5 years before he left to get a career and a family.”

Since then, Joe’s wife Kathy has filled in for their son.

“We play at weddings, private events, retirement centers, and other venues” said Kathy Hopeck. “I’m not as musically inclined as Joe or Nathan, but I do my best” Kathy said.

Though Kathy cast doubt on her own musical abilities, her vocals only added to the overall euphony of Heart String’s performance.

The concert itself did not feel like a traditional concert but rather felt like a gathering of long-time friends.

Between songs, Joe and Kathy would talk to people in the audience as if they had known them their entire lives. They took requests, cracked jokes, and had full on discussions in between songs. When someone stood up to leave after an Elvis Presley song, Kathy quipped, “Don’t like Elvis huh?”

The antics the Hopecks provided in their performance established an overall aura that felt very informal and inviting.