It seems like only yesterday Music in the Mountains was planning a stellar celebration for its 25th anniversary. But here we are, five years later, and it’s the kickoff of the 30th season with a bang – and chocolate.
The classical music festival held Cocktails with the Conductor on Sunday night at Sorrel Sky Gallery, with about 75 music lovers in attendance.
The cocktail was a martini, the Red Mountain Rush, concocted by Star Liquors owner and Music in the Mountains donor Stan Crapo. Those looking for a potable a little less potent (can’t help myself, I’m a “Jeopardy” fan) had their pick of some fine wines, also courtesy of Crapo and his wife, Alice.
The event serves two purposes, to introduce the upcoming season and to raise some money for the three-week-long festival.
As always, there were a lot of yummy appetizers on hand prepared by Hot Tomatoes – strawberry and Brie crostini, hummus in puff pastry with cucumber and cherry tomatoes, saucy Asian meatballs, honey and balsamic chicken skewers, flank-iron steak with green onions and hoisin sauce, roast turkey and blue cheese crostini, stuffed mushrooms Florentine, tomato and mozzarella skewers. A tradition at this event started by Mary Jane Clark many years ago, a silver punch bowl filled with iced jumbo shrimp served with homemade cocktail sauce, took center stage.
The conductor, of course, is maestro Guillermo Figueroa, who came up from Albuquerque for the event to share some of the highlights of the upcoming season. I told him it’s cruel and unusual punishment to get us all excited and then have more than three months to go until we can enjoy those concerts. The good news is that tickets go on sale April 18, so there’s at least some action we can take in the meantime.
The event perhaps most anticipated? No doubt it’s the return of violinist Vadim Gluzman, who has reached superstar status in the classical music firmament, Figueroa said. The marker that drives a musician into the stratosphere is to be invited to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic, a feat Gluzman achieved last year, Figueroa said. Gluzman, who, quite frankly, draws performance fees much higher than those in Music in the Mountains’ budget, returns because the festival booked him often in the early years of his career. The second half of that concert, which will take place in the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, will feature the Festival Orchestra with the Durango Choral Society performing Bach’s Magnificat. Wowser.
Other concerts to anticipate include not one but two concerts at St. Columba Catholic Church, the return of crowd favorites conductor Karina Canellakis and pianist Aviram Reichert, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” (the FLC cannon may be invited to make an appearance), a world premiere, the introduction of some exciting new artists and more than a taste of Latin composers, which have been a continuing gift from Figueroa.
Ticket sales account for less than one-third of the cost of putting the festival on. And in this case, the musicians help raise the additional funds by donating their talent for a performance in people’s homes.
My mom, Kathy Butler, would be appalled at my inviting myself to someone’s party, but I hope whoever won the bid on the evening with oboist Erin Hannigan and pianist Aviram Reichert, will consider adding me to the guest list. Pretty please. Hannigan has already given one of the most memorable performances in Music in the Mountains history during a fundraiser at the Glacier Club, and Reichert is always outstanding.
Other packages on offer included the Grammy Whammy, featuring three-time Grammy winner and Music in the Mountains Conservatory Director Matt Albert and friends; Ornate 88 with pianist David Korevaar; Jonathan Latta and Chad MacCluskey for a jazz/world music performance; the Cézanne Quartet; Double Treble (or Trouble) with those charming Russians Oleg Sulyga and Dmitry Kustanovich; Musical Whimsy with harpist Ann Eisfeller and flutist Sarah Frisof and violist Philip Kramp, a Music in the Mountains love story; and Generations, the mother-daughter duo of Heidi Itashiki and Chloé Trevor.
All told, they helped the festival raise more than $21,000 that night, an auspicious beginning to celebrate three decades of great music and begin the fourth.
Visit www.musicinthemountains.com to learn more.
HHHCelebrating their Aries birthdays in style are Jennifer McLaughlin, Kip Stransky, Holly Chavez, Mark Donahue, Larry House, John Lavengood, Anne Battani, Ed Cash, Wayne Hose, Dennis Polsfut, Verlena Collentine, Arden Peters, Sarah Maxted, Charlie Hakes, Doug Shand, Nika Patterson, Josh Poole, Kyle Cheesewright, Judy Fairchild, Samuel Brown, Dan Halseth, Sherry Brown, Jim Edmanson, Rita McClain, Ron Williams, Kate Scott, Linda Selser, Katherine Michalski, Robert Latterman, Kylee Cheese, Bruce Diro, Ben Barker, Logan Lowe, Jessica Cox, Bella Kidd and Tom Westwater.
HHHOne of the groups I most admire is La Plata County Search & Rescue, an all-volunteer group that not only spends large amounts of time practicing rescues on ice, cliffs, mountains, on horseback, in all-terrain vehicles and every other mode imaginable, but buys its own equipment, too. To top it off, the group is raising money to buy or build an emergency-response headquarters.
That’s why Chimayo, 862 Main Ave., continues to support the organization with an annual event.
It will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, and tickets are $40 for individuals and $65 per couple, which includes light appetizers, wine and beer.
Take your checkbook. The group will be auctioning off some superb dinners in well-known entertainers’ homes – not entertainers like Frank Sinatra, but gracious hostesses and talented home chefs. These kind of events never fail to be among the most memorable in town, and I can attest to the quality of all of the dinners on offer because I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a guest of most of these folks. Sydney Morris and Karren Little are holding a tapas extravaganza, Niles and Carol Bruno will provide an Italian feast, and Mike and Sandy Bruce are creating a deluxe dinner with chateaubriand as the entrée. All are accompanied by wine, and they’re all one-of-a-kind.
Tickets are limited. Call Search & Rescue President Ron Corkish at 946-4437, Mike Bruce at 946-8248 or email email@example.com for yours.
I hope I never need them, but just as with the Red Cross, I’m awfully glad they’re there.
HHHWhile Easter is just behind us, the next big holiday, Mother’s Day, is just around the corner. And you know what a favorite gift is? A photo marking this moment in time with their child or children.
Kelly MacNiven of Kelly Miranda Photography will hold mini-portrait sessions at Maria’s Bookshop on Saturday and Sunday, with all proceeds going to the La Plata Family Centers Coalition. A 20-minute session of mom with child costs $100 and includes a 5-inch by 7-inch photo and a gift from Maria’s for each mother.
This is not one of those Durango-show-up-at-the-last-minute kind of events. You must book your slot in advance by calling MacNiven at 946-7279 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Dad, this means you!)
I don’t write about La Plata Family Centers Coalition nearly enough. The organization has numerous programs including Love and Logic parenting classes, a food pantry, a safe place for parental custody exchanges and developmental screenings. Families must thrive for our community to thrive, and the coalition is on the front lines of that effort.
Visit www.lpfcc.org to learn more.
HHHIf you’re like me, when a light goes on in your car dashboard or you take your care in for service, you have at least a flash of panic.
Tracy and Don Cornutt want to alleviate some of that stress with Car Care 101, a class they’re offering from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at their business, Mountain Auto Care, 349 East Eighth Ave. It will benefit the Women’s Resource Center, with a suggested $5 donation for the class.
This is not for women only. Men are not genetically coded to understand car maintenance, so this could be of benefit to anyone. Call 247-1242 to reserve your spot – the class is limited to 30 participants.
HHHMother Nature may bring April showers for the anniversaries of Mike and Paula Kirchner, Bud and Sandy Beebe, Roger and Shirley Buslee and Chuck and Janet Williams.
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