The phrase “sing for your supper” comes to mind when thinking about the Durango Choral Society’s Cabaret fundraiser.
Although, of course, they sang for our supper, more or less.
The event, which took place Saturday to a packed house at the Durango Arts Center, is a chance for the singers to show off individual talents and see all of them more relaxed and having some fun.
Longtime choral society supporter Stan Crapo of Star Liquors sponsored the event. Michelle and Frank Hegenwald not only sponsored the food, she prepared much of it, with a carving station provided by Chuck Norton Catering. Cheryl Birchard added a welcome hand. Fruit, cheese and vegetable trays, dips, large peppered salmon fillets, shrimp in pastry, chicken-pineapple skewers, egg-salad sandwiches and desserts galore – Jean-Pierre Bakery’s buttery cookies stamped with a train courtesy of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory truffles (I would love to know how many pounds of chocolate they give to nonprofit events annually), cream puffs, brownies. ... Well, you get the picture. It was quite the spread.
Scott Hagler, the executive director of 3rd Ave. Arts, may live in Santa Fe now, but he is still involved here, designing a bright yellow program for the main fundraiser of the DCS, which also includes the Durango Women’s Choir, Durango Children’s Chorale and Durango Teen Choir.
And what a program it was! While rock ‘n’ roll should have been the music of my youth, it was more classical music and the second holy trinity of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter, so this kind of music is what we sang in the Butler household. New on stage this year was the Cabaret Combo, featuring Jeff Solon on saxophone, Gary Walker on piano, Eli Rio on base and John O’Neal on drums. They definitely amped up the cabaret feel of the evening.
Music Director Linda Mack Berven took a slightly different tack this year, pulling out a number of the talented individuals who are usually in the chorus to solo.
Lori Fisher, whom I only knew as the senior humanities teacher at Animas High School, now has not only my respect but my envy. She sang “Lullaby of Birdland” and then joined Sarah Choszczyk, Amanda Fresh, Mandy Gardner, Erin Sinberg and Dawn Spaeder on an outstanding “Cell Block Tango” from “Chicago.” Spaeder had a wowser solo of her own on “Get Happy.”
Alison Dance often has a solo at the Cabaret, but this year’s “My Funny Valentine” may be her best yet. Bless Gemma Kavanagh’s heart – she not only brought her glorious soprano voice to the party, she had to learn anatomy to sing “The Physician,” about a doctor who loved her from her epiglottis to her epidermis, but didn’t love her.
Other standouts included Curtis Storm and Bailey Barnes-Fagg on “As Long as You’re Mine” from “Wicked” and Storm on “Music of the Night” from “Phantom of the Opera.” It was a great get for our area when a tenor of his caliber moved here.
Jonathan Patton, the recipient of a choral society scholarship to a music student at Fort Lewis College, shone on “Nobody Needs to Know” from the “Last Five Years” and dueted with Karla Brown on “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
Brown had a busy evening, also singing with two of the three Jewel Tones in a side-themed “Side by Side” and “On the Happy Side of the Street,” and in the debut of the Durango Chamber Singers on “Night and Day” and “My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth.” (You had to be there for that one.)
The Durango Chamber Singers, directed by Elizabeth Crawford, had only been singing together for about six weeks, so their tight harmonies were quite impressive.
And just for a nice change of pace, Ruth Cutcher and Rhys Schrock broke out their best Flatt and Scrugg on “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”
Be sure to check out Neighbors online. Paul Boyer provided me with lots of great photos, which are available online, as is a video by Gordon Thomas, who captured the inimitable Berven in one of her infamous singings of The Durango Herald’s blotter. It’s set to music by Handel and Bizet.
HHHHoping for a jaunty new umbrella for their birthdays are Bill Hoffman, Shep Shepherd, Sarah Leavitt, Ashley Hening, Lucas Hoffman, Pat James, Richard Byrd, Shelley Hatfield, Evelyn Black, Briana Sandhaus, Donald Yale, Joyce Fontana, Sage Remington, Janet May, Margery Runyon, Kristi Ramsey, Joan Spicer, Rose Bartol, Carol Simmons, Elsa Caudle, Robert Manning, Jan Emmanuel, Josh Van Blarcum, Della Patton, Jade Ranasinghe, Anna L.M. Kidd, Charlie Havestadt, Luke Barker, Ron Huth, Stephanie Forsyth and Judy Olson.
HHHThe Health Coalition of Southwest Colorado (formerly the Women’s Health Coalition) exists to help people fighting cancer with all those expenses that add up so fast when you’re ill and maybe working only part-time, if at all. Patients in the five counties of Southwest Colorado are eligible with certain guidelines. The assistance can include gas cards to get to treatment or assistance with rent or groceries up to $500.
The group has given away more than $100,000 in its almost 20 years of existence, and it has to raise the money to give it away. Which brings us to Burger Night at the Palace Restaurant from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday. Owner Paul Gelose is throwing open his eatery to support this excellent cause with $10 burgers, and there will also be a silent and live auction with some pretty cool stuff. Robby Overfield will provide the live music to put eventgoers in a giving mood.
Cancer is hard enough – worrying about finances should not be part of the picture.
HHHOn Thursday, the members of the Reading Club of Durango held their 133rd – or is it 134th, I’ll have to do the math – President’s Luncheon. The club, founded in 1882, is one of the oldest clubs in the state, and members are as committed to learning today as the founders were in the rough and rowdy days of early Durango.
Organizing the event was the last official act by outgoing President Mary Jane Basye before she handed the gavel over to Lynn May, who will preside over the organization next year. The women gathered at the Edgewater Grill at the DoubleTree Hotel for a social time focused on everything from reading suggestions for the summer to looking forward to next year’s study of the Middle East.
It was fortunate member Diane Skinner was headed to the Cortez Birding Festival, because she had her bird book in the car. She identified a white-faced ibis for Kathy Purcell.
And of course, the main topic of conversation was reliving a year’s worth of programs centered around creative women.
Basye, known to compose an appropriate ditty for special occasions, wrote one for her luncheon:
“So, for programs so wonderfully enlightening, Dear presenters, we applaud; And our hostesses, who graciously opened their homes, And fêted us with delicacies, we laud.”
Basye not only presided over the club, she shared some of her spectacular quilting during a program on that historical art form. And as a parting gift, she sewed journal covers featuring the pink and green club colors with fabric she found in her late mother’s stash.
She sent everyone off with sweet treats, cowboy oatmeal cookies and ginger snaps she had baked.
HHHWhether you’re my kind of bowler, happy to just break 100, or a scratch bowler shooting for a perfect game, the Bowlers to Veterans Link is for all of us. The event raises money to fund recreational activities for both in- and out-patient veterans who are receiving treatment at the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Hospital.
BVL brings sports and the arts, including music and other entertainment, to veterans to boost their spirits and speed recuperation.
The local fundraiser has been chaired by Louise White for more than 25 years because she saw first hand how important recreation was for her husband when he was at the VA, bowling from a wheelchair. White has been recognized at the national BVL level for her dedicated efforts.
Here’s how it works: Bowling is free between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday at Rolling Thunder Lanes in Ignacio, with bowlers asked to collect donations for the cause to turn in while there. A lane reservation is requested, so call 563-1707 by Thursday to pick your time. Prizes will be given out randomly throughout the day.
Rolling Thunder Lanes, the La Plata County U.S. Bowling Congress Bowling Association and the BVL Committee are co-sponsoring the event, with all proceeds going to Bowlers to Veterans Link.
HHHI wasn’t too sure what the Stillwater Foundation was when it first started, but its results from providing music opportunities to youth are impressive indeed. I know lots of people think, “Kids playing music, how good can they be?’” The answer is very, and you can see for yourself on Saturday.
The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, just in time for the foundation’s 6th annual Party in the Park, which will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at Buckley Park. Nonstop music with more than 100 talented youth performers, including not only bands from Stillwater, but musical theater groups from the Durango Arts Center’s Applause! program and classical string ensembles from the Be For the Recreational and Artistic Needs of Kids Foundation.
If you’re trying to plan an enriching summer for the kids in your family, there will be booths from numerous regional organizations that offer summer programs ranging from music and science to sports and dance. One-stop shopping as it were.
The event is sponsored by the Durango Friends of the Arts and the city of Durango
HHHBouquets of tulips will make anniversaries colorful for Brad and Monique Monson, Earle and Betty Beasley, Don and Tracy Cornutt, Roy and Gwen Cook, Phil and Ellen Patterson, Robert and Marion Wengler, Lee and Bethany Bieth, Art Meyer and Judy Roy-Meyer and Paul and Pat Wainwright.
HHHHere’s how to reach me: email@example.com; phone 375-4584; mail items to the Herald; or drop them off at the front desk. Please include contact names and phone numbers for all items. Follow me on Twitter @Ann_Neighbors.I am happy to consider photos for Neighbors, but they must be high-quality, high-resolution photos (at least 1 MB of memory) and include no more than three to five people. I need to know who’s who, left to right.