This year's Music in the Mountains classical music festival promises to live up to its theme of ¡Pasión!
if the kickoff benefit is any example. The event took place Sunday at the Durango Mountain Club at Durango Mountain Resort.Sir Angel Romero, the guest artist, had performed at another similar benefit in Pagosa Springs at Moomaw Ranch on Friday.
The passion theme draws from Maestro Guillermo Figueroa's background as a member of one of Puerto Rico's most illustrious music families.
The day had been rainy with dark clouds overhead, but the sun was shining down on the spires of the gleaming white festival tent when Romero took the stage (also known as the raised fireplace hearth).
Romero, who is one of the world's most talented classical guitarists, gave guests a feel for the history of the instrument and his own family's contributions to it. (There are currently two schools of classical guitar, the Segovia - named after Andres Segovia, one of the virtuosos of the 20th century - and the Romero - named for Celedonio Romero, Angel Romero's father, another man who paved a new path with the instrument.)From "Recuerdos del Alhambra" by Francisco Tarrega, considered to be among the first, and perhaps greatest, classical guitarists and composers, to Isaac Albéniz's "Asturias (Leyendas)," which is a centerpiece in the classical guitar oeuvre, Romero became one with his guitar. He was clearly moved by the tragic story of Enrique Granados, one of Spain's most talented composers in the 20th century, whose ship, the Sussex, was sunk by a German torpedo in 1916. Romero played Granados' "Danza espaÃ±ola No. 5: Andaluza."
The most powerful pieces were the most personal, a "Fantasia" and the encore, a "MalageÃ±a," his father had written. His parents had a great romance, he said, and a marriage that lasted 65 years.
I should put in a disclaimer. I lived in Spain at one point in my life, and a love for classical guitar was cemented during that time. So I was among the most excited when the festival announced that Romero would be performing twice at DMR.
Those of you who missed Sunday's event have a chance to catch Romero in action at Fantasy, the festival orchestra concert at 5 p.m. Saturday. Romero will be playing Rodrigo's "Fantasia para un Gentilhombre" (Fantasy for a Nobleman). Tickets still are available and may be purchased by calling 385-6820 or stopping by the festival office at 1063 Main Ave.
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The Sunday kickoff fundraiser for Music in the Mountains consisted of two parts. The concert and the party.
So, for the many readers who always ask me to be sure to include the menu, here you go.
The event began with a beautiful spread, which included an imported and domestic cheese display, brie- and apricot-stuffed phyllo cuplets and miniature caprese sandwiches with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, opal basil and balsamic syrup drizzle. The show-stoppers were Colorado lamb chops with roasted tomatillo salsa verde (yum) and a chilled seafood display that included cracked crab claws, jumbo shrimp, oysters on the half shell, poached Pacific salmon with cucumber dill sauce, Caribbean lobster tail and Scandinavian gravlax with caper berries (double yum).
Leah Deane, a wine specialist with Republic National Distributing, had selected Spanish wines that complemented the food. A Segura Viudas Brut Reserva was served with the cheeses. An Altozano Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc 2007 accompanied the seafood, while Tapena Verdejo balanced the phyllo cuplets. The lamb chops were paired with Condesa De Leganza Crianza, a rich, deep red. And the sandwiches were washed down with sips of Rivola Abadia Retuerta.
After the concert, guests returned to a chocolate extravaganza, a Callebaut chocolate fountain with coconut macaroons, ladyfingers, cubed pound cake and fruit such as strawberries, pineapple, star fruit and kiwi for dipping. A passion-fruit champagne cocktail provided the perfect finishing touch.
Stan Crapo, the owner of Star Liquors, is donating the wine for the Music in the Mountains Pops Night on July 22, but he also brought a special bottle of wine for Sir Angel Romero and Maestro Guillermo Figueroa. It was a 2006 Jumilla Spain El Nido, which retails for a cool $150. Now there's a toast!
My thanks go to Gary Derck, chief executive officer of DMR, and Jill Davis, conference-services manager, for helping me get the menu details right.
Guests were thrilled to see the co-founders of the festival, Mischa Semanitzky and Jenny St. John. They took last year off from the festival to give Figueroa a chance to put his own stamp on Music in the Mountains.
Also on hand were Charles and Sue Cobb. Both former ambassadors (he during George H.W. Bush's presidency to Iceland, she to Jamaica during George W. Bush's administration), they are the majority owners of Durango Mountain Resort.
Charles Cobb told me that if Music in the Mountains didn't exist, the resort would have to create a musical component, because people who are buying million-dollar homes or visiting a mountain resort expect to have that amenity. That's why DMR supports the festival in every way it can - because it's good for the community and good for business, too.
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Baking, er, basking in the hot sun for their birthdays are Jeff Haspel, Paul Clay, Kyle Majchrowski, Barry Miller, Rick Roberts, Ted Wright, Susan Klinefelter, Kendall Kniffin, Madeline Milner, Bill Postler Sr., Trevor White, Mike Somsen, Claudia Engle, Peggy McElwain, Jonathan Smith and Owen Pieper.
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While Music in the Mountains is the dominant activity at this time of year, it's far from the only thing that's happening here. Summer also is the time for reunions - class reunions, family reunions, reunions of old friends.
On the last weekend in June, Galloway and Mary Hudson hosted an annual reunion of his high school buddies and their wives.
Eight couples meet every year, in Texas or elsewhere, for their "Old Buc Bash." (Durango is definitely an "elsewhere.") The guys are all 1956 graduates of Roy Miller High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, where they bonded while playing high school football and other sports.
Three of the eight had full Division I athletic scholarships - one at the University of Texas at Austin, one at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and one at Georgia Institute of Technology. Four are University of Texas grads, one went to Rice University, two are from TCU and one graduated from Georgia Tech.
Except for the Hudsons, they all live in the South, with two in Corpus Christi, three in other places in Texas, one in Oklahoma and one in South Carolina.
Half-Price Tees helped commemorate the event with monogrammed polo shirts. In a tradition at the reunions, five of the men played golf on two mornings, once at Dalton Ranch and once at Hillcrest.
Of course, while they were here, the Hudsons made sure they checked out all of our major attractions. Activities included visits to Mesa Verde National Park and the Bar D Chuckwagon and a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. No visit to Durango is complete without dining in some of our finest restaurants and a stroll down Main Avenue.
Locals were hoping the weather would warm up at that time, but the visitors from the south found the weather a welcome break. (This weather is a "be careful what you ask for" kind of response.)The visitors were Fred and Vanessa Braselton from Corpus Christi, and he was a quarterback who played for Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech; Johnny and Jean Cotton also live in Corpus Christi. In his college days, Johnny Cotton ran track at UT with Eddie Southern; Fred and Jodi Jennings live in Beeville, Texas; Tom and Judy DeSalme live in Bartlesville, Okla.; Elbert and Marilyn Maley hail from Huffman, Texas; Jerry and Ginger Merritt are from Boerne, Texas; and Joe and Helen Moffett call Dillon, S.C., home. Joe Moffett played football at TCU for Abe Martin.
So for those who are into college football history, or those who spotted the group at a restaurant or shopping, now you know the story.
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Enjoying barbecues and lazy double hammocks for their anniversaries are Dave and Glenda Ehrig, John and Susan Tait, Jay and Mini Irwin, Eric and Kathy Pierson, Wayne and Debbie Kjonaas, and Steve and Kim Wait.
Many greetings of the day go to Ed and Judy Angus for their 38th anniversary today.
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For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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