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‘Pagosa Sounds’ an assemblage of multi-generational talent Feb. 4

“Pagosa Sounds,” a showcase concert, takes place at 7 p.m. Feb. 4, at the Ross Aragon Community Center. The concert features an all-star cast of Pagosa performers, including John Graves, The Gypsy Moon Ensemble, Larry Elginer, Natalie Oman, Johnny K, The Big’Ns, Paul and Carla Roberts, Lisa Foreman and Michael Mull, Robert Neel, Amanda Burch, June Marquez, Samantha Hunts, Laith Scherer, Chanlor Humphrey and Jim Horky.

A pre-concert social begins at 6 p.m. with Renaissance Village-costumed characters, dancing youngsters, musical revelers, free desserts, snacks and coffee, a beer/wine cash bar, jesters, jugglers, merrymakers and circus elephants. Please bring desserts and snacks to share, if you wish. Food contributions will be collected for local food banks.

Larissa Turner, a stunning 13-year-old dancer, is one of the original members of The Gypsy Moon Ensemble, a folkloric music and dance troupe that performs for part of the 6 p.m. pre-concert social and the 7 p.m. concert.

“I love to dance,” says Larissa. “It’s my passion. I was born to stand out and dance.”

Which she does!

For the past three years, Larissa has performed at Renaissance fairs, concerts and music festivals with The Gypsy Moon Ensemble. Larissa’s older sister, Alisha Turner, also performs with the ensemble. Larissa’s father, Mike Turner, played an instrumental role in the formation of The Gypsy Moon Ensemble over three years ago.

“I’m really excited about this concert,” says Larissa, “and happy to get another chance to perform with my sister and close friends Chanlor Humphrey and Amanda Burch. It’s pretty cool that they’re in it with me.”

From one perspective, “Pagosa Sounds” can be seen as a small-town variety show. From another, it’s an assemblage of multi-generational talent, the likes of which any town or city in America would be proud to be able to present.

The 6 p.m. pre-concert social features a mélange of costumed entertainers setting the ambiance for Renaissance Village. Among these will be herbalist Lake McCullough and her mother Carolyn, a mystical artisan. This daughter-mother team will display a variety of unique herbs that were widely used by Medieval and Renaissance healers. There will also be a display of Carolyn’s one-of-a-kind, handmade fairies and porcelain frogs, toads, and other animal friends.

Lake will demonstrate how a small purple flower was used to heal plague and pestilence, how onions were made into cough syrup, how mustard was used as a remedy for a chest cold, and other quirky herbal lore from the Middle Ages. Your senses will be delighted by Lake’s hands-on displays and demonstrations as you journey back in time to visit a village herbalist at work. Samples of the ancient onion cough syrup remedy will, fortunately, not be provided! Surrounding the McCulloughs, the mood of fantasy will be woven by the merriment of the maids and minstrels of Renaissance Village.

At 7 p.m., it’ll be time to sit back and enjoy the showcase concert, performed by some of the finest vocalists, instrumentalists and dancers, who epitomize the renaissance of creativity going on, right now, in Pagosa. Come and be a part of it!

Advance tickets are available at Higher Grounds and the community center for $10. Tickets at the door are $12. Young people, 18 and under, are admitted free. The Ross Aragon Community Center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. For further information, call the community center at 264-4152.

“Pagosa Sounds” is a community concert presented by The Ross Aragon Community Center and Elation Center for the Arts, and sponsored by The Pagosa Springs SUN.

The Ross Aragon Community Center operates as a nonprofit through the Pagosa Springs Facilities Coalition and benefits the community by creating, coordinating and providing space for social, athletic, fine arts, performing arts, cultural, educational, business and faith-based activities. Elation Center for the Arts is a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of traditional music and dance.