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‘Pagosa Sounds’ showcase concert Friday evening

“Pagosa Sounds,” a showcase concert, takes place at 7 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 4, at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

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

“Pagosa Sounds” features an all-star cast of performers: The Gypsy Moon Ensemble with Paul and Carla Roberts, The Big’Ns, Johnny K and Natalie Oman, Samantha McLean Hunts, John Graves, Larry Elginer, June Marquez, Laith Scherer, Jim Horky, Lisa Foreman and Michael Mull, Robert Neel, Amanda Burch and Chanlor Humphrey.

It is often said there are many talented people living in Pagosa. With a charming hodgepodge of talented artists, the concert represents some of the diversity of creativity lodged in this magical habitat of Pagosa.

Samantha McLean Hunts, a junior in high school, aspires to be a professional singer.

“Singing is my life,” she says. “It’s something that lies deep within me. I’m hoping that through music I’ll be able to make a place for myself.”

“I’ve been singing my whole life,” says Samantha. “My mom used to joke about when I was a baby, I couldn’t talk for a long time but I could sing. From a very young age I knew that I wanted to be a singer and go somewhere with singing.”

Samantha became a self-employed member of the music business while still in kindergarten. Growing up in New Jersey, she walked up and down her school bus aisle and sang to her schoolmates, a practice she continued until moving to Pagosa at age seven.

“When I moved to Pagosa, I saw someone sing the national anthem at the demolition derby and I told myself that I was going to do that some day. The following year, when I was eight years old, I sang the national anthem at the demolition derby,” she said.

Recently, Samantha has been composing songs and recording with Johnny K and she is networking with potentially beneficial contacts in the music business. Her plan is to study vocal performance and music business in college. For Samantha, music is her dream.

“It’s something I’ve known I always wanted to do,” she says.

What’s a variety show? Remember the old Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen shows? Artfully juxtaposing a wide range of artistic talents — dancers, singers, acrobats, vignettes, personality, color, wit, charm — these and other masters of entertainment offered a richly diversified experience. “Pagosa Sounds” is an offering — by some of the fine talent of Pagosa — in the same spirit. Come be 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. This event is sponsored by The Pagosa Springs SUN and Pagosa Photography. The Ross Aragon Community Center operates as a non-profit 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 non-profit dedicated to the preservation of traditional music and dance.