By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
This Sunday, Oct. 8, at 5 p.m., Sunday Night Unplugged will feature the sound of strings, featuring a new quartet in Pagosa Springs called Cordis Pacifica (or Peaceful Strings) that includes the talents of Nora May (violin), Michelle Chapman (violin), Charlotte Martinez (cello) and Kate Kelly (viola).
Sunday Night Unplugged is a monthly music and meditation service at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. The service includes quiet music, a few readings, prayers and silence. The simplicity of the service format allows those who attend the opportunity to be still, pray or just let the beauty of the surroundings and the music soak into your mind and heart.
“We at St. Patrick’s love to support the arts and the wonderful artists in our community,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “It is always a joy to bring their talents to Sunday Night Unplugged and to allow others to enjoy the beauty of their music.”
Cordis Pacifica was formed only recently through friendships developed in the Pagosa Springs Community Band.
May has been a part of the pit orchestra for Curtains Up Pagosa for a number of years, offering her talents as a violinist. She lives part time in Tucson, Ariz., and in Pagosa Springs during the summer months. She has been playing violin since age 10, playing with the Tucson Youth Orchestra and later in the orchestra at University of Arizona, where she received a degree in elementary education.
Chapman took up the violin at a later age after learning piano and various wind instruments. She studied with Susie Peak in Denver, who is a violinist with the Denver Symphony and Opera Orchestra. Chapman played with the Golden Symphony Orchestra and with a Scottish fiddle group before moving to Pagosa.
Kelly, who plays viola, has lived in Pagosa Springs since 1978. She has been at the forefront of teaching stringed instruments in our community. She started out majoring in music at the University of Connecticut, but switched her major to elementary education. She went on to receive a graduate degree in special education. She feels her training in education has been a major asset in her teaching private string lessons to her students. Kelly is a member of the Divertimento Quartet and plays with a musical ensemble at Grace Church.
Martinez, cellist, moved to the Pagosa Springs area five years ago. She began her musical training at the very young age of 3. Her mother was an orchestra director in Tyler, Texas, and was influential in starting school orchestras across Texas. Martinez has played in a variety of groups in Texas as well as in Colorado.
The theme of the service this month will be a remembrance of beloved pets that have blessed our lives and are no longer with us. Those who attend will have the opportunity to write down their pet’s name in a book prior to the service and those names will be read aloud during the prayers for the evening.
Over the years, Sunday Night Unplugged has gained a strong following.
“What is so nice is that the service is really for everyone. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the time to be quiet and meditate,” said Neel. “We have people who join us from all walks of life. Some attend their church regularly, while others do not attend at all. There is no litmus test. Those who attend are welcome to participate in the prayers and readings or just sit quietly. The service is whatever you need it to be.”
The public is invited to attend this monthly service free of charge. St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.
By Sally Neel