By Kathy Wadenpfuhl
Special to The PREVIEW
Audiences in Pagosa Springs will be delighted with the variety of music that they will hear in the upcoming Mountain Light Music Festival.
The festival concerts will be very diverse in musical genres. The first concert of the festival week is Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church.
Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA) Vista Clubhouse will be the uptown venue for the second concert on Friday, Aug. 10, also beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The headliner group will be our very own Pagosa Brass. They will begin the concert with “Libertango” by the innovative composer Astor Piazzolla.
Piazzolla started his career as an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger. His style revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music.
Pagosa Brass members are Larry Elginer, Larry Baisdon, D’Ann Artis, Dan Burch and James Kiker. Their portion of the concert will also include Irish folk songs, music from Johannes Brahms and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and end with “St. Louis Blues.”
Sol Brass Quintet is a very talented group of student musicians from Baylor University. Their musical program includes “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair” by Debussy, five movements of “Quintet for Brass” by Steven Sacco and an original composition by Joey Tkach (b.1997), trumpet with Sol Brass — “Skylights.” “Skylights” contains three movements: I. “Shimmering Sunset,” II. “Moonlit Night,” III. “Radiant Dawn.” What a talented group of young people that Pagosa Springs will be honored to hear.
Baylor Brass, faculty of Mountain Light Music Festival, will continue to dazzle audiences with a transcription of “My Spirit be Joyful,” originally a Baroque trumpet and organ classic. Brent Phillips, trombone and director of the Mountain Light Music Festival, will be featured on French organist Alexandre Guilmant’s composition “Morceau Symphonique.” “Brass Menagerie” by Taos-born John Cheetham will also compliment the Baylor Brass repertoire.
This phenomenal brass quintet always ends its performances with an arrangement of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” The original composition is by John Rutter, founder of the Cambridge Singers, and is a setting of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers in the Bible. The blessing is used at the conclusion of worship, baptism, marriage and other special occasions in Christian worship.
The Mountain Light Brass Choir will be made up of Baylor faculty, Sol Brass Quintet members and Mountain Light Music Festival brass students. This large group will be performing Brian Balmages’ “Symphony for Brass Choir No. 1.” This is an exciting work that is reminiscent of the contemporary film work of John Williams (“Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws,” etc.).
The Mountain Light Music Festival Brass Choir will also be performing a stunning brass choir arrangement of Ottorino Respighi, “Ancient Airs and Dances,” arranged by Phil Snedecor, and recorded by Phil and Brent Phillips on the Washington Brass CD “Ancient Airs and Arias” album.
Pagosa Brass will join the Mountain Light Music Festival Brass Choir on Samuel Adler’s “Concert Piece.”
Jeffrey Powers, professor of horn at Baylor, former fourth horn in the Cleveland Orchestra, will have his solo CDs available for purchase and Brent Phillips will have his new solo CD, “Meditations” available as well.
If you would like to support this growing festival by making a donation, go to the website: www.mountainlightmusicfestival.com. Donations can be made at different sponsorship levels. All proceeds go directly into the growth of Mountain Light Music Festival and to our host organization this year, Pagosa Mountain Rotary.
Tickets for both concert venues are $25 and available for purchase at the following: Community United Methodist Church, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Bookends, PLPOA, Airport Self Storage and The Choke Cherry Tree. Tickets will also be available at the door.
By Kathy Wadenpfuhl