By Linda Parker
Special to The PREVIEW
Date night? Entertainment for company? The Pagosa Springs Girls Choir has just the thing to help you spend an enjoyable evening, whether it’s with a special someone, house guests or friends. The members of the Pagosa Springs Girls Choir will be hosting their “Over the Rainbow: Making Dreams Come True for Young Girls in Pagosa Springs” annual fundraiser on March 1 at the Ross Aragon Community Center.
This enchanting evening of fun-filled activities featuring friends of all kinds promises to be magical for all. The event kicks off with a silent auction full of an exciting array of generous donations from individual and business supporters. While listening to the smooth and masterful guitar of Steve Blechschmidt, event-goers can peruse the lavish baskets and items that have been generously donated by Pagosa businesses and individuals.
For the price of an event ticket — $40 per person — event-goers will be treated to a scrumptious dinner of roast baron of beef and sides, followed by a delectable double chocolate Kahlua cake. Then, at 6:30 p.m., expect the dance floor to fill up quickly as the San Juan Mountain Boys take center stage, lift their voices and play a blend of popular music spanning genres from Hank Williams to Neal Young to Michael Bublé.
Glenn Unrath, born and raised in Wisconsin, was influenced by all forms of music, beginning with the harmonies of his father’s barbershop quartet, to the music of the ’60s, including classical, blues, folk and jazz. Musical training began with lessons on the string bass. He is self-taught on the six- and 12-string guitars.
His past musical adventures include acoustic performances with ‘Rath and Stevens throughout the Midwest, the band RSP, a rock history spanning four decades with stints with the Vaqueros, the Underdogs, the Crusaders and Powerhouse. Unrath now plays bass and harmonica, sings lead and harmony, composing half of the sound you know as the San Juan Mountain Boys here in Pagosa Springs. His musical philosophy is to choose, play and sing songs that tell stories that resonate with who you are.
Ron Lowe was born in Kansas, but grew up in New Mexico and Colorado. His early music influence was father exposing classic country such as Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, Marty Robbins, etc. Loving Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers had a major roll in developing his playing and singing style. Credence, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Eagles continued to influence his passion for playing and singing.
Lowe’s actual music training came early at the age of 9, learning to play alto sax in Kirtland, N.M. At the age of 14, he started playing guitar. In 1969, he formed a band (Lowe Bros. and The Golden Express) in Denver with older brother Jim. Moving to Pagosa in 2009, he started playing solo gigs until meeting his current partner, Glenn Unrath, and starting the San Juan Mountain Boys. His music philosophy is to create a good musical product and share it with all the people who love music and to put a smile on their face.
Funds from this event will be used for the Girls Choir’s operating expenses, including music, insurance, their accompanist, as well as their summer educational trip in the Pagosa/Durango area. The girls will see local sights and attend music performances, learning about the arts activities available in “their own backyard.”
“Organizations like the Girls Choir offer a window to the much larger world beyond the reach of most kids here in Pagosa Springs,” Unrath said. “Musical connections can only expand the world for these kids and open doors to future opportunities in life be they musical or other. We (both) urge the local community to get on board with the San Juan Mountain Boys supporting the Girls Choir here in Pagosa Springs. See you at the dance.”
“The Pagosa Springs Girls Choir is about much more than just learning to sing some new songs. In addition to learning so much about the art of performing choral music with harmonies and nuances of expression, the girls also learn poise and stage presence,” Gwen Taylor, the parent of two choir members and accompanist for the choir, said. “It’s immediately apparent when you see them in concert. The standards for behavior and musicality have been set pretty high by the director and the girls know they have to strive to meet expectations. It’s a bit magical when you can motivate kids this age to work together to achieve such a professional and beautiful outcome.”
“Over the Rainbow” tickets are available for purchase from Goodman’s Department Store, Made in Colorado Shoppe and from your favorite member of the Girls Choir. Group tables of eight can also be reserved so that you can enjoy the evening with your friends. For additional information regarding the event or tickets, call Linda Parker, director, at 264-1434 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doors for “Over the Rainbow” open at 5 p.m. The silent auction runs from 5 to 7 p.m. A cash beer and wine bar will be available throughout the evening. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6 p.m., so don’t be late. Then, the choir will treat event-goers to a short choral presentation. Music and dancing will follow from 6:30 until 9 p.m. Make plans to attend; we hope to see you there.
By Linda Parker