By Sally Neel
Mountain Light Music Festival
Keyah Grande, a spectacular 4,000-acre exclusive destination spot located at 13211 W. U.S. 160, will be the site for the Mountain Light Music Festival final brass concert on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m.
“There is something so majestic about the sounds of brass instruments ringing through the mountains,” said event organizer Carol Larsen. “We are absolutely delighted to have this beautiful setting available to us for this exciting concert event.”
The Mountain Light Music Festival is the brainchild of Brent Phillips, trombone professor at Baylor University. He had a vision of offering a beautiful mountain location for college-level brass students to come during the summer to be mentored by top brass instructors.
Phillips had come to Pagosa Springs on vacation many times over the years and felt the incredible spiritual power of the San Juan Mountains to inspire and renew his own dedication to music. He felt it would be the perfect venue for aspiring artists to hone their talents and reach within themselves to confirm the deep commitment required to be professional musicians.
He shared his dream with Chet Russel, a local outfitter and lodge owner, who offered the perfect location atop Cade Mountain for the festival. Phillips arranged for colleagues from Baylor, as well as from other top universities, to serve as music faculty and invited talented students from around the country to participate. The festival would conclude with a concert offered to the public as a culmination of the work they had done together over the course of the week. Musicians from Pagosa Springs were contacted, arrangements were made for the concert and the Mountain Light Music Festival was born.
One of the greatest challenges for the festival has been finding the right location for the final concert. Keyah Grande provides a spectacular outdoor location that is both beautiful and appropriate for these mountain-loving brass players.
This year’s concert will feature the sonorous tones of the Mountain Light Music Festival Trombone Choir in an evening of movie-themed music.
With faculty professors from Baylor University, University of Alabama and University of Texas El Paso, along with other professional musicians and students, the concert will include a stunning virtuosic rendering of music from “Superman,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Ben Hur,” “Green Hornet” and “JFK.”
Tickets are $35 and can be purchased either online at mountainlightmusicfestival.com or at Choke Cherry Tree, located at 56 Talisman Drive, Unit 8C.