Music in the Parks steps it up
Erik LeDuc/Ruidoso News
Posted: 09/28/2012 11:52:40 AM MDT
Click photo to enlarge Carrizozo's Music in the Parks, known for bringing world-renowned and local musicians to the small town on the plains, will kick off another classical concert on Sunday, this time with a bit of extra help.
Elaine Brannen, chairwoman of the committee, said the group had just acquired its first business sponsor in Zia Natural Gas Company, allowing for an additional day of music, just for the youth.
The company, along with several others in the county, frequently donated money to the group, but this was the first time she had approached any business about sponsoring a concert directly, she said.
"(Aaron Dunn, business development manager) said (Zia Natural Gas) loved to sponsor communities, especially when it involved children," she said.
While the main concert is paid for by funds the group has collected over the months with fundraisers and donations, Zia would be sponsoring the entirety of the youth concert, she said.
"We went ahead and made sure (the committee) didn't have to worry about covering Monday's (concert)," Dunn said. "We support them every year. We spend more money on donations and sponsorships than we do on advertising every year, that's one of the things we have a big focus in - making sure the community is being well represented."
Zia sponsors many other events, such as the Mountain High Fly-In last weekend, within Lincoln County, he said "Everybody knows we're good about helping out."
Brannen said that she hopes to bring more companies
Advertisementon board in the future, as the sponsorship is tax-deductible and goes to a good cause. "I don't know if I have the energy to try and organize it," she said with a laugh. "I never thought about this before, we always sent (companies) a donation letter for our general fund. Otero Electric and Zia Gas have always been really generous, but I never thought about approaching them and actually sponsoring a specific concert."
Lisa Van Winkle, assistant professor of flute and coordinator of the music business program at the University of New Mexico, and Esequiel Meza, pianist and former teacher, will be in town at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Trinity Methodist Church, Brannen said.
"(Van Winkle) has been wanting to come up for quite a while and play a concert," she said. "I was really happy we could work her in. We're thrilled to have them play together. (Meza) is going to do a solo. It's going to be some really fun music, things that aren't normally heard."
The concert will be preceded by a dinner put on by the Carrizozo Women's Club at 5 p.m., which will feature a raspberry-chipotle chicken dinner, accompanied by scalloped potatoes, a broccoli-walnut salad and dessert, all for $8 per person, she said.
"They're such good cooks," she said. "People go to the Women's Club because they know they'll have a classy meal."
Other groups that frequently step up to feed visitors to the concerts include New Horizons Developmental Center, the Carrizozo Food Bank, Carrizozo Little League and possibly the Carrizozo Volunteer Fire Department's Youth Committee, which is "clamoring" to grill up a meal in the coming summer concert series, she said.
Each group uses the funds to enrich the community in some way, be it sports equipment for youth, improved amenities at the center or scholarships for local students, which would be the case for the Women's Club dinner, she added.
Attendance at the concerts varies with each venue, but typically ranges from about 100 to 200 people, she said.
The music goes on through all weather, featured outdoors when the sky is agreeable but moving indoors when rain or colder temperatures roll in.
The show had gone on even during the explosion of the Little Bear Fire, when Taxi Dancer played for free to a crowd of locals and displaced fire victims, she said. "We decided to keep it going, it was a healing thing."
After the concert finishes Sunday night, performers will wake up bright and early to head to Carrizozo schools for a 10 a.m. concert in the old gym, where Carrizozo students will be joined by Hondo schools' third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes, Brannen said,
Hondo students had been able to attend another concert after teachers Michelle Thurston, Yvonne Montes-Rich and Justine Ortiz went the extra mile to ensure their students would be able to attend, she added.
Thurston, third-grade teacher at Hondo schools, said that she, Montes-Rich and Ortiz had decided to put up their own money for gas to bus students over, as the expense was not in the schools' budget.
"I think it's an experience (students) don't always get exposed to, that classical music," she said. "They seem to very much enjoy it."
She added that the school never had any trouble filling a bus whenever the school got together to bring students over for a concert.
"I think it's really nice they care," Brannen said. "Hondo loves culture, they've come before. New Horizons always brings their residents over to the concerts as well."
Music of many genres pass through the town throughout the year, ranging from the sounds of the town's local son, Paul Piño and the Tone Daddies, bluegrass, a saxaphone quartet of retired 44th Army Band members, fiddler Russell Burris and world-class classical performers, usually brought through the Piatigorsky Foundation, which sponsors classical music performances in underserved communities.
"We're doing good, we're starting to get a reputation as a little center for music," Brannen chirped, enthused with the organizations' continued success and expansion. "I've got more (musicians) lined up than I can stage."