‘A Classic Christmas’ holiday concert features distinguished local musicians

Photo courtesy ECA
Harpist Anita Briggs and flutist Jessica Peterson, a mother-daughter classical harp and flute duo, are among the stellar performers in the cast of “A Classic Christmas.” The annual holiday show will be presented at the Ross Aragon Community Center on Dec. 21.

“A Classic Christmas” takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at The Ross Aragon Community Center.

Musical cast includes harpist Anita Briggs, flutist Jessica Peterson, pianist John Graves, a vocal trio featuring Debbee Tucker, Jessica Espinosa Trujillo and June Marquez, singer Kathy Isberg and sword dancer Joshua Pike.

This year’s “A Classic Christmas” proudly presents Anita Briggs and Jessica Peterson — a distinguished mother-daughter, classical harp and flute duo. The two began performing together in Pagosa when Jessica was in high school. Later, they performed concerts in New York, where Briggs has served as principal harpist with several symphonies, the Boston Ballet and the Hartford Opera and where she performs frequent recitals and chamber music concerts.

To say that Jessica Peterson comes from a musical family is quite an understatement. Besides her mother being a concert harpist, her grandmother was an opera singer, as are various aunts and cousins. And her father played clarinet. Peterson’s own musical vivacity and the interesting variety of flutes she plays so well, never fail to light up enthusiasm in her audience.

Peterson reflects: “When I lived in New York working as a production assistant for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, I was immersed in music almost every day and every night. But I missed the mountains. It took me 20 years to get back to Pagosa. Now I have it all: living here and having wonderful musicians to play with.”

To have Anita Briggs and Jessica Peterson perform together in Pagosa is a rare event, to which the entire second half of this concert will be devoted.

Advance tickets for $12 go on sale Dec. 3. Tickets purchased at the door are $15. Young people, 18 and under and attended by a parent, are invited to attend the concert free of charge.

Donations of non-perishable food items for local food banks may be dropped off at the center beginning Dec. 3. For further information, call the community center at 264-4152.

“A Classic Christmas” is presented by the Ross Aragon Community Center in conjunction with Elation Center for the Arts.

This story was posted on November 29, 2012.