ECA presents ‘A Classic Christmas’ Dec. 20

Rekindle the holiday spirit with “A Classic Christmas,” an annual holiday concert sponsored by Elation Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

“A Classic Christmas,” is a colorful presentation of Christmas songs and classical melodies with Larry Elginer, John Graves, Mark DeVoti, June Marquez, Jessica Trujillo, Bob Nordmann, Sue Diffee, Perry Schjolin, Arianna Rackham, and a female barbershop quartet — Four the Good Times — which includes Julie Loar, Nancy Smith, Paula McFaddin and Pat French; with additional musicians to be announced in next week’s PREVIEW.

Mark DeVoti is a natural performer, a fine singer and a gifted songwriter. Some of his most notable performances in Pagosa have been with pianist John Graves. Growing up in western Massachusetts, DeVoti got a close-up view of the music business touring with Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie. Nicknamed “the baby bodyguard,” DeVoti’s job was taking care of a child of one of the performers.

In the mid-1980s, DeVoti moved to Steamboat Springs, where he performed full-time as a professional musician. Later, he and his wife, Erica, moved back to Massachusetts, and he began his career in education. In the ’90s, DeVoti returned to Colorado to open an alternative high school in Pagosa Springs. He served as principal of Pagosa Springs Intermediate School for several years, before assuming his present position as the school district superintendent. DeVoti’s appearance at “A Classic Christmas” is one of several he has done in support of Elation Center for the Arts.

June Marquez has performed in the Southwest for many years. She is known for her gospel singing, her renditions of Patsy Cline songs, and her ranchera music — a style of Mexican country music.

“I believe that music encompasses our being,” says Marquez. “It brings about peace, love and happiness.”

Marquez has deep roots in southwest Colorado. Francisco Marquez, her great-great-grandfather, was a Spaniard who settled in Rosa, N.M., in the late 1800s.

Marquez got her musical inspiration from her mother. “My mother sang a lot, she loved to dance and she loved people,” she says. In her teens, Marquez sang with her six sisters in a group known as the Marquez Sisters. The group became popular in the local area performing at weddings, parties and other social events. When she was growing up her family sponsored regular dances featuring bands that played traditional ranchera music at their store, Marquez Grocery, in Arboles, providing an important cultural scene for a large number of young Hispanics during the 1970s.

Combining the diverse talents of many gifted musicians, “A Classic Christmas” is a captivating holiday performance, a show full of fun and surprises, which even Scrooge wouldn’t want to miss.

Advance tickets are $10, available online at elationarts.org and at Higher Grounds Coffee Company. Tickets at the door are $12. Young people, 18 and under, will be admitted free of charge.

Help us continue the tradition of our wonderful concert intermission social by bringing a dessert to share if you wish.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard; turn north on Vista, then left on Port. The clubhouse is at the end of Port in the PLPOA complex.

Elation Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that provides cultural arts programs to the community of Pagosa Springs.

For more information, call 731-3117.


Photo courtesy ECA
Veteran performer Mark DeVoti’s appearance at the upcoming “A Classic Christmas” is one of several he has done in support of Elation Center for the Arts. “A Classic Christmas” takes place at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse Dec. 20, at 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy ECA
Pagosa’s June Marquez has performed in the Southwest for many years. She is known for her gospel singing, her renditions of Patsy Cline songs, and her ranchera music — a style of Mexican country music. She will perform at “A Classic Christmas,” 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.