If you have been yearning for the timeless beauty of baroque and classical music in the midst of the scenic wonder that is Pagosa Springs, you are in for a real treat.
This Sunday, Aug. 19, at 5 p.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will host its monthly Sunday Night Unplugged service of music and meditation, featuring music played by flutist Jessica Peterson, violinist Heidi Tanner and pianist Sally Neel.
The trio first performed together as an ensemble during the Holy Week and Easter services at St. Patrick’s last spring. In preparation, each musician researched to find trio music scored for flute, violin and piano. Some of the music was discovered in their own libraries and other music was found in public domain, available online.
“Though we had not really talked in advance about the style or period of the music we were looking for, we each came up with music primarily from the baroque period,” said Sally Neel. “It is music that really speaks to each of us as musicians and has rich opportunities for endless artistic development.”
The (as yet unnamed) trio had an opportunity to try their wings outside of Pagosa Springs last April when they were invited to perform in Estes Park at the annual Episcopal clergy conference.
“It was such fun to have them there,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “The clergy conference, an annual meeting comprised of every Episcopal priest in Colorado, is accustomed to enjoying performances from first class musicians from the Denver/Boulder/Colorado Springs area. It is a common assumption of our brothers and sisters on the Eastern Slope and Front Range that, since we on the Western Slope are more isolated and less cosmopolitan, we have less access to high quality classical music.
When the trio played, these clergy really took notice. One priest remarked to me rather incredulously, ‘… and you say these ladies are from Pagosa Springs?’ A priest from the Denver area asked Sally if they had a CD they could share. I must confess I was very proud.”
The trio will be playing music by J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, G.F. Handel and Louillet. Much of the music was originally scored for two flutes and piano or two violins and piano. Though the timbre of the instruments is quite different, the range of the flute and violin is similar and they complement each other very well. It is not at all unusual or unauthentic for a flute to play from a violin score or vice versa.
“One of the real blessings of being in this amazing town is the richness of musical resources available to us. I love inviting musicians to play for Sunday Night Unplugged because it is an opportunity to feature the abundant talent that is right here in Pagosa Springs,” said Sally Neel, director of music and arts at St. Patrick’s “I feel I have struck gold with Heidi Tanner and Jessica Peterson. These two truly gifted musicians enjoy playing music that too often lies dormant due to its intricate difficulty. Heidi and Jessica not only expertly rise to the challenge, but understand and appreciate the incredible beauty and complexities that can unfold anew in each performance. As a pianist and accompanist, creating music with these two ladies is not only a delight, but also a privilege. I anticipate this collaboration will continue for a long time.”
Sunday Night Unplugged is a monthly offering at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. It is a service for personal reflection, a time to enjoy beautiful music, and a time to offer prayers. The service lasts about an hour and is free and open to the public.
St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.
For more information, call 731-5801, or go to www.stpatrickspagosa.org.