Arts & Entertainment – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 12 Sep 2019 22:33:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sunday Night Unplugged to feature Nightsong Trio Fri, 13 Sep 2019 11:00:53 +0000

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
The NightSong Trio will be the featured performer at Sunday Night Unplugged at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, which will begin at 5 p.m.

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church (225 S. Pagosa Blvd.) provides a beautiful venue for the monthly music and meditation service, Sunday Night Unplugged. A time for calm and silence, the service is punctuated by meditative music, brief readings and prayers, offering participants the opportunity to quiet the mind.
This Sunday evening at 5 p.m., NightSong Trio will provide music to enhance your meditations. The flute/violin/piano trio has been playing together for nine years, rehearsing together regularly for their own enjoyment and in preparation for occasional performances.
Flutist Jessica Peterson is gifted not only as a flutist, she also hand crafts Native American flutes and creates beautiful artwork in her home shop. Her talents are varied and extensive. She can often be heard performing solo at the hot springs or in concert alongside local musician Paul Roberts. Peterson teaches private flute lessons from her home and is also a wilderness guide and a licensed masseuse.
Heidi Tanner has played the violin since her early years. She served as concert master of the Tulsa Youth Orchestra during her high school years. Though she put the violin aside for a number of years while she helped to raise her children, she brought it out of the closet about 10 years ago, resurrecting her passion for music. Her beautiful tones and sensitive playing now have the advantage of maturity, adding a lovely timbre to the trio of players. She regularly plays as principle violinist in the pit orchestra for Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) productions and served as the first president of Pagosa Springs Instrumental Music Society and continued in this role for a number of years. She also teaches private violin lessons.
Pianist and organist Sally Neel is a professional musician who has studied and played piano since childhood. She studied organ and voice at Texas Christian University, where she majored in sacred music. She is director of music ministries for St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, where she conducts the adult choir and serves as organist. She was the director of music for CUP for 10 years and teaches CUP scholarship students voice lessons from her home.
Sunday’s music will feature solos from each musician as well as ensemble pieces.
Sunday Night Unplugged is open to the public free of charge. Come and enjoy a quiet evening of beautiful music and quiet meditation. The service lasts about an hour and is a gift that you will take with you in your soul.

Thingamajig Theatre Company closes out season Thu, 12 Sep 2019 22:25:42 +0000

Photo courtesy Bill Hudson
The Thingamajig Theatre production of “Ring of Fire” celebrates the many sides of American recording artist Johnny Cash — including his family’s religious heritage — at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. The final performances of the summer production take place this weekend. The five-member cast of singers and musicians are, from left, Allie Tamburello, Rayshaughn Armant, Tommy Paduano, Steven Sitzman and Nick Abbott.

By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
Thingamajig Theatre Company closes out its extended 2019 Broadway in the Mountains summer season this weekend with four final performances of “Ring of Fire” — a musical celebration of singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, and a career that stretched from Cash’s first hit record in 1955 to his final studio album in 2002.
The final performances of “Ring of Fire” will take place tonight, Thursday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, closing with a family-friendly 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Sept. 15. Tickets are available online at or by calling 731-SHOW (7469).
The show features five actors/singers from the summer season repertory company — Rayshaughn Armant, Allie Tamburello, Nick Abbott, Tommy Paduano and Steven Sitzman — who are all instrumentalists and who perform live selections from Cash’s long recording career. The show is directed by noted Colorado theater artist Christopher Willard.
As they prepared for their final weekend, the five musicians offered some thoughts about performing Cash’s music on the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts stage this summer, beginning with rehearsals last April.
Tamburello is the sole female in the cast, so she sings on behalf of numerous women in Cash’s life.
“I think my favorite song of the show is the final song: ‘Hey, Porter.’”
“Hey, Porter” appeared as the B side of the very first Johnny Cash record in 1955, opposite his radio hit, “Cry, Cry, Cry.”
Tamburello said, “It’s really special to me, because every time we do the show, it’s a journey that we take from start to finish, and it’s like a roller coaster. It’s a roller coaster to perform, and it’s also like this wild ride that we’ve been on since we got here in April. And that song is like the bow on the present, every single night.”
Abbott sings many of the leads during the show, and serves as the shows narrator, although — in the general spirit of the production — he makes no attempt to “imitate” Cash.
“‘Why Me, Lord’ is the song that comes right before ‘Hey, Porter’ and I think that’s the song that’s the most fulfilling for me to sink my teeth into, because [Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash] has just passed away and so it’s really emotional. Maybe the most emotional moment in the show for my character.
“There are other emotional moments in the show, of course, but for me ‘Why Me, Lord’ is the emotional climax. I don’t know; I’m religious and I just really connect with that moment, right before we go into ‘Hey, Porter.’”
Paduano is the show’s bass player, covering upright and electric bass.
“My favorite is ‘Daddy Sang Bass.’ It’s one of the parts in the show — that whole section at the beginning of the show, where we represent Cash’s family — it just feels very much like a real family, when we all sing together during the beginning. And ‘Daddy Sang Bass’ is the climax of that. It’s the song in the show that I first grew to really love … It’s such a switch from the tragedy we just came out of, where we’re celebrating as a family …”
Lead guitarist Sitzman agreed.
“My favorite moment is also with ‘Daddy Sang Bass.’ It’s the first moment in the show when we’re all, like, jubilating together (laughs) … if that’s the word I want to use … We’re holding each other up, and … I don’t know what it is; there’s a special feeling about it. It’s like, here we are, we’re a family. Let’s play!”
Guitarist Armant is the youngest member of the cast.
“One of the telling things for me, as an actor — to know that we were entering on something very special, and I mean that affectionately — is that we would record tracks of ourselves to rehearse with, and things like that. And the director allowed us to take more control of the rehearsal process. Those kinds of things were really necessary, because we needed to do things our own way. Bring our own personalities into the process …”
Thingamajig’s “Ring of Fire” soars through Johnny Cash’s iconic music and will leave you humming “I’ve Been Everywhere” and “I Walk the Line” for days to come. You’ll laugh along with “A Boy Named Sue” and struggle to not sing along with “Folsom Prison Blues.”
To get tickets to “Ring of Fire,” visit or call 731-SHOW (7469).
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.

Performers of all ages sought for CUP’s ‘Willy Wonka’ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 22:23:48 +0000 By Dale Johnson
Special to The PREVIEW
Calling all actors ages 10 and up: Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) will be holding auditions for its winter musical, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” on Friday, Sept. 13, from 2 to 8 p.m. in the music room at Pagosa Springs High School.
We are seeking performers of all ages through adult to help create the magical characters of “Willy Wonka.” Please come prepared to sing one verse of a Broadway tune of your choosing; bring sheet music for your song as an accompanist will be provided. A script read and group dance will be part of the audition process.
We welcome our veteran actors and newcomers alike, and are especially looking for adult thespians to round out our fabulous cast. “Willy Wonka” will be produced and directed by the team of Dale Johnson and Dale Scrivener.
CUP is celebrating its 30th year of community theater in Pagosa.

The tapestry that is us Wed, 11 Sep 2019 11:00:12 +0000 I am amazed when I stop and think about the many people that have come into my life. Moreover, when the differences that bring us together seem greater than similarities that would otherwise do the same.
There is a passage in Jeremiah where God says that he has plans for us. To paraphrase, I know the meticulously woven purposes that I am skillfully, carefully and intricately weaving together for your future.
Our lives are such a tapestry of texture and color that are ever greater enhanced by those we meet.
Nothing is by chance and so goes my introduction to Mary Miller. She is a volunteer at Loaves and Fishes who maneuvers around the tables with a dedication to service. She stopped by my table one week and mentioned that she would be out of the country for a short period of time. When I inquired as to why, she told me that she “lives to volunteer.”
Knowing that Pagosa has become a haven for the interesting, I set up a time when we could meet for coffee. I wanted to find out more about how traveling and volunteering interlinked.
At the young age of 86, Mary has traveled to 45 countries and has plenty of stories to tell. When I asked her who she travels with, she told me that some of her trips are by herself.
“Alone? Aren’t you afraid to travel alone?”
She looked at me as if it was a foreign thought and said, “No, why should I be afraid?”
I could think of a thousand reasons why I wouldn’t travel alone.
Mary continued, “I pack a smile and common sense in my bag, which is always ready for the next trip.”
“But you’re 10 years older than I am. If I was traveling around the world, I’d pack more than a smile and common sense.” It didn’t sound like common sense to me, but, to her, it is a way of life.
In addition to being an intrepid traveler, this energetic lady volunteers with a group of participants who provide dental care to individuals in third-world countries. In fact, she was preparing to go back to Cambodia in a few days. I was exhausted just hearing about her tight-scheduled itinerary during her upcoming two-week trip.
This is her ninth year with Global Dental Relief, where she has been lauded by organizers and volunteers alike. She is passionate about being able to help those in need, some who just need a good excuse to smile. She works with a team who uses a pressure cooker and a hot plate to sanitize equipment in their makeshift medical clinic. When the generator goes out, the team does their best to continue brightening the smiles of the many children they encounter. At the end of the day, they pack up, load up, then hop in the back of an old pickup truck to proceed to the next village.
Mary’s entire life seems knitted together in a way that makes perfect sense. She was one of 10 children, born to hardworking farming parents in rural Pennsylvania. When she was 18, she married a young man who was in the Air Force. She is also a Korean vet, serving for two years herself. Married 32 years, she, her husband and their six children have traveled the world. Now I understand why she has such a love for the nomadic.
One of her daughters authored a book about her many adventures, titled “Mom on the Run.” It tells stories about her life and travels, and displays a collage of pictures of Mary and the many people she has met along the way.
Her daughter writes, “Mom turns 86 this year. Her email snippet, signature, mantra or whatever single distinct meaningful element of speech you prefer is ‘You’re never too old to have a happy childhood.’ That about sums her up! She’s about as fiery as anyone could possibly imagine being and she’s hardly slowing down. My mother has always had a hunger for travel and the gift of gab. She meets not a stranger and sports an uncanny talent of drawing people toward her.
“After working hard on the farm as a young girl, serving in the military and raising a family of her own, mom’s dreams of jumping into those pages of her father’s National Geographic Magazine as a girl have finally come to fruition.”
The pictures in the book showing a smile on Mary’s face are understandable. It is a true reflection of those to whom she has generously given time and effort.
I asked Mary to describe herself in one word. She used two. “Free spirit.” She showed me a tattoo on her ankle of a butterfly. She said, “I won’t let anyone pull off my wings.”
Final brushstroke: I could get a tattoo of my Sweet Al on my ankle, but what is the greater lesson here? What am I missing? I have a strong faith, but not enough to traipse all over the world. Then, again, I’m not Mary. But, like her, God has created each of us with our own unique purpose — a complex and intricately woven sequence that defines us and directs all our tomorrows.
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Four Corners Folk Festival Tue, 10 Sep 2019 11:00:07 +0000

SUN photos/Randi Pierce

The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival took over Reservoir Hill over the weekend, offering award-winning musicians, fun in the sun, kids’ activities, workshops and more.

Friends of the Thingamajig Theatre Farewell Party Sun, 08 Sep 2019 11:00:50 +0000

Photos courtesy Simon Fuger

The Friends of the Thingamajig Theatre hosted a farewell party for the cast and crew. The farewell party punctuated an incredibly successful summer theater season at the Pagosa Center for the Arts. It was a wonderful send off for the incredibly hard working cast and crew, who came from all over America. Members of the cast joined with the band on many songs and there was plenty of dancing by all.

Auditions for ‘Willy Wonka’ just around the corner Sun, 08 Sep 2019 11:00:11 +0000 By Dale Johnson
Special to The PREVIEW
Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP), now in its 30th year of bringing professional level community theater to Pagosa Springs, will be holding open auditions for its winter show, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” on Friday, Sept. 13, from 2 to 8 p.m. in the music room of Pagosa Springs High School.
We are seeking actors and performers of all ages from 10 and up to fill the cast. All roles in this popular musical are currently open.
Auditionees, please prepare one verse of a Broadway tune of your choosing. A script read and group dance will also be part of the audition process.
We welcome our veteran actors and newcomers alike to come out and join us for “Willy Wonka.” Dale Scrivener takes on the role of music director, teaming up with Dale Johnson as director and choreographer.
Leave a message on CUP’s Facebook page if there are any questions. Join our amazing CUP family.

FolkWest founders Sat, 07 Sep 2019 11:00:17 +0000

SUN photo/Randi Pierce

Pagosa Springs Town Council member Madeline Bergon honors FolkWest founders Crista Munro (center) and Dan Appenzeller (not pictured), as well as their son, Elias Appenzeller, Saturday at the 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival. Bergon informed the crowd of a proclamation on the council’s agenda Tuesday evening thanking FolkWest for its contributions to the community. The proclamation, approved unanimously by the council, thanked the FolkWest founders, staff, volunteers and performers. FolkWest is handing over the reins of its two festivals to KSUT Public Radio later this month.

Sunday Night Unplugged moved to Sept. 15 Sat, 07 Sep 2019 11:00:06 +0000 By Heidi Tanner
Special to The PREVIEW
Sunday Night Unplugged, the monthly service of music and meditation at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, will be held this month on Sept. 15 instead of the usual second Sunday of the month. The service will begin at 5 p.m. as usual on Sunday, Sept. 15.
This month’s service will feature The Nightsong Trio. This trio includes Sally Neel on piano, Jessica Peterson playing flute and Heidi Tanner on the violin.
This service is informal in nature and invites attendees to spend quiet time in meditation interspersed with beautiful live music and readings which inspire one’s meditation.
All are welcome at this service. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this beautiful time for reflection and prayer.

Rehearsals for Community Christmas Concerts to begin Sept. 10 Fri, 06 Sep 2019 11:00:16 +0000

Photo courtesy Richard Bolland
Dan Burch prepares the 2018 Community Christmas Concert choir for last year’s performances. Community members are invited to participate in the 2019 edition of this important community event as a part of our town’s Christmas celebration. Registration begins at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10 in the Pagosa Springs High School music room.

By Richard Bolland
Special to The PREVIEW
School has begun. Fall is in the air and soon aspen trees will fill our valley with their golden cascades of color.
As a sure sign of the approaching Christmas season, the Pagosa Springs Choral Society will begin rehearsals for this year’s December Community Christmas Concerts beginning with registration at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10 in the Pagosa Springs High School music room. This is a non-audition community choir singing under the excellent direction of Dan Burch, music director for Pagosa Springs High School.
Rehearsals will be held each Tuesday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (with the exception of Thanksgiving week), with the concerts being performed on Dec. 6, 7 and 8.
Selections will range from sacred to the seasonal, including Kay Thompson’s “Jingle Bells,” and “Silver Bells” to “All Is Well” and G.F. Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from the well-known oratorio “The Messiah.” Additionally, a select jazz ensemble (chosen from the choir) will perform the light-hearted,“Childhood Christmas Favorites” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”
The theme of this year’s community concerts is “The Light of Christmas.” Venita Burch will accompany the 60- to 70-voice choir. A $20 registration fee will be assessed to help defray the cost of music.