Full slate of performers ready for ‘A Classic Christmas’

Photo courtesy Paul Roberts
Local singer Debbee Tucker is one of the many talents in the cast of “A Classic Christmas.” The show plays Dec. 21 at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW

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, 6:30-9 p.m.

Door and cash bar open at 6:30 p.m. Bring snacks and desserts to share.

At 6:45 p.m., the newly-formed Pagosa Brass Sextet will raise glorious sounds to the heavens with classical, contemporary and jazz holiday music. Pagosa Brass Sextet features the musical artistry of Larry Elginer, trumpet; Larry Baisdon, trumpet; D’Ann Artis, horn; Dan Burch, trombone; Dave Krueger, tuba; and Kathy Baisdon, euphonium.

Santa and the Snowflake Sisters is a hot vocal ensemble featuring singers Debbee Tucker, Emily Tholberg and Nancy Zevely and the inimitable John Graves on piano.

Jessica Espinosa Trujillo will present her special performance of “Breath of Heaven.” Pianist Sally Neel will accompany her. Other performers include singer Kathy Isberg, June Marquez, and sword dancer Joshua Pike with the lonely shepherd.

Sarah Savage describes the music of Jessica Peterson as, “ethereal notes from a flute so delicately played that they seem to come from the Milky Way painted across the sky.”

Jessica performs on concert flute, clay bird ocarina and Native American flutes. Jessica’s musical vivacity is reflected by the enthusiasm that never fails to light up her audience. She will be performing with her mother, harpist Anita Briggs. The mother-daughter duo began performing together in Pagosa when Jessica was in high school. Later, they performed concerts in New York. Anita has had a long and distinguished musical career as a harpist.

Flashback: The PREVIEW cover of April 5, 1984, featured a stunning photo of Anita Briggs and her harp. Anita’s friend, Dan Fogelberg, took the picture. The 28-year old article, written by Kay Hughes, is titled, “Joy of music leads child prodigy through piano lessons at age four to career as acclaimed harpist.”

Anita, as a young lady, had already achieved a remarkable degree of accomplishment in the classical music world. The 28-year-old cover notes read: “Anita is shown here with her Lyon and Healy concert grand harp. Anita takes this harp with her every time she performs which is no small feat considering her harp weighs 80 pounds, and takes two people to carry it. Anita tells us the harp is strung with nylon, gut and wire and is made of maple and birch. It must be tuned constantly because the slightest change in temperature or humidity will affect it. Photo courtesy Dan Fogelberg.”

In the 1984 article Anita Briggs is quoted: “My mother, Jeffie Lou Pecor, was a wonderfully talented musician. She sacrificed in every way for me to have the opportunities that I had for training.” Anita studied with the most legendary harpists in the world.

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 who wish to express their special thanks to the Pagosa SUN and photographic artist Jeff Laydon for sponsoring this concert.

This story was posted on December 6, 2012.