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Harp and flute concert opens series at St. Patrick’s

Special to The PREVIEW

There is something ethereal about the rich sounds of the harp combined with the pure, singing quality of the flute.

Harpist Anita Briggs and her daughter, flutist Jessica Peterson, have enjoyed combining their sounds for many years, mesmerizing their audiences through the beauty of their music. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will feature this mother-daughter duo in concert Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, students $5, and will be sold at the door.

Harpist Anita Briggs, a former resident of Pagosa Springs, now divides her time between New York City and Pagosa Springs. She studied with legendary harpist Carlos Salzedo and has served as principal harpist with the New Haven, Amarillo, Macon, Columbus and San Angelo symphonies, the Boston Ballet and the Hartford Opera. She worked under Nadia Boulanger and Paul Hindemith, and recorded with the Atlanta Choral Guild.

Briggs plays frequent recitals and chamber music concerts. Her book of harp solos, “Odyssey,” is published by Lyon and Healy. She also collaborated with celebrated Metropolitan Opera soprano Joyce Guyer on a CD recording entitled, “From the Garden of My Heart.”

Pagosa native Jessica Peterson has wowed her audiences with her amazing sounds and skills on the flute. She not only is an accomplished classical flutist, she also is a gifted Native American flute player. One of her more unique talents is her amazing ability to play the ocarina, a small clay flute with only four finger holes.

“It is absolutely astounding to hear the huge sounds she produces from such a tiny instrument,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s.

Jessica is the owner of Nighteagle Flute Company, where she handcrafts beautiful Native American flutes. She has also written 15 flute study books with CDs published by ADG productions.

When you put these two talents together, you are guaranteed an evening of pure beauty. They will combine their talents in the setting of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, an acoustically vibrant setting that allows all of the rich sounds of the instruments to blend into truly sumptuous tones. Anita will soon be returning to her home in New York, so you won’t want to miss the unique opportunity to hear these two performers together.

“I believe that music is powerful in its influence on us,” said Peterson. “Music refines and strengthens our emotions. It evokes memories. It can help us heal and stay healthy. We want music when we’re celebrating, when we’re grieving, and when we’re worshipping. We turn to music for the most important ceremonies in our lives. We make music in poverty as well as in prosperity. Music pours from our souls when we are captives, and again when we are free. Through music, we can share beauty with others. And besides all that, it’s just plain fun.”

This concert marks the first in a series of concerts at St. Patrick’s. The next concert will be March 14, presented by the John Brown University Choir.

St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. For more information, call 731-5801.

This story was posted on January 10, 2013.