Alpine Orchestra: “Out of This World” Performance
The Alpine Orchestra performed their Spring 2015 Concert Series at Annunciation Church in Leadville, on April 20, after their initial concert date was rescheduled due to a spring snow storm that left more than a foot of snow and challenging travel conditions.
But when the musicians finally gathered, they did not disappoint. In fact, you could say it was an “Out Of This World” performance! Conductor by Beth Steele led the orchestra in a special selection of music, including contemporary favorites from “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter,” as well as two classical compositions by composer Gustav Holst: “Jupiter” “and Mars” part of a 9 piece collection appropriately titled, “The Planets.”
According to their website, The Alpine Orchestra began as an idea for allowing local musicians to play together. The group was born May 14, 1991 when some interested people met and made a plan for the acquisition of music, rehearsal space and set a time for rehearsing. Fifteen people attended the first rehearsal that June of 1991; they were in donated space with borrowed music and equipment but the orchestra was launched. The Alpine Orchestra’s first concerts followed that August and the group has been preparing and performing 3 concerts a year since. The Alpine Orchestra incorporated as a non-profit organization in December, 1991.
From those first humble beginnings, the Orchestra has grown into a “family” of 40+ members, all residents of Lake and Chaffee Counties, and ranging in age from 14 to 85.
Our members include people from a variety of professions, with all levels of education and musical experience. The orchestra has been led by six different conductors, acquiring valuable knowledge, skills and experience from each of them. Through generous donations from ever-growing audiences and from members themselves, the group now has several pieces of equipment, and is building a moderate library of musical compositions.
As it begins its third decade, the Alpine Orchestra continues to strive for excellence in fulfilling its purpose of sharing the enjoyment of music with the community, and expanding opportunities for talented young musicians.
The Alpine Orchestra is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. All concerts are free and family friendly. Donations are graciously accepted to help defray expenses: The Alpine Orchestra, PO Box 4305, Buena Vista, CO 81211. Or connect online at the Alpine Orchestra Facebook Page or alpineorchestra.org.
Hazel Miller Performs on Leadville Campus April 25
By Mike McKibbin
Mom’s advice paid off for Hazel Miller.
It led the now-popular singer to leave her home as a young adult in Louisville, Ky., and eventually travel the world, performing jazz, gospel, blues and R&B.
“When I was 16, she saw me perform in a show and said, ‘You’re good at this. Go, get out of Louisville and see the world,’” Miller recalled. “She wanted me to branch out. So I did.”
While she didn’t quite make it to her destination of Los Angeles, California’s loss was Colorado’s gain, as Miller made Denver her home base for more than three decades.
Miller and her band will perform a free concert on campus at Colorado Mountain College’s Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center, 901 South Highway 24 in Leadville, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25.
This concert is sponsored by Colorado Mountain College ArtShare.
Meeting people highlights Miller’s travels
“Traveling is the best kind of education, too,” Miller said. “You meet so many different people at their levels. And one thing I always see is how we’re all more alike than we are different.”
The band has toured North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Central America and has appeared in countless festivals, concerts and fundraisers. Last winter, Miller toured the U.S. with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, marking the 19th year the two bands have performed together.
The summer of 2014 featured festival appearances in Grand Junction, Del Norte, Pagosa Springs, Frisco, Breckenridge, Erie, Boulder and Telluride, not to mention Mississippi, New Mexico and Wyoming. The band has appeared many times at the historic Red Rocks Amphitheater as the headliner and as an opening act.
“I never get tired of traveling in Colorado,” Miller said.
Adding to music that people know
The music Miller and her band plan to perform will combine five different “jazz experiences,” she said, including swing, bebop and smooth jazz, along with the blues and gospel.
“We like to make the music enjoyable,” she said. “We took a song written by Stevie Nicks (of Fleetwood Mac), called ‘Dreams,’ and added a smooth jazz tempo with a layer of continental jazz feel. But people still recognize the song, because it’s Fleetwood Mac.”
Miller said the band also put a “funky dance beat” to Lee Ann Womack’s country hit, “I Hope You Dance.”
“We think it’s all right to like every kind of music because it all blends together in the end,” she said. “It’s all music. We hope they like it enough to get up and dance. If we don’t move them, it’s very disappointing.”
Colorado audiences are usually quite active, though.
“I think it’s that Western pioneer spirit, and the fact that Colorado loves all kinds of music,” she said. “It’s almost like they’re waiting for you and they never let you down. So when they jump up and dance, that’s our greatest accomplishment.”
For more information about the Hazel Miller Band in concert, call 970-947-8367970-947-8367. Find more about the vocalist and her band at hazelmiller.biz.