Initiated by Mountain Meadows residents, Music at the Meadows is a series of concerts held in the Mt. Ashland Room twice a month. The programs are funded by the MMOA and feature local musicians performing music of many genres. Students from SOU are often invited to perform.
Cabaret at the Meadows
The Clubhouse Cabaret, another resident initiated musical event, occurs once a month to the delight of music loving residents. The Mt. Ashland Room is transformed. The nightclub atmosphere is created by use of, candles, munchies, and a napkin and wine glass at each setting. Those attending bring their own beverages and enjoy jazz performed by fine local musicians.
Angelic harmonies! Those two words have been used to describe the lush singing of the two sopranos who form Accapellare, a local Ashland vocal duo comprised of two women: Jeffri Lynn Carrington and Zoe La Terreur. They will return here to perform on Thursday, March 30, at 4 PM in the Mt. Ashland Room. Jeffri and Zoe are both classically trained vocalists who have dedicated their lives to the art of singing. Their repertoire ranges from renaissance times to modern, in many languages. And their two voices together create beautiful harmonies that are quite stunning. They performed here twice last year. The first time was to a small crowd. The words of praise soon spread throughout Mountain Meadows and, as a result, the Meadowlarks members sponsored a return appearance by them.
In case you haven't heard, there is exciting news that they are fundraising to travel to Europe in May and perform wherever they are welcomed. They are working on setting up concerts in a variety of venues throughout Spain, France, and Switzerland. Potentially other countries as well, but those are the ones they have so far. They will also be busking on the street and who knows what may develop while they are there! We expect that they will do amazingly well. Please be generous with your Appreciation Jar donation; it will help finance their European venture.
Jeffri and Zoe's enchanting program here will include themes of springtime, traditional world folk music, sacred repertoire, and a long-awaited opera duet by Puccini.
On Saturday, January 28, at 7 PM in the Mt. Ashland Room we will host a group of Ashland High School Thespians, directed by Fine Arts teacher Betsy Bishop. Yes, it's an evening concert because the students are only available then for this type of a production. It will consist of acting monologues and scenes, and musical theatre scenes. If you've been to any theater productions at Ashland High School, you know that they are far above the high school productions that you grew up with. In addition to the top instruction they get from Betsy Bishop, Ashland High School's Theatre Department celebrated a twenty-year partnership with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival several years ago.
Each year, many AHS theater students compete in the regional and statewide Oregon Thespian Festival. And many of them return with top honors! We will have a group of them here polishing their skills preparing for the regional competition on February 4. We will enjoy their wonderful talents.
Last summer, Ms. Bishop took a contingent of her students to the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska, which ran from June 19-24 at the University of Nebraska. Sophomore Preston Mead was singled out in solo acting, as were stage managers Lily Rider and Ceili Widmann, both of whom graduated from AHS in June. Student actor/singer Jonathan Connolly also took top honors.
Later, in September, Ms. Bishop was inducted into the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the EdTA National Conference in Las Vegas. She also received the Inspirational Theatre Educator Award at the same ceremony.
The Appreciation Jar will be used for their travel expenses from here to Salem for the Oregon state finals.
Music at the Meadows—by Roy Sutton:
Cellist, composer, singer, and spoken word artist Daniel Sperry and his delightful singing partner, soprano Jeffri Lynn Carrington, will be back here on Thursday, November 10, at 4 PM in the Mt. Ashland Room. Together, they present poetry in musical form – from poets such as Rumi, William Stafford, Naomi Shihab Nye and Derek Walcott. The two of them were here a year ago, while Jeffri has already been here two times this year – teamed up with fellow soprano Zoé La Terreur to comprise Accapellaré.
Daniel has been entertaining audiences all over the country in over 200 concerts including his "musical portraits" and spoken word gems with musical landscapes he has composed. He is our local “cellist in the park,” playing in Lithia Park – or on Guanajuato Way – during fair weather times. Daniel has been working with Jeffri for several years in Ashland, co-creating songs based on some of the world's finest poetry.
Jeffri, among other musical ventures, is the soprano section leader for the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. She studied classical technique in private lessons for over 10 years with teachers such as Dr. Paul French, and has been a soloist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Handel's Messiah.
Their unique harmonies and original compositions reach straight to the heart. Their style is a mixture of soul, gospel, and folk music. Cello, piano, and banjo will all be played here. Daniel will also present one of his original "musical portraits," and they will offer stunning versions of “Amazing Grace” and “Summertime.”
Sometimes fortune smiles on us. We will have one of the nations’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music thanks to the contacts of Mountain Meadows resident Mary Devlin His name is Jeff Warner and he will be here on Monday, October 24, at 4PM in the Mt. Ashland Room. Jeff lives in New Hampshire, but will be in Ashland to receive the 2016 Lifetime Contribution Award of the Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS.org). Mary is the Chair of that organization’s Awards Committee, and is a country dance caller. Jeff specializes in songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages and mountain tops of America that connect 21st century audiences with the everyday lives – and artistry – of 19th century Americans.
Besides performing throughout the states, Jeff has quite a following in the United Kingdom. One reviewer there called Jeff, “My favorite Americana musician.” Another wrote, “Jeff’s one of the most welcome of the fairly frequent visitors to these shores from the US, and his gigs are always eagerly awaited and supported by those in the know. Quite simply, he’s one of the most charismatic, enthusiastic and genuinely versatile performers on the whole scene, with a warm and approachable personality to match his encyclopedic knowledge of traditional song.” Jeff’s concert here will feature American traditional folk songs with banjo, concertina, and various “pocket instruments” such as bones and spoons.
This October concert is another sponsored one. Our thanks go to sponsors Mary Devlin & Norman Hale, Joan Jurickovich, David & Patty Lane, Marsha Bennett, and Jean Walters.
On Thursday, September 8th, Jaron Cannon, pianist, presented an eclectic selection of music—ragtime, classical, and songs from the Great American Songbook. Jaron kept us alternatively singing along, and sitting in awe of his amazing power, technique and passion.
Jaron started “piano playing” on his own at age 2 or 3 by picking out the Mickey Mouse Club TV theme song. At age 5, he started lessons in his home town of Roseburg, Oregon. While in high school, he received numerous awards including three gold medals at MusicFest NorthWest, first place in the MusicFest piano solo concerto competition. Twice he received a gold medal at the Oregon Junior Bach Festival.
Last fall, Jaron began studying with Alexander Tutunov at SOU. He admits to his trepidation because he feared Tutunov would not be willing to support his diverse musical tastes. He was delighted when he received support and encouragement, and he continues to explore a multitude of musical styles.
On Thursday, the program opened with two well known challenging Ragtime numbers followed by Mozart’s Fantasia and Chopin’s Black Key Etude. After a couple of sweet sing-along tunes, he dazzled us with a brilliant performance of Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C# Minor. Starting with the Moonlight Sonata, he then offered us a lovely medley of “moon songs” and followed it with two hymns. He ended his program with a dynamic performance of Bach’s Chacon that brought us all to our feet.
Beautiful sounds from wooden Native American flutes accompanied by native drum sounds of the American Southwest await us at 4PM on Thursday, September 1, in the Mt. Ashland Room. Entitled "Four Corners," this music will be performed by Andrea Matthews — the flutist daughter of MM's Kathleen Matthews — and her husband, drummer Brian Rockholt. This peripatetic pair travels far and wide in their RV — but mostly where their music originated — giving concerts of music inspired by their visits to the Native American regions of the United States found in the four states (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico) which meet at a common point. Originally setting off in their RV from the Seattle area, they are now based in a charming fixer-upper historic house in nearby Talent, Oregon! We're glad to have them back again.
After graduating with degrees in music performance and education from SOU, Andi became intrigued by the Native American wooden flute, several of which she will be playing. Our residents have taken great delight in her exhibiting the inner workings of her flutes. Brian was a Music Specialist in the Navy, then taught trumpet at a community school. He plays a variety of percussion instruments to accompany Andi's flute playing. Our residents will once again be entranced by the music and the instruments.
On Monday. August 1, at 4PM in the Mt. Ashland Room, we will welcome back pianist Jon Hays who has just completed his course work towards master's degree at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. He only has a few odds and ends to take care of in order to be awarded the degree. He is a native of Juneau, Alaska, and self-taught himself piano at age 15. He will be returning to Juneau now to get himself reestablished there. Many of us got to know Jon while he was working as a server in our Meadowlark Dining Room while working for his B.A. at SOU. Three years ago, he and Nic Temple represented SOU at the University of Florida International Piano Festival - formerly called the Chinese-American International Piano Institute. Jon's program for us will include: Franz Haydn's Sonata in F Major Hob XVI23 (I. Allegro moderato, II. Adagio, III. Presto); Frederic Chopin's Ballade no. 2 Op. 38, and Ballade no.3 Op. 47; and Franz Liszt's Legend no. 1 -St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds, and Legend no. 2-St. Francis of Paolo walking across the water.
It's different, evocative, and highly enjoyable! It's a soulful and witty concert that is a celebration of American poetry and pan-contemporary music for flutes and koto (a long Japanese zither having 13 strings). It will be presented by flutist Tessa Brinckman and koto player Mitsuki Dazai on Thursday, July 28, at 4PM in the Mt. Ashland Room. Their program for us is entitled Gentle Numbers in Eternity, which is a found title (harvested from the music titles in this program) which suggests the eternal, vast mystery within the musical forms that they play, which are both highly structured and free. The music incorporates, or is connected thematically to, the poetry of an exciting and diverse group of American poets. The music is by Jack Gabel, Ichiro Higo, Hiroshi Morikawa, Yugi Takahashi, Jim Franklin and John Neptune. The poetry is by Jack Gabel, Heid Erdrich, Nellie Wong, Emily Dickinson, Terrance Hayes & Carl Sandburg.
Tessa has appeared here before as part of OSF's White Snake Ensemble (with cellist Michal Palzevicz and percussionist Ronnie Malley) and again with Michal and pianist Martin Majkut, conductor of the Rogue Valley Symphony. A native of New Zealand, she has been described by critics as a "flutist of chameleon-like gifts" and "virtuoso elegance" (Gramophone). She enjoys a versatile career, having worked in many classical music ensembles and concert series in the United States, South Africa and New Zealand. Her orchestral and festival work includes the Oregon Symphony, New Haven International Arts, Festival of New American Music, Oregon Bach Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ernest Bloch, Bumbershoot and Astoria Music Festivals. She has recorded, composed and performed in major regional theaters across the United States and abroad.
Mitsuki is a graduate of Japan's renowned Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, Japan, where she majored in vocal studies of Western Classical music. During the course of her studies in ethnomusicology, she began intense studies of traditional/contemporary koto music from world renowned koto master, Kazue Sawai. In 2002, she moved to Oregon and has been performing with various other musicians. Since 2011, she has been leading a Eugene, Oregon, koto ensemble group, Oregon Koto-Kai as an instructor. In 2015, she joined the Global recording project Shanti Samsara, produced by Grammy Winning composer, Ricky Kej (India).
The Stauffer Duo will return to Mountain Meadows to perform on Thursday, May 8, at 4:00pm in the Mt. Ashland Room. They are calling their program “Folk Music through Classical Ears,” and it will feature pieces by Robert Schumann, Deodat de Severac, and Rezso Sugar.
Tom and Cynthia Stauffer retired from their music faculty positions at San Diego State University and moved here to stay about four years ago. That was another blessing for music lovers in our area. Not only do they perform here and else- where in the Rogue Valley, but they are teachers extraordinaire. You may recall that Tom was Chas Barnard’s cello teacher, and Cynthia was Ashley Hoe’s piano teacher prior to Ashley’s going to USC on scholarship three years ago.
Cellist Thomas Stauffer, Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University, is a noted recitalist, chamber musician, and coach. He was both a Fulbright fellow at the Music Academy of Zagreb, Croatia, and a Student Extraordinar at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Vienna. He has served on a number of faculties including those of Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, and was a long-term member of the Bloch Quartet, an ensemble-in-residence at the University of California, Davis. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote after one concert “Stauffer was very impressive for his accuracy of the extremely demanding score, never a sense of strain; the varied timbres were clear and fine.”
Pianist Cynthia Darby Stauffer is a recitalist and chamber musician, and has been a guest of several orchestras. Ms. Darby was graduated from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and was a fellowship recipient to the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood. She has served on a number of faculties including MIT, the Boston Community Music School, University of San Diego and San Diego State University. One of her solos was de- scribed as “...truly satisfying...a remarkable performance” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
First the teacher, Cynthia Stauffer, and now the student pianist Ashley Hoe. Ashley—one of our all-time favorites for seven years–will perform on Friday, May 30, at 4:00pm in the Mt. Ashland Room. Ashley is finishing her junior year at USC and will be in town for a few weeks before returning to Los Angeles with her mother and brother, Ryan, to participate in a festival there with the Siskiyou Violins–as a violinist. Her program here will include pieces by Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn. She will play one of those in a competition in Los Angeles this summer.