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Chamber music concert honors college supporters

CMC CornerRenelle Lott

Next week’s Jim Calaway Honor Series will recognize Don Thoren and Nancy Morgan Smith, two civic leaders who have supported Colorado Mountain College greatly. Dramatic chamber music by the Teocalli Trio will bring to a close the fifth season of this performing arts program, presented through CMC’s Center for Excellence in the Arts.CMC pays its respect and admiration to Thoren, who served on a CMC Community Advisory Committee, was a college leadership alumnus, and advocated the college while serving on the school board in Leadville before his death.Thoren’s wife, Maryellen, volunteers on the CMC Foundation Board.”We only lived in Leadville 10 years, and as soon as we arrived, Don was active with the college,” she said. “He and I jointly donated towards a ‘Smart Room.’ He very much believed in education and he thought that CMC was just wonderful. He never lost his temper, he just always looked for solutions.” The Smart Room is a classroom at the Timberline Campus named for the Thorens, outfitted with real-time Internet connection, a television and computer with projectors for instructional uses.The concert honoring Thoren is at 7 p.m. March 10 at the Lake County High School auditorium.Melodic notes will also lend sound to the memories of a youthful Aspen that played home to Nancy Morgan Smith’s family at a concert March 11. This concert is also at 7 p.m. and will be at the New Space Theatre at the Spring Valley Campus in Glenwood Springs. Tickets are available by calling CMC’s CEArts at 947-8367.Fine music is a fitting tribute to Smith, as she has spent a good part of her life serving as a committed trustee of the Aspen Music Association and has worked tirelessly in other charitable work, including serving on the original board of directors for Aspen’s first hospital in a house on Red Mountain.Smith’s son, Morgan Smith, focused his attention on a fledgling CMC after serving as a principal in the Aspen schools. As a state legislator, he organized a bill changing tax structure to allow for the birth of the community college.Nancy Morgan Smith has planned a permanent legacy from her family to the college. In a planned giving arrangement, she has set aside a generous gift to the veterinary technology program at the Spring Valley Campus. It will establish new, larger facilities for animal veterinary care.The Teocalli Trio is an international trio formed at the Crested Butte Music Festival. Hungarian violinist Tamas Kocsis, German cellist Alexander Scheirle and American pianist Debra Ayers draw from a repertoire of chamber music.Ayers served as director of the Jim Calaway Honor Series and has performed locally, as well as with singers from the Metropolitan, New York City and Paris opera companies, the American String Quartet, Mercury’s Players and Aspen Festival Chamber Players. Scheirle is chief executive and principal cellist of the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra, and he and Ayers are co-directors of the Crested Butte Music Festival. Kocsis served as concertmaster of the Fort Worth Symphony, Savannah Symphony, Hilton Head Orchestra and Breckenridge Music Institute.Renelle Lott writes a CMC column for the Post Independent. If you have questions, please call the CMC public information office at 947-8363.


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