Concert highlights American traditions
“These traditional old American folk songs have a simplicity to them, like something you listen to in your parlor,” said Scott MacCracken of Aspen, guest baritone for Symphony in the Valley’s program of American Folk Music.But the symphony is taking the concert to Sunlight Mountain Resort for an outdoor hillside concert Sunday, Sept. 26, followed by a barbecue. “I feel an identity with the music because it’s such American stuff, like ‘The Little Horses’ and ‘Simple Gifts,'” MacCracken said. He refers to the compilation of Old American Songs arranged by Aaron Copland for singer and orchestra. Copland took the folk tunes passed down through oral tradition and put them to orchestral music.MacCracken began his own vocal career in the third grade, when “My music teacher wanted me to audition in the fourth-grade choir. It was very clear that this kid was bound for success,” he said jokingly. The success was obvious, but the direction wasn’t so clear: After receiving his music degree in vocal performance at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, MacCracken auditioned for the Chicago Lyric Opera and the National Opera Company in Washington, D.C., to learn “painfully that I wasn’t designed for the world of opera.”MacCracken headed out to Aspen. “Culture and skiing – in that order – brought me to Aspen in 1974,” he said.Since then, he’s spent seven years at the Crystal Palace, sung with the Aspen Music Festival – when locals were still invited to perform in the big productions – and appeared with Aspen Theater in the Park in “Side by Side by Sondheim,” “Little Night Music,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “How to Succeed in Business” and with the Aspen Choral Society in “Passion” last Easter.He also performed with Four Rivers Musical Theater in “Into the Woods” and “City of Angels,” and did cabaret work with Columbine Playhouse in the Aspen Courthouse Plaza. Both theater venues are now defunct, causing MacCracken to observe: “Theater closings, that’s the theater world around here.”During his Columbine days, he met his wife, Marisa Post, a theater director, who is in production for “Sound of Music.”Out of Aspen, he has sung with the Crested Butte Music Festival and the Yampa Springs Art Festival in Steamboat Springs.MacCracken is delighted with the repertoire for his second time to sing with the symphony. “I’m looking forward to singing these old American folk tunes that many people haven’t heard since they were a child,” he said. “My goal is to leave ’em cryin’ and wantin’ more.” Symphony in the Valley’s program of American Folk Music starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Tickets: Sold at the gate, $10 for the concert, $10 for the barbecue following (The symphony’s season ticket does not include the barbecue.) Discounts for children and seniors.Information and reservations: Marice Doll, 379-0149, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.Sunlight Mountain Inn is offering a 10 percent discount on lodging for those wishing to spend the night. For reservations, call the inn at 945-5225.Sunlight Mountain Resort requests no glass, no coolers and no dogs on the mountain.In case of rain, the concert moves inside the ski resort building.
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